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Federal CARES Act at VMI

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that provides support to individuals and organizations facing unexpected expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated June 8, 2020

A Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is included in this act, with more than $14 billion in emergency funding going to colleges and universities. A portion of this funding must go directly to students to provide reimbursement related to campus closures and distance learning.

Funds allocated to each school were based on student body size and the number of Pell Grant recipients. VMI has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement to receive $1,132,691. Of this total, legislation determines that $566,346 will be distributed to cadets to assist in this time of extreme circumstances, and this amount was distributed on June 8, 2020, with e-mail notification sent to the 659 cadets eligible. The remainder of the funding will be used by VMI to cover the increased costs associated with COVID-19 impacts to post and processes in accordance with federal stipulations.

Cadet reimbursements are managed through an online application process in accordance with federal guidelines. Cadets must meet and attest to the eligibility requirements, in addition to confirmation of additional expenses incurred during COVID-19 interruption. The actual amount each cadet may receive is based on the total eligible applications submitted. Completion of the application does not guarantee funding, and applications submitted after the deadline are not be able to be considered.

All cadets were asked to complete the CARES Act Student Relief Funds Application no later than May 29, 2020. Questions regarding the application process should be sent to the Financial Aid Office, financialaid@vmi.edu.

The estimated total number of students at VMI eligible to participate in programs under section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act is 1,600.

Note: While the Office of Financial Aid is providing information regarding the federal CARES Act, these funds are considered disaster relief funds, and are separate from other financial aid funds noted on our site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Per the legislation, HEERF funds are to assist with expenses incurred by a student due to the disruption of on-Post instruction caused by COVID19.  Expenses may include: food, course materials, housing, health care, technology, and child care.

VMI is following the U.S. Department of Education guidance. The methodology used by VMI to determine which students receive grants is based on submission of a completed and valid CARES Act Application and financial need, based on the 2019-20 FAFSA (if available).

VMI will review the applications following the deadline, and funds will be distributed in June.

Funds will be mailed to a cadet’s address of record. Cadets who submitted a completed and valid CARES Act Application, and met financial need requirements based on the 2019-20 FAFSA where available, were notified by e-mail on June 8, 2020. These cadets will be issued a check within 10-14 days of June 8, 2020. They have been instructed to monitor their mail and notify the Finanical Aid office immediately if there is a change in address.

These funds are not a loan, so do not need to be paid back. The funds are considered disaster relief funds by the IRS, so they are not taxable.