CARES Act Funding

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides approximately $12 million in funding to UNC Charlotte for distribution to qualifying undergraduate and graduate students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of spring 2020 campus operations due to COVID-19.

Eligibility and Distribution of Funds

This money will be distributed to those students identified as having the highest need based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Approximately 74% of the funds will be given out immediately to students with the most significant need in the form of block grants in set amounts. A student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) will be used to determine if they qualify for funding and only those students with the most significant need will be given a block grant. No application is needed to be eligible for the block grant. The other 26% of the CARES funding will be given out in emergency aid over time via an application review process.

  • To be eligible for CARES Act block grant, students must have been enrolled in spring 2020 classes and be registered for fall 2020 classes, and have filed a FAFSA.
    • Note: Graduating seniors are not eligible for the block grants, but ARE ELIGIBLE to apply for CARES Act funding using the CARES Act application.
  • Grant amounts will vary by student and are unique to each student’s circumstances and financial need as determined by their most recent FAFSA.
  • Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need will receive the first distribution of these funds. 
  • Requests will exceed funding availability.  Not everyone who meets the criteria will receive grant funds.
  • Federal requirements do not allow us to distribute funds to international students, undocumented students, or students who were only enrolled in Distance Education programs.
  • Students may receive only one CARES Act grant refund. 
  • Funds from the CARES Act are not considered financial aid and do not impact a student's current or future financial aid eligibility. 
  • The money will not be applied to any outstanding balances owed the University.
  • Recipients will see the amount of their grant posted to their student account before it is refunded via direct deposit or mailed check. 
    • The CARES Act funding is listed under the Summer 2020 Activity. You will see a positive amount labeled "CARES Act Grant" and a negative amount labeled "CARES Act Refund".
    • This negative amount does not mean that we have taken away your CARES Act funding.
    • The negative amount (the refund) is the amount you are receiving by direct deposit or mailed check.

Applying for the CARES Act Emergency Aid

Students may request a review of their current situation by completing the Emergency Aid application, if they did not receive other CARES Act grant funding, or if their financial situation has changed since filing their FAFSA.

Students must meet the following eligibility criteria before applying:

  • You must have filed a 2020-21 FAFSA or have a 2019-20 FAFSA already on file with UNC Charlotte.
  • You must have been enrolled in spring 2020.

CARES Act funds are not available to international students, undocumented students, those enrolled in distance-only degree programs. Graduating seniors may apply for emergency aid funding.

Applications will be reviewed and a decision will be made within 7-10 days after it is received. 

Please see the FAQs for additional information.

CARES Act Reporting and Disclosure

UNC Charlotte acknowledges it signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement on April 13, 2020, and gives the assurance that UNC Charlotte has used or intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. 

UNC Charlotte has received $12,155,279 from the Department of Education to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. 

As of May 28, 2020, UNC Charlotte has distributed $7,843,958 as CARES Act Emergency Grants to 7,062 students. 

The estimated total number of students at the institution 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 to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, is 20,446. 

The instructions, directions, and guidance provided by UNC Charlotte to all students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants were sent via University email and published on the University website at

UNC Charlotte Student Emergency Fund

The UNC Charlotte Student Emergency Fund helps by providing financial support when you need assistance with unexpected, unforeseen and unavoidable emergency expenses, including pandemics. Currently-enrolled students can apply for the UNC Charlotte Student Emergency Fund here

For those who are able, there is still time to make a donation to the Student Emergency Fund. To date, the University has awarded more than $333,000 to approximately 900 students thanks to the generosity of donors. However, more than 700 additional students have requested support from the fund. All donations go to meeting that need.


The University processed dining, housing and parking refunds to eligible students, faculty and staff totaling approximately $14 million in April. Students who received a refund should have received direct email communication from Niner Central.  Answers to a number of frequently asked questions about refunds are available here

Student Employees

Student workers should work with their supervisors to discuss tasks that can be completed remotely or safely on campus through social distancing protocols.

Note: The compensation for temporary and student workers expires when their current term of employment expires. (Example: If a temporary or student worker’s term of employment is set to expire on May 15, they are not eligible for payment beyond that date.)

Student Loans

The Department of Education (ED) officially announced it has stopped requests to withhold the wages, tax refunds and Social Security benefits of borrowers who are in default on their federal student loans for at least the next 60 days.