The College of New Jersey

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CARES Act FAQs

Dear Students:

As of 1 p.m. this afternoon, TCNJ has fully expended the $2.5 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief funding it received through the federal CARES Act. For this reason, the college is no longer accepting applications for support.

Over the last month, the college has made more than 1,800 awards totaling $2,514,066. This money was expressly intended to help students who are experiencing a variety of financial hardships related to the pandemic.

Thanks to all who participated in this process. To those who received awards, we hope it helps you in these very challenging times.

Sincerely,

Wil Casaine, Executive Director of Financial Aid

Reporting Dashboard


What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the federal government?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was 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 and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available and how do I apply?

TCNJ has received its Higher Education Emergency Relief funding, which it is making available to students on an expedited basis. Please fill out an application to begin the review process. Recipients will be notified of their status via their TCNJ email account.

Am I eligible for CARES Act funds?

Degree-seeking students enrolled in spring 2020 are eligible to apply for CARES Act funds. Funding is limited to students who have and been impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways: student and/or spouse loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss), parental loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss), or other unexpected circumstances. Students enrolled in fully online graduate programs, international, and undocumented students are not eligible.

What are some examples of circumstances that may make you eligible to receive a Higher Education Emergency Relief grant from TCNJ?

  • You are no longer working on campus due to the campus closing.
  • You or your immediate family’s financial circumstances have worsened due to a job loss, decrease in hours worked, or reduction in pay.
  • In order to participate in TCNJ’s online instruction you had to acquire new technology or services.
  • You incurred unanticipated travel expenses due to the school’s on-campus closing.
  • Since returning home, in order to keep your job your commute has incurred a burdensome increase.

Can I make changes to the application form after it has been submitted?

Unfortunately, no. Once an application is submitted it becomes final and will be processed accordingly.

What login credentials do I need to access the application form?

The application is only available to users with an @tcnj.edu email domain. Students can access the application form with their TCNJ login and password.

I am an international student and not a citizen of the United States. Am I eligible for a CARES Act grant?

Unfortunately, no. In accordance with the terms of the CARES Act, because you are not able to apply for federal Title IV financial aid, you are not eligible.

Are DACA students eligible to receive a CARES Act grant?

No. Because you are not able to apply for federal Title IV financial aid, you are not eligible.

When can students apply for CARES Act funds?

Eligible students may apply online beginning April 30 through June 30, 2020, or until all funds are exhausted.

What are the types of expenses are covered by CARES Act funding?

Eligible expenses for CARES Act funding include, but are not necessarily limited to, medical, food, housing, utilities, technology expenses, relocation costs to return home, unexpected childcare, course materials, and other unanticipated expenses included in the student’s cost of attendance.

How much funding will I get?

Award amounts vary by student and are unique to each student’s circumstances. The College is committed to distributing the CARES Act funds it has received to as many eligible students in need as quickly as possible until those funds are exhausted.

How long before I know if I am awarded?

We anticipate a large volume of applications and will work to process submissions as quickly as possible. Our goal is to provide funding decisions as soon as possible, but no later than 10 business days depending upon the sufficiency of your application and required documentation.

What documentation am I required to submit for the CARES Act application?

Only the completed application is required. The college reserves the right to request supporting documentation to substantiate statements made in the application.

How will I find out if I have been awarded funding?

Emails will be sent from PAWS to each student when funds are issued.

How will I receive the funding if my request is approved?

Checks/direct deposits will be processed within 5-10 days after each applicant eligibility has been verified by the office of financial aid.

Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your funding. Designate your bank account in PAWS by following the instructions below:

  1. Visit the TCNJ Today homepage
  2. Click on PAWS
  3. In Self Service, click on Student Center
  4. Click on Refund Direct Deposit link located in the Finances section and follow the instructions

If you are awarded funds, it will take approximately 24-48 business hours from your notification date for the funds to be deposited into your bank account. Some banks make take longer to process payments.

If you are not able to set up a direct deposit account, you be mailed a paper check to the local mailing address on record with the college. Be advised that this method can take between 1-2 weeks.

I graduate this semester. Can I receive a grant?

If you graduate in Spring 2020, you have until June 30, 2020 to submit an application to be considered for funding.

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