Message from President Gilbert: CARES Act emergency student grants now available

Dear Marshall University community,

I am pleased to announce we have received the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act funds and have opened up the application process for emergency financial assistance grants to students.

The grants are intended for students who have experienced economic hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including one or more of the following situations:

  • Job loss or reduction of income (including reduced hours at work) for the household;
  • Temporary furlough (you or a member of your household have not lost your job, but your position has been temporarily put on hold);
  • Medical (including additional support needed for accessibility purposes);
  • Additional costs related to the transition to online learning; or
  • Travel or moving expenses to return home due to the transition to online learning.

The funds may be used to cover the following expenses:

  • Housing;
  • Food;
  • Utilities;
  • Course materials;
  • Child care;
  • Technology or other resources needed for online coursework;
  • Medical expenses (including additional support needed for accessibility purposes);
  • Travel or moving expenses for returning home due to the transition to online learning

The base grant amount of $500 will be awarded to eligible students upon receipt of a completed, accepted application by the priority deadline. Students who request more than $500 will be required to provide additional information and documentation. Review and processing requirements for the larger grants could take up to two additional weeks.


The CARES Act requires students who receive the grants to meet Title IV federal financial aid eligibility requirements, as determined by a completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2019-20 academic year.

According to guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education, you also cannot have been enrolled in all-online courses for the spring 2020 semester before COVID-19 forced all classes online.

To be eligible for the grants, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Filed a FAFSA for the current 2019-2020 academic year;
  • Not enrolled as a Distance Learning student (i.e., no face-to-face classes) for the spring 2020 semester before COVID-19;
  • Have a valid social security number;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • If male, be registered for U.S. Selective Service;
  • Have a high school diploma or GED or have completed high school in an approved homeschool setting;
  • Making satisfactory academic progress;
  • Not in default on a federal student loan; and
  • Have been enrolled at Marshall for the spring 2020 semester as an undergraduate or graduate (including doctorate-professional practice) degree-seeking student, and be enrolled in one or more classes creditable toward a degree.

Application Link and Deadline

For priority consideration, students should complete and submit the MU CARES Act Emergency Grant Application before 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 14, 2020 (the previous deadline was May 7, but has been extended to May 14). Applications received after that date may be considered if funds are still available.

Please note that these grants are separate from the previously announced financial assistance for unused housing/meal plans, and Rec Center and parking fees. No application was needed to receive those funds, which are being transferred to student accounts this week.

Best wishes for the end of your semester and a wonderful summer. We look forward to seeing those of you who are not graduating back with us in the fall!

Stay safe.

Jerome A. Gilbert, Ph.D.

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