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CARES Act

CARES Act Funding Information

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Liberty University was awarded $15.2 million in federal funds based on total residential student enrollment at Liberty.  The CARES Act requires that Liberty provide at least 50% of its allocation directly to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants (the “Student Portion”).  The 50% institutional portion of the CARES Act funds (“Institutional Portion”) can be used by the institution to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to coronavirus (including to provide refunds to students for room and board, tuition, and other fees as a result of significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus).  To develop its distribution model, Liberty utilized federal calculations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and averages for eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course fees, technology, health care, and childcare, as permitted by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  Additionally, the University included international students as well as those that did not have a FAFSA on file as part of the distribution method for the Institutional Portion of the CARES Act funds based on updated guidance from ED.

The CARES Act funds will be awarded as soon as the institution has access to the federal funding and students provide a simple eligibility certification back to Student Financial Services through Liberty’s web site.

The formula to distribute the Student Portion and Institutional Portion of the CARES Act funds to students was based on average costs and expenses for broad categories of students, such as dorm vs. commuter students, those with and without meal plans, and those that either stayed in Lynchburg after March 28, 2020 and those that left Lynchburg before that time.  The amount of funds will vary by those categories and are anticipated to be between a minimum of $280 and a maximum $2,465 per student.  These amounts are in addition to the previously awarded $1,000 credits.  If students do not need the CARES Act funding, the certification that Liberty will email to all eligible students will enable the students to decline the funding and such funds will then be provided to those students that confirm their eligibility.

Eligibility criteria and an overview of the average costs and anticipated funding amounts for the expense categories that we used to calculate the Student Portion and Institutional Portion for the distribution of the federal funds are described below.  Please note that for administrative ease for both the university and students, Liberty decided not to do a detailed expense application for each student.  Liberty plans to distribute CARES Act funds to eligible students over the course of the next several weeks and will notify eligible individual students of their distribution amount via email.

For more information related to CARES Act funding at Liberty, please review our listing of frequently asked questions. You may also review the IRS CARES Act FAQ here.

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) official reporting requirements related to the CARES Act, you may also review the Liberty University’s CARES Act Reporting webpage.

Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Education rules the student emergency aid portion of the CARES Act funds may not be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs.  Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid. The Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) will use Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine student eligibility for the Student Portion of the funds.  International students as well as those that did not have a FAFSA on file are eligible for the Institutional Portion of the CARES Act funds.  If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for 2019-20, please file a FAFSA at studentaid.gov. If you need assistance, please contact the SFS office.

Basic eligibility:

  • Must be a residential student (on-campus, off-campus, or living with parent(s)). Online students are not eligible for CARES Act funding, per the U.S. Department of Education
  • Must be an undergraduate or graduate student, including Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Law students
  • Must have maintained enrollment in the Spring 2020 term at any level (less than half-time enrollment through full-time enrollment qualifies)
  • Must be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Must not be in default on a federal student loan
  • Must have a valid FAFSA on file for the 2019-2020 award year
  • Must provide a completed self-certification form prior to receiving the funding in order for the university to comply with mandated tracking and allocation funding requirements from the U.S. Department of Education
  • International students and students with no FAFSA on file are only eligible for the Institutional portion of the CARES Act funds

 

Categories and Estimated Combined Student Portion and Institutional Portion:

 

On Campus Student who left Lynchburg by March 28, 2020

On Campus Student who remained on campus beyond March 28, 2020
Off Campus Student with a Commuter Meal Plan who left Lynchburg by March 28, 2020
Off Campus Student without a Meal Plan who left Lynchburg by March 28, 2020
Off Campus Student who stayed in Lynchburg past March 28, 2020