Student CARES Act Info


Last Updated on April 1, 2021

Quarterly Report - December 31, 2020:
As of December 31, 2020, SUNY Erie has distributed $3,997,923 to students. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant as of December 31, 2020 is 3,055.

From September 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020, students have received Emergency Financial Aid Grants totaling $1,544,173.

Quarterly Report - September 30, 2020:
As of September 30, 2020, SUNY Erie has distributed $2,453,750 to students. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant as of September 30, 2020 is 2,719.

From September 10, 2020 (our last reporting date), to September 30, 2020, 172 students have received Emergency Financial Aid Grants totaling $145,500.

45-Day Report - September 10, 2020:
As of September 10, 2020,  has distributed $2,308,250 to students. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant as of September 10, 2020 is 2,547.

30-Day Report - July 27, 2020:
As of July 27, 2020, SUNY Erie has distributed funding to 2,387 students with an average award of $909. So far, we have disbursed nearly $2.2 million out the $3.9 million provided to SUNY Erie students through the federal CARES Act.

In compliance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, SUNY Erie has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to provide assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. View the certification document.

Total SUNY Erie Award for CARES ACT (Student Aid) - $3,997,923

Information on institutional CARES Act funding

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act awards emergency grants to students to help them manage costs they took on as a result of SUNY Erie’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can I use this funding for?

As a student, you need to be careful in how you use this money. If you are selected for a CARES Act grant, you can use the money to cover things you had to pay for because of the campus’ move to online courses. For example, you may have had bills for things that you didn’t expect. These might include any of the following items:

  • Food   
  • Housing
  • School supplies
  • Technology like internet and computers
  • Health expenses

It’s important to understand that you can only get a CARES Act grant if you had to pay more for things that allowed you to keep going to school online. If you didn’t experience any financial disruption in these areas when SUNY Erie moved to online courses, then you are not eligible to receive a CARES Act grant.If you are selected for a CARES Act grant, you will be asked to sign into your financial aid self-service account and certify with us that you will only use the money to cover unplanned costs tied to our move to online instruction.

Do I need to apply to get money from the CARES Act?

That depends. Some students are identified as having the greatest financial need based on federal guideline and are awarded funds automatically. Other students may still have significant financial need but were not identified initially.

Are there any additional requirements?

All students need to meet these criteria for a CARES Act grant at SUNY Erie:

  • You need to be eligible to receive federal financial aid. 
  • Must have completed a FAFSA application for 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Must be a US citizen.
  • Not in default on any federal student loans.

Will everyone get money from the CARES Act?

Limited funding will prevent SUNY Erie from giving an award to everyone who needs one. Therefore, we are prioritizing our students with the greatest financial need. Students who apply for funding will have their applications reviewed by an administrative committee. Their focus is on awarding the neediest students with the largest cost of college attendance gap due to COVID.

How much money will I get?

Funding is limited so not everyone will get a grant. However, we expect that the average award to be approximately $900. This amount will vary based on ability to pay for college, how many credits you’re taking in the spring 2020 semester, and additional things you had to pay for when SUNY Erie moved to online courses.

Do I have to pay the money back?

No, this is a grant. Unlike a loan, it does not need to be repaid.

Does this count as income I need to report for financial aid purposes?

No. This grant is not counted toward your annual income that is used to determine your future financial aid awards.

How will the money arrive if I’m approved for a CARES Act grant?

If you are signed up for e-refunds in NELNET, the college’s online payment system, you will be able to get your money sent to you electronically within a few short days. This can be days quicker than a paper check, which requires more time to print, process, and mail. You can register with NELNET by following these steps. Contact the Student Accounts if you have questions about this process at or (716) 851-1888.

  • Log in to the MYECC portal   
  • Under WebAdvisor Access, select "Click here to access WebAdvisor"
  • Log in with your credentials and then select "Students"
  • Click on Nelnet Payment