CARES Act Emergency Funds: Application information for students

April 16, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will provide nearly $3.7 million to Seattle University in higher education emergency relief. By law, half of the funds received by institutions must be distributed directly to students in the form of grants to cover expenses related to unexpected financial needs due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means that about $1.8 million will be available for Seattle U students.

I have appointed members to a newly formed oversight committee to, among other things, establish the process for how students apply for CARES Act funds and document protocols for awarding aid to students and the means of distributing those funds. Melore Nielsen, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management, is committee chair.

The expenses can be anything within the meaning of “cost of attendance” as defined in the Higher Education Act, including tuition and fees, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare expenses.

Students can apply for funding using the CARES Act Application form that is now available on MySU. Students who apply by April 21st should receive a response by May 5th. Requests will continue to be reviewed by members of the Oversight Committee on a rolling basis until the CARES Act funding is exhausted.

Members of the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Oversight Committee are Joe Cater, Controller; Robert Duniway, Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness; James Miller, Director of Undergraduate Admissions; Melore Nielsen, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management (Chair); Jeff Scofield, Assistant Vice President and Director of Student Financial Services; Jordan Talge, Associate University Counsel; and James Willette, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students.

Background on the CARES Act and how it impacts SU

The CARES Act provides nearly $14 billion for colleges and universities across the nation. It calls for 50 percent of the funds allocated to each institution to be provided directly to students for emergency aid and 50 percent to help provide relief to institutions for unanticipated financial losses resulting from COVID-19, such as lost revenue from room and board. The much-needed funds to support students in need of emergency aid for Spring Quarter will be of significant help when combined with the generous financial gifts Seattle U is receiving from alumni and friends for the same purpose.

CARES provides significant flexibility for institutions to distribute campus-based aid, including in the form of emergency grants for undergraduate and graduate students. It also provides Federal Work Study payments for students for up to one academic year, even if the student is unable to perform their work. It also allows student borrowers to suspend payments for direct federal and federally backed FFEL loans through September 2020, with no interest accruing during this time period.


Shane P. Martin
901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Office: (206) 296-2595
(he, him pronouns)