Dear Faculty and Staff:
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has provided universities nationally with funds for use in helping students manage emergency situations. WKU should receive approximately $5.3 million in CARES funds for our students. Until late last week, many details from the Department of Education in regard to the funds remained fluid. Having received continued guidance from Washington, much work has gone into identifying the most efficient and equitable process to ensure our students have access to the funds they may qualify for based upon their individual situations.
Federal requirements state that the funds be made available to current students who are eligible to participate in federally funded financial aid programs and were not previously studying exclusively online or by distance means who need assistance with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. Expenses that are considered eligible for consideration must have been incurred as a result of the disruption to campus operations, including food, housing, course materials, technology requirements, child care, or medical expenses related to COVID-19. It is our understanding that lost wages or income are not qualifying expenses under these provisions. Students who have experienced lost wages should look into filing for state unemployment benefits as they may qualify for assistance through that program.
Students will soon be surveyed through email regarding their individual situations, and responses will be used in determining their eligibility for CARES funds. Upon receiving an award, a student will be notified by email; awards will be made as long as funds remain available. We encourage students to respond to their survey as soon as possible, especially if they are in need of financial assistance.
Because our faculty and staff are in contact with students who may have questions that relate to the CARES Act, it’s important for you to understand the process and help prevent misinformation. Additionally, if you have questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, we appreciate the tremendous support you continue to provide to our Hilltoppers during this unusual time.
Timothy C. Caboni