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What is the CARES Act?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was recently passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which provides funding to schools to distribute directly to students as emergency financial aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the pandemic.

The funding is intended to be used for expenses related to a student's cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.


Who is eligible for the funding?

Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, to be eligible for CARES Act funding, students must meet the following:

  • Be enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester (full-time or part-time) as a degree-seeking student;
  • Not enrolled exclusively in a fully online program (prior to March 16, 2020); and
  • Be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (i.e., be eligible to receive federal student aid). To see a list of Title IV eligibility requirements, please click here.

Non-eligible students who are experiencing an urgent financial hardship may apply for emergency assistance through Lander's Student Crisis Fund. Click here to see Student Crisis Fund eligibility and application instructions.


How much will each student receive?

Each eligible Lander student will receive a grant of $500. Students who are Pell Grant recipients will receive an additional $345, for a total grant of $845. Please note: These funds are a one-time grant and do not have to be repaid.


How and when will students receive the funds?

CARES Act funds will be disbursed to eligible students beginning Thursday, May 7.

Students who have enrolled in direct deposit through the Office of Student Accounts will receive their funds electronically. Students not currently enrolled in direct deposit but who would like to select this option may sign up in the MyLander portal. (Under Bearcat Web Highlights, choose Student Payments/eRefunds and follow the prompts.) You must be enrolled by 3 p.m. Thursday, May 7, to receive a direct deposit.

Students without direct deposit will receive a paper check mailed to their home address.


Can these funds be used to pay student balances or tuition?

Yes; however, the CARES Act stipulates that this funding is provided directly to students, and it cannot be automatically applied by the University toward a student's outstanding balance.

Students who wish to use their funding to pay on an outstanding balance or for upcoming tuition should contact the Office of Student Accounts to arrange for payment. To view your student account balance, log into the MyLander Portal.


For More Information:

Students with additional questions about the CARES Act funding or their student account balance may contact the Office of Student Accounts, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday, at 864-388-8303 or