Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

CARES Application

Purple rectangle with link to CARES Act Reporting website

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ​

What is the CARES Act? 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a coronavirus relief package approved by Congress. UNI will receive $3.8 million to assist students that have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care, or other related expenses.

Does the CARES Act Fund need to be repaid?

No, the CARES Act Fund is federal grant assistance that does not need to be repaid. 

Can I apply for additional CARES Act Funds if my initial application did not cover my expenses?

At this time we are not allowing students to increase the amount of CARES Act funding requests that came through on the initial application as award amounts for all students were based on requests that came through on the initial application.  

What is the timeline to award CARES Act Funds? 

All applications submitted in advance of the priority deadline (May 8) have been reviewed, with awards being made on May 18, 2020.  Students can view their 2019-20 financial aid award notification to see the specific amount of CARES Act Funds awarded.  

How will I receive CARES Funds? 

If you are selected, the CARES Act Fund will be added as a credit to your U-Bill, which will be refunded via direct deposit. Unlike all other forms of financial aid, this fund will not credit toward any unpaid U-Bill balances. 

The fastest way to receive your CARES Act refund is to sign up for direct deposit. Direct deposit refunds will be available in your bank account within 3 business days after disbursements. Students not signed up for direct deposit will be issued a check.  For more information, please contact or 319-273-2164.

How do I register for direct deposit?  

You can register for direct deposit on your MyUNIverse account: Log in to MyUNIverse > click on Direct Deposit Sign-up. Please review this PDF document for further instructions: Signing up for Direct Deposit.

Are other resources available if I don’t qualify for the CARES Act Fund?

Students who do not meet eligibility criteria may still seek financial assistance for emergency circumstances through the Student Emergency Fund through the Dean of Students' office. Our offices will work jointly to explore any potential funding possibilities for students.  

Are CARES Act funds available to incoming students that are beginning in Fall 2020? 

Federal CARES Act funds are being awarded to current UNI students that have expenses as a result of their educational experience being disrupted due to COVID-19. Fund availability will be monitored as we move through the next academic year. 

What are the tax implications if I've received CARES Act Funding?

Please review this IRS website: IRS FAQs: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act

What are the eligibility criteria to be considered for CARES Act Funds at UNI? 

  • The priority deadline for funding was May 8, 2020.  Remaining CARES funds, following the priority deadline, will be awarded based on availability of funds.
  • Eligible students must have a valid FAFSA at UNI. If you haven't completed the 2019-20 FAFSA yet, it's still available through June 30, 2020. Get started by visiting
  • Had expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care, or other related expenses.