On March 27, 2020, following passage by the United States Congress, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  This $2 trillion economic relief package provided resources to numerous sectors of the United States economy and to individual Americans.  Included in the bill was $14 billion in funding for higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.  Samford University has received over $1.19 million in funding to provide emergency support to Samford students who have experienced temporary financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning Friday, May 8, 2020 and continuing through Monday, May 18, 2020, an individual who  completed the spring 2020 term as a degree-seeking student at Samford University and has a 2019-2020 FAFSA on file with the Samford Office of Student Financial Services may complete and submit the CARES Act Emergency Assistance Fund Application for emergency financial grants, provided by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act.  Students enrolled in academic programs that are customarily offered only online are not eligible for these emergency grants, according to US Department of Education guidelines.  Applications received by Samford after 11:59 p.m. on May 18, 2020 will not be considered.

Categories of expenses that are eligible include, but are not limited to, childcare, food, housing, technology, course materials, travel, and health care.  A description of each cost and supporting documentation may be submitted using this online application.  Decisions on applications will not be made until the application period closes on May 18, 2020. 

Once the process is completed, funding will be applied directly to the recipient’s Samford student account and automatically refunded to the student.  Funds will begin to be released by May 31, 2020.  We strongly encourage all applicants to ensure they have direct deposit set up with Samford so that funds may be quickly deposited into the financial account of choice.  Learn how to set up direct deposit or check the status of a previously established direct deposit agreement.  Recipients who do not have direct deposit will be issued a check that will be mailed to the official home mailing address on file with Samford.

For questions regarding the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund, please contact the Samford One Stop at OneStop@samford.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act is one of several acts passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump in the spring of 2020 that intended to provide economic relief to Americans and American businesses during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutions of higher education were supported by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund as part of the CARES Act.

Who is eligible to receive CARES funding?

Any spring 2020 Samford student who: 1) was enrolled at the time of Samford’s campus closing, 2) who has an approved 2019-2020 FAFSA on file at Samford AND 3) who was not enrolled in an normally all online program for spring 2020.

Are international students eligible to receive these funds?

Unfortunately, per US Department of Education guidelines, students who are not eligible for federal funding, which includes most international students, are not eligible for CARES Act Emergency Assistance Funds.

What other resources are available for students who are not eligible for these funds?

Samford has a number of student emergency funds. The Samford Emergency Assistance Fund (SEAF) is available to all students and provides funding up to $500 per occurrence.

Other funds exist in different academic areas including, but not limited to the University Fellows, Cumberland School of Law, Beeson Divinity School, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Ida Moffett School of Nursing, and others. Contact your Dean or Department/Program Chair to determine if your School/College has such a fund.

What is the deadline for applying?

11:59 pm on May 18, 2020

When campus closed in March 2020, all of my classes moved from on campus to online. Does that preclude me from applying for CARES Act funds?

If your academic program is normally on campus and your program moved to online for the remainder of spring and summer terms, you will be eligible. It is only students in the programs that are always online that are not eligible, per US Department of Education guidelines.

What FAFSA must be on file in order to be eligible for the emergency funds?

The 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be on file with Samford University for an applicant to be considered for funding from the CARES Act Emergency Assistance Fund.

I filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA, but did not utilize any aid provided from the FAFSA. Does that matter?

No. Use of federal aid is not a requirement. We only need an approved 2019-2020 FAFSA on file.

Will the emergency funding count as financial aid and/or negatively impact my current financial aid package?

No. These funds are not considered to be financial aid and have no impact on financial aid. In fact, these funds will not be processed through the financial aid process. They will be applied directly to student accounts and refunded to the recipients immediately.

When will I receive my funds?

All applications will be reviewed after the application period concludes on May 18, 2020. Samford has a limited amount of funding and seeks to provide for as many applicants as possible and wants to distribute them fairly. In order to do so, all applications will be considered only after the time period for applying is completed. Approved funds will begin being distributed by May 31, 2020.

I was not enrolled at Samford for spring 2020, but am enrolled for summer 2020. Do I qualify?

Unfortunately you do not. These funds have been set aside for spring 2020 students who were enrolled and attending Samford at the time campus was closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Who may I contact with additional questions about CARES Act Emergency Assistance Funds?

The Samford One Stop will be glad to assist with your questions. OneStop@samford.edu or 205-726-2905.