CARES Act Funding Distributed Quickly at Holy Family

Updated October 7, 2020.

Throughout these unusual times, Holy Family has been fortunate to receive grants from the federal government to assist in both our operating expenses and in assisting students facing financial obstacles.

In May, the University received $2 million in CARES Act funding, with slightly more than $1 million available to help those students most in need. As a result, we were able to provide relief in the form of emergency financial aid grants up to $1,500 for expenses related to disruption of campus operations due to Coronavirus.

In keeping with the guidance from the US Department of Education, and our Core Values of Service and Responsibility, Holy Family developed a plan that allowed us to maximize impact for our neediest students. 

It was heartwarming to be able to jump on this quickly and give out much-needed funds to over 600 of our undergraduate and graduate students. "Initially, we distributed $820,331 through 636 awards to students,” said Abigail Wernicki, PhD, Vice President of Student Affairs. “Receiving these funds was a game-changer for our students who needed help most during these challenging times.

A second segment of distributions was made this fall. These grants were given directly to undergraduate students who did not previously receive a CARES Act grant, who were enrolled during the Spring 2020 term and are enrolled full-time (at least 12 credits) in the Fall 2020 term, and who have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $14,000 or less from their 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  A total of 290 students received $550, and 1 student received $597, for a total awards amount of $160,097.  

All told, we have distributed $980,428 via 926 awards to students.

Within two weeks of completing certification, University leaders developed an online application and review process, notified students about eligibility criteria, and determined a maximum cash grant amount per student. Grants were used to cover or partially offset expenses that students incurred as a result of the campus closure, including expenses related to food, housing, technology, course materials, healthcare, and childcare. 

One recipient wrote, “I am truly grateful for the grant. I don't know what I'd do for myself and my son. We’ll be applying for food stamps during the summer months since I am not guaranteed employment in September. My son's father passed away last year and I continue to try to support us on my own.”

Holy Family’s mission of lifelong responsibilities towards God, society and self surely is seen through these grants, for which we are all so grateful.