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 Oct. 1, 2021 to reflect review and no content changes for Mar-Sept, 2021. Updated Mar. 5, 2021 to reflect review and no content changes for Jan-Feb, 2021. Previously updated June 8, 2020, July 22, 2020, Sept. 2, 2020, Oct. 9, 2020, and Oct. 21, 2020. A previous review, with no changes, occurred on Jan. 5, 2021, reflecting no content changes for Nov.-Dec., 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 total number of students eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act is 1,246.  This number was reached by adding the number of students for whom VMI received an Institutional Student Information Record and the number of students completing only an alternative application developed by the Institute for this purpose.

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

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What are examples of the costs that can this aid help cover? 

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.

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Who is eligible to receive assistance from the CARES Act relief fund? 

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).

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How quickly will funds be distributed to cadets?

VMI reviewed the applications immediately following the deadline for submission at the end of May, and all funds were distributed June 8, 2020.

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How will I receive the funds?

Funds were mailed to the recipient 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 were issued a check within 10-14 days of June 8, 2020. They were been instructed to monitor their mail and notify the Finanical Aid office immediately if there is a change in address.

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Is this a loan that needs to be paid back or that is taxable? Is this considered financial aid?

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.


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