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CARES Act Funding

Cal State San Marcos acknowledges that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement for the HEERF CARES ACT in the amount of $15,963,036 and that San Marcos intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds, or $7,981,518, received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The other 50%, or $7,981,518, under Section 18004(a)(1) will be used to offset costs incurred in transition to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

Additionally, the University received a total of $1,155,333 in additional CARES Act monies under Section 18004(a)(2) for Minority Serving Institutions. These monies can be used in essentially the same way Section 18004(a)(1) - Institutional monies are utilized. 

The CARES Act Emergency Grants are emergency aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus; this is different than a change in a student's financial need due to COVID-19, which could be a result of a loss of income rather than new expenses. The Emergency grants will be paid directly to students and will not apply toward outstanding institutional charges. The CARES Act emergency financial aid grants to students are for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).

CSUSM has 11,224 FAFSA filing students enrolled in the Spring semester that are in face-to-face classes that may be eligible for CARES Act funding.  

Guidelines for Distribution

In following federal government guidelines, these funds will be distributed as follows based on the FAFSA Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). For questions about eligibility contact finaid@csusm.edu.

Student Categories:

  1. FAFSA filed 0 to 4000 EFC, $1000 Full-time and $500 Part-time
  2. FAFSA filed 4001 and higher EFC, $500 Full-time and $250 Part-time
  3. FAFSA eligible – May or may not have filed a FAFSA at the time the CARES Act was passed into law, $300 Full-time and $200 Part-time

Category 1 & 2 are not eligible for category 3.  Likewise, category 3 is not eligible for 1 or 2. 

Students With EFC of $0-$4,000

Full-time students with an EFC of $0-$4,000 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form will receive $1,000 and part-time students will receive $500. CSUSM has 5,288 full-time students and 806 part-time students who meet this criterium for a total expenditure of $5.7 million. No application or action is required for students in this category. Beginning Monday, May 4, students will either have the funds deposited directly into their bank accounts or a check will be mailed to their home address as it appears in their MyCSUSM account.

Students With EFC of $4,001+ and Received Aid

Full-time students with an EFC of $4,001 or more and have also received aid during the 2019-20 academic year will receive $500 and part-time students will receive $250. CSUSM has 2,402 full-time students and 462 part-time students who meet this criterium for a total expenditure of $1.3 million. No application or action is required for students in this category. Beginning Monday, May 4, students will either have the funds deposited directly into their bank accounts or a check will be mailed to their home address as it appears in their MyCSUSM account.

FAFSA-eligible students

The remaining CARES Act balance of $973,018 will be distributed to FAFSA-eligible students. This includes students who filled out a FAFSA application as well as students who didn’t but were eligible to fill one out. Students must apply to be considered for these funds. Applications will be available through your MyCSUSM account through the message center. The amount each student receives will depend on the number of applications received. It is anticipated that full-time students could be eligible for up to $300 and part-time students up to $200.

Guidance to Students

CARES Act, which was passed into law last month, provides direct funding to provide cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare.  You have been awarded and your emergency grant has been applied to your student account. This emergency grant does not pay tuition or any institutional charges – this is a direct refund to you.

 Once student financial services apply the grant to your account, they will begin the refunding process.   If you have signed up for direct deposit, your refund will be in your bank within two days.  Otherwise, a paper check will be mailed to the address on file.

CARES Act Funds Breakdown
Funding Source Amount
CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Campus Distribution $7,981,518
HSI Additional Funding $570,000
Total CARES Act Funding  $8,551,518 
CSUSM Funds Distribution
Distribution Category Amount Disbursed

# of Students as of Sept 30, 2020

Amount  Disbursed

# of Students as of Dec 31, 2020

Amount Disbursed

# of Students as of March 31, 2021

 TOTAL DISBURSED

Students with Expected Family Contribution of $0-$4,000  $5,911,750  6,405  $6,000  6  $77,807  78  $5,995,557
Students with Expected Family Contribution of $4,001+ and Received Aid  $2,346,461 4,395  $22,500  23  -    $2,368,961
Sum Disbursed to Students $8,258,211    $28,500     $77,807    $8,364,518
CSUSM reimbursement to the ASI Student Relief Fund  $180,500            $180,500
 TOTAL DISBURSED              $8,545,018

The Department of Education has issued additional guidance on the CARES Act funding; as of June 17th, no new awards can be made without a FAFSA.

On May 21, ED announced that they will not be enforcing previous guidance that required students to be Title IV eligible to receive HEERF Grants, because the guidance lacks “the force and effect of law.”

 On June 17, ED issued a preview of its interim final rule regarding the distribution of coronavirus emergency relief grants to students, doubling down on its position that only Title IV-eligible students can receive the funding.

ED clarified in the rule that enforcement of the Title IV eligibility interpretation will not be retroactive before the date of publication in the Federal Register, but reminded institutions of its prior guidance regarding funds issued to undocumented students and those enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and international students. CSUSM was proud to award the CSU CARES and the Student Relief Fund to our undocumented, DACA and international students.

Ineligible students

Government regulations state that DACA students, undocumented students, fully online students and international students are not eligible for CARES Act funds. However, the university provided funds for DACA students and undocumented students through the Student Relief Fund.

Additional Funding Not Part of CARES

All students who are enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester are eligible for these funding sources including DACA and undocumented students.

ASI Student Emergency Fund

Available to currently enrolled CSUSM students who encounter an unexpected financial emergency or catastrophic event in which their basic needs and/or ability to function as a student are impacted, you can apply for funding or email sef@csusm.edu with questions for a maximum $250 grant. Any CSUSM student is eligible to apply for these funds, including DACA, international, and undocumented students.

HEERF Institutional Support

Cal State San Marcos acknowledges that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement for the HEERF CARES ACT in the amount of $15,963,036 and that San Marcos intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds, or $7,981,518, received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The other 50%, or $7,981,518, under Section 18004(a)(1) will be used to offset costs incurred in transition to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

Additionally, the University received a total of $1,155,333 in additional CARES Act monies under Section 18004(a)(2) for Minority Serving Institutions. These monies can be used in essentially the same way Section 18004(a)(1) - Institutional monies are utilized.

The reports below indicate the uses of the monies as of the dates listed in the report. The reports also fulfill the HEERF CARES Act quarterly reporting requirement. The University will continue to identify qualifying expenses and request the monies throughout the eligibility period.

HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report 09/30/20 (PDF)

HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report 12/31/20 (PDF)

HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report 03/31/21 (PDF)