Office of Financial Aid

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020 “to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.”

The CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to enable colleges and universities to provide emergency financial aid to students whose lives have been disrupted by the pandemic.

Please familiarize yourself with the information below, at the end of which you will find a link to the application.

How much did Oberlin receive from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and for what can it be used?

Oberlin has been granted $728,674 from the HEERF1 to distribute to students for qualified expenses, including food, housing, course materials, coronavirus-related medical fees, child care, and other hardships incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID 19.

Who may apply to receive financial assistance?

Any student may apply. Consistent with provisions of the CARES Act, applicants must be eligible to receive funds through the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process in order to be considered for funding from the HEERF.

If a student is eligible to receive funds through the FAFSA process but has never submitted a FAFSA, the student is still eligible for HEERF monies. During the application process for these funds, such students will need to answer federally mandated certifying questions.

Students who are ineligible to receive HEERF monies because they are ineligible under FAFSA but are nevertheless struggling to pay basic expenses may still apply for assistance; their request will be considered through private funds available as a result of generous donors who have chosen to support Oberlin’s students.

Are graduating seniors eligible to apply?

Yes. Graduating seniors are eligible to receive HEERF grants to apply towards expenses incurred while they were students from the first HEERF grant. 

What is the maximum assistance I can receive?

Assistance will initially be limited to $1,500 per student.

What is the timeline for distribution of funds?

Distribution of funds will begin on June 1, 2020. Our goal is to distribute the funds as quickly as possible, but through a thoughtful process that ensures that the needs of our students who have been most severely impacted by COVID 19 are met.

Why is an application process required?

Oberlin believes an application process is the most equitable method of meeting students’ needs with the limited pool of funding allocated to Oberlin for this purpose, while being compliant with the requirements of the CARES Act.

What is the process for applying?

NOTE: As of April 4th, 2022 the application has been closed. Funding has been exhausted.   

Use this application to apply for financial assistance. Once completed, your application will be reviewed by a committee of College administrators to ensure that the request meets the terms and conditions of the program.

Required Public Reporting on Federal CARES Act