CARES Act Information and FAQs

As you may know, the second federal COVID relief package, which became law in December, included additional funds for colleges and universities, as well as aid that will be distributed directly to students by Robert Morris University. Currently the university is reviewing the details and requirements to distribute this latest round of funding, and we will notify students regarding their eligibility as soon as we can.

What is the CARES Act, and how will it help students at RMU?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from the Covid-19 pandemic. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which provides money for colleges and universities -- including RMU -- to distribute directly to students as emergency financial aid for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

Will I qualify for funding under the federal CARES Act?

Undergraduate students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid will be considered for these funds. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in fully online programs. Notifications will be sent shortly to each student who qualifies with the amount they were allocated. Money awarded will be paid directly to the student within 14 days of the funds posting to their student account.

Do I have to complete the FAFSA in order to receive CARES Act funding?

Yes, RMU requires that every student complete the 2019-20 FAFSA in order to determine the award that they will receive. Every student who qualifies for CARES Act funding will receive an award, so long as the FAFSA is completed. We ask that all students complete the FAFSA by May 8.

How much money will I receive?

The university will award CARES Act funding based on each student’s expected family contribution (EFC), which is the same formula used to determine all financial aid awards. The federal government has provided RMU a finite pool of money to distribute. The award amount will vary by enrollment status, but eligible full-time undergraduate students can expect to receive between $250 and $750. Eligible part-time students can also expect an award, and even many students who do not normally qualify for financial aid will receive a CARES Act award. However, you must have completed the FAFSA. If you have not done so go to

What can I do if I believe I am entitled to more CARES Act funds than RMU has awarded me?

The university has established a process by which students can appeal for additional CARES Act funding for expenses incurred above the amount awarded.  A limited amount of money has been set aside for successful appeals. To appeal for additional funds, please complete this form

What other forms of emergency assistance is available for RMU students?

The RMU Student Emergency Fund is available for any RMU student, including international students, who are faced with a financial crisis of any kind. The fund is supported by contributions from faculty, staff, alumni, and other donors. To apply for assistance from the Student Emergency Fund Emergency Fund, please complete this form.

CARES Act Reporting Information