What is the CARES Act, and how will students get funding? (Updated 5/20/20)
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that allocates funds to support individuals and organizations affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. WPI has received funding from the CARES Act that includes money that must be granted directly from WPI to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants.
Per requirements, WPI signed and returned the “Recipient’s Funding Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students” and has, and will, use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50 percent of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants to eligible students.
I received a $300 refund but I don’t know why. (Added 6/1/20)
Eligible undergraduate and graduate students are receiving a $300 refund through the CARES Act grant—no application was necessary. Eligible students: (1) were enrolled for classes for the Spring 2020 Term, (2) are eligible for Title IV funding, and 3) filed a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the last day of D Term, May 13, 2020. For additional information on the CARES Act grant, review the FAQs below.
How much money will WPI receive in emergency financial aid grants (CARES Act funding) for students? (Added 5/13/20)
WPI has received approximately $1.4 million in emergency financial aid grants for eligible students, which may be used by the students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.
- If a student declined Title IV funds for this academic year, are they still eligible to receive a CARES Act emergency financial aid grant? (Added 5/13/20)
Will there be additional CARES Act emergency financial aid money available to students? (Updated 6/3/20)
Yes. Eligible students were able to apply trough an online form for an additional CARES Act grant. The application was open from Friday, May 15th through Friday, May 22nd. The application was reviewed by the Student Affairs and Financial Aid Offices. The decision of whether the student will receive an additional CARES Act grant was made on a case-by-case basis and determined by demonstrated need and a review of their Federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The number of students who will be granted additional money will be subject to the availability of funds. Students will be notified of additional funding in early June via email.
How soon may eligible students receive CARES Act emergency financial aid grants? (Updated 6/3/20)
WPI distributed these grants in two phases: The first phase was distributed the week of May 18th, 2020 and consisted of the distribution of $300 grants to all eligible students. The second phase was distributed in early June 2020 and on a case-by-case basis following the review of submitted application forms for an additional grant and/or review of a student’s Federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Do eligible students need to sign up for direct deposit to receive the CARES Act emergency financial aid grants? (Added 5/13/20)
Yes. In order to provide grants to students as quickly as possible, it is imperative that all eligible students sign up for direct deposit through their CashNet portal (where students view and pay their student account eBills). If students are not able to sign up for direct deposit, or do not do so, they will receive a physical check sent to their home address on file with WPI.
- To set up the direct deposit please use the Banner Self Service Site to login with your password, click the Student Accounts – eBill link, you will be taken to the eBilling system.
- Once in the eBiiling system, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the eRefund enrollment link.
- Enter in all appropriate information and save.
- You must specify a U.S. personal checking or savings account as your direct bank deposit account.
- Please be very careful when entering your bank information as incorrect data may cause a delay in your refund.
The Bursar's Office has additional information here.
How will eligible students know if they have already set up direct deposit? (Added 5/13/20)
Students may check their direct deposit status in CashNet, where they log in and pay their tuition accounts. They may also check by logging into Banner Self Service following the instructions in the bullets in the question above.
How does a CARES Act emergency financial aid grant affect a student’s standard WPI financial aid package? (Added 5/13/20)
If a student receives a CARES Act emergency financial aid grant, it will have no impact on 2020-2021 WPI financial aid. The Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy will begin reviewing financial aid packages for returning students in late May, through the month of June, per WPI’s standard process. We anticipate releasing financial aid packages in time for July eBills.
May a student who receives a CARES Act emergency financial aid grant appeal the amount awarded? (Updated 6/3/20)
No. All eligible students will receive a $300 CARES Act emergency financial aid grant. A student may also apply for an additional grant on a case-by-case basis following the review of a submitted application form and/or review of the student’s Federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Students may also consider requesting money from the Dean of Students Student Emergency Loan Fund and the WPI Emergency Assistance Fund.