Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

Messiah University is in session this fall with flexible in-person and remote learning options, health and safety protocols and student care and support.

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Messiah Cares Initiative - Emergency Grants for Current Students FAQ

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On April 9, 2020, Messiah College received notification from the U.S. Department of Education that the CARES Act would be distributing funds to institutions of higher education based on student enrollment, student financial need and other factors. Messiah College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education. Messiah College’s federal allocation was $2,106,740, and the College is distributing 100 percent of this funding to directly assist current students facing urgent financial need related to the COVID-19 crisis through one-time cash payments and a CARES Act Student Emergency Fund.  

Not all current students will receive CARES Act money. These emergency relief grants will be distributed based on federal government guidelines requiring demonstrated financial need, and only to students who are eligible to participate in Title IV federal aid programs and are not enrolled exclusively online.  

While graduate students are not eligible for the initial distribution, they are eligible to submit a CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Application if they have specific expenses caused by the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Graduate students must also be Title IV eligible and not enrolled exclusively online.

Following the guidelines issued by the federal government, Messiah College reviewed the eligible population of students and determined a distribution methodology based on a student’s level of financial need. Our desire is to help all eligible students while recognizing that students at higher need levels may require more assistance.  

Eligible students with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 to $10,000 received a $1,000 CARES Act Grant, an EFC of $10,001 to $27,000 received $750, and an EFC higher than $27,000 received $500.

The funds will be distributed based on the following cost categories which students experienced due to the shift to online learning: food, housing/utilities, and travel. These cost categories were determined using national data to calculate appropriate amounts to distribute to students based on a student’s level of financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Colleges are required to report to the federal government how distribution amounts were determined, and only expenses related to the pandemic may be included.  

If receiving a CARES Act Grant in the initial distribution, you can see your CARES Act Grant on your live student account by May 1. Please go to FalconLink > Cashnet eBill > View Activity.

Payments to students will begin the week of May 4. In order to expedite the process, the CARES Act Grant will come through direct deposit, if already established. Otherwise, a check will be mailed to your home address on file.

If you are awarded a grant under the CARES Act, repayment is not required.

If you are a US citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen who meets all other federal financial aid eligibility requirements, then you are eligible to participate in Title IV funding.  

If you have not filed a FAFSA for the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic year, you are not currently eligible for CARES act funding. However, you can file a FAFSA for either year and become eligible for CARES act funding. If you are graduating from Messiah College in May of 2020, you should file the 2019-2020 academic year FAFSA.  

We recognize that some students and families have different costs related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. If you have expenses beyond those covered by the initial CARES Act distribution or have costs exceeding the distribution amount you received, please complete the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Application

CARES Act funding is specifically designated to provide emergency grants to help students who have experienced expenses caused by the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.  The following are urgent and basic needs we recognize could be related to this disruption: 

• Food

• Housing

• Course materials

• Technology

• Healthcare

• Childcare

• Other individualized expenses

Note:  Food and housing costs must exceed the initial distribution you may have received.

 

The CARES Act Grant amount you receive will vary based on your estimated expenses provided on the application request and committee approval. Please be aware funds are limited.

If you are a US citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen who meets all other federal financial aid eligibility requirements, then you are eligible to submit a CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Application. Your application will be reviewed to determine your eligibility. 

If you had a significant change in your family financial circumstances since filing your original FAFSA for the 2020-21 academic year, you should complete a Change of Circumstances Form, which will inform and update the College of your situation in regard to eligibility for financial aid. For this, or any other question about your financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office by phone at 717-691-6007 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by emailing finaid@messiah.edu.  

Funds will be available until they are exhausted. They will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

For this, or any other question about your financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office by phone at 717-691-6007 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by emailing finaid@messiah.edu.

As of September 18, 2020, we have distributed $1,725,101.51 (82%) of our CARES Act allotment to 2,090 students. We will distribute the remaining $381,638.49 based on incurred expenses beyond those covered by the initial CARES Act distribution due to the disruption of campus operations using the CARES Act Student Emergency Fund Application.

Messiah College has approximately 2,050 undergraduate students and 230 graduate students who are eligible to participate in Title IV federal programs and not enrolled exclusively online.