Illustration of a coronavirus
Information about the CARES Act one-time emergency grants for students in need due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 Emergency Grants

CARES Act Emergency Grant Funds

As part of the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the University has been approved for a one-time, limited allocation of emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of Incline Village campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who is eligible?

All current on-ground degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled in and completed Spring 2020 affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who have successfully completed a 2019-20 FAFSA (or are eligible to file a FAFSA) are eligible for CARES Act Funds.

How much funding is available?

Award amounts are from $200 to $1000, depending on individual student financial need.

What types of expenses does the CARES Act emergency funding cover?

CARES Act funding will assist with 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, travel, or health care).

How do I apply for CARES Act funding?

To be considered for CARES Act funds, complete the CARES Act Application Form below. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Review the eligibility information below to make sure you’re eligible for funding.

What’s the deadline to apply?

Applications can be submitted until March 1, 2021, subject to availability. Funding is limited so apply soon!


Do I need to complete a FAFSA to receive CARES Act funds?
No, but you are required to be eligible to file a FAFSA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA, and are in need of financial assistance, should immediately file a 2019-20 FAFSA.

How do I know if I am eligible to file a FAFSA?
The eligibility criteria to file a FAFSA, as outlined in Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), include but are not limited to the following:

  • U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Registration with Selective Services, if male
  • High school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting

Can undocumented students and international students receive funds under the CARES Act?
No, international and undocumented students are not eligible for CARES Act funding.

I am enrolled in an online program; do I qualify for CARES Act funds?
You are not eligible for CARES Act funds if you were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020. However, if you were enrolled in a combination of online and in-person classes, you are eligible.

Are students enrolled in a non-degree or certificate program eligible for CARES Act funds?
No, only students enrolled in a degree-seeking program are eligible.

Do I need to be meeting satisfactory academic standards (SAP) to receive funds?
Yes, to be eligible for CARES Act funding, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards, which are established by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office following Federal guidelines.

I have an outstanding tuition/housing balance for the current semester; would these funds be applied to that balance?
No, the funds will be sent directly to you.

How long before I receive funds?
Requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

How will I receive funds if my request is approved?
Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your funds. If you haven’t set up direct deposit on TouchNet, we encourage you to LOG IN and sign up today. Otherwise, a check will be sent to the address on file.

Can these funds affect other aid that I have already received?
No, CARES Act Funds will not reduce your financial aid package.

Are CARES Act funds taxable and included on a 1098-T?
CARES Act Funds will not be taxable. According to the IRS, “Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includable in your gross income. Because the emergency financial aid grant is not includable in your gross income, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit. See section 139(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.”

Cares Act Application

    SEE the FAQ for FAFSA eligibility requirements.
    NOTE: International students, DACA students and 100% on-line students are not eligible for CARES grants.
    These are the only allowable expenses based on the guidelines provided by the CAREs Act and specific to the HEERF grants.
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Sierra Nevada University CARES Act Reporting Requirements

The CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the Higher Education Emergency Relief funds received to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The Act also directs institutions receiving funds under Section 18004 of the Act to submit a report to the Dept. of Education Secretary updated every 45 days. This information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public, on the institution’s primary website.

Sierra Nevada University 45-Day Fund Report

Report date: July 10, 2020

  1. Sierra Nevada College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to apply for funds from the CARES Act agreeing to use 50% of any funds received to provide direct Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. The total amount of funds received from the CARES Act was $276,835 for Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
  3. To date $145,600 funds have been distributed. The application for funds is available above.
  4. The estimated number of students eligible for these funds is approximately 264.
  5. Total number of students who have received Emergency Financial Aid Grant to date is 157.
  6. The College has a dedicated webpage with information and FAQs to address questions and concerns in regards to the grant funds, which also includes access to the application for funding.