Title IV eligible students will receive $500 from CARES act


Congress passed the CARES Act, giving out $2 trillion in relief funds. Photo courtesy of Grant News.

Emergency grants were recently made available for Oakland University students when the U.S. Congress passed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The act gave over $2 trillion to aid United States citizens who were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the lengthy stay-at-home orders.

The CARES Act gave OU $13,796,824, half of which is required to be distributed to students. Students who are eligible for financial aid — as determined through the 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — might apply for emergency relief.

Dawn Aubry, associate vice president for enrollment management at OU, spoke about what administration will do to aid students in the OU Magazine’s initial announcement.

“OU will use the CARES Act Student Emergency Funds and the OU COVID-19 Special Relief Fund to support students through this extraordinary time,” Aubry said. “We recognize that many of our students have incurred expenses as a result of the pandemic. Our goal is to get this money into the hands of our students as quickly as possible, so that they can complete their Oakland education.”

Any student who qualified for Title IV federal aid will receive $500 in their bank account on Friday, May 15, so long as they have direct deposit set up on their MySail account before Wednesday, May 13 at 8 a.m.

If direct deposit is set up after May 13, the funds will be available shortly after signing up for non-payroll direct deposit. OU Student Financial Services has encouraged students to sign up for non-payroll direct deposit as soon as possible.

To qualify for Title IV funding, students must fill out their FAFSA before Wednesday, July 1. If they qualify, they will either receive a $500 check in the mail or a direct deposit to their bank account.

To be Title IV eligible, a student must have been enrolled in at least one credit hour as of March 11 and not have been exclusively online.

International students and those who took solely online classes before March 11 do not qualify for the $500.

“It’s important for students to understand that those are some restrictions that were placed on universities, and were not university decisions,” Aubry said.

Some students may need to undergo federal verification and provide documentation if they are selected for Title IV aid.

“With the CARES fund, we have continued to receive information from the department of education,” Aubry said. “We continue to anticipate receiving new information from them.”

Aubry stressed the importance of getting students aid during an unprecedented period of higher education.

“We wanted students to get this money in their hands as quickly as possible,” she said. “It is an amazing feeling when you work across divisions to accomplish a project that benefits students. It is great when you can work together to serve students.”

If students have any questions, they are encouraged to contact OU Student Financial Services via email at [email protected].