CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund which allocates funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students with immediate needs related to the disruption of campus due to the COVID-19 crisis.

ArtCenter College of Design has signed and submitted to the Department the Certification and Agreement and intends to provide no less than fifty percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES ACT to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

As a result of this legislation, ArtCenter has been allocated $1,084,116 to be distributed as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students.

It is estimated that 1190 domestic students who were enrolled for the spring 2020 semester and have not graduated or permanently withdrawn may be eligible to participate. Based on spring 2020 enrollment, approximately 915 ArtCenter Title IV recipients may currently qualify to receive a grant from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Spring Cares Grants – Application Period Closed.

The CARES Grant application period for spring is closed. The results and criteria used to determine the grant amount are listed below.

503 students received a grant and a total of $349,400 was awarded. Students received grant amounts based on the following FAFSA EFC range:

Student EFC

Grant Amount









Specific details about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Student Eligibility

In order to qualify for a CARES Act Grant, students must meet all existing Title IV eligibility requirements, which includes completion of a valid 2019-20 or 2020-21 FAFSA, as well as the FAFSA verification process. In addition to the FAFSA students must submit an online application and:

  • be Title IV Eligible
  • have been enrolled in the Spring 2020 Term
  • be in good academic standing
  • not currently be in default
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • if you are male you must have registered for the Selective Service.
  • not have graduated or withdrawn

How to Apply

Students must submit the CARES Grant APPLICATION FORM available on Inside.ArtCenter and a FAFSA by June 12, 2020. All students will be notified of the results and grants will be distributed directly to students by June 30, 2020.

ArtCenter will determine eligibility for these grants based on the above criteria and by using the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA.

How much will eligible students receive?

Eligible students will be disbursed grants ranging from $500 to $800 based on their EFC.

The CARES Act Emergency Grant program has limited funding. Students who meet the qualifications and the deadline will be considered for grants as long as funds remain available.

Summer Cares Grants

There will be another opportunity to apply for a CARES Summer Grant to be announced in July.