The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides for Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF) grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.  

Luther College signed and returned a certification and agreement to the Department of Education on April 11, 2020 with the assurance that the institution 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. 

Luther’s portion of the CARES Act for student emergency grant aid is $690,342.  Luther distributed $690,346.07 to 1,415 students out of a possible 1,417 eligible students. Grant recipients were notified that the awards were for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.  

To qualify for CARES Act HEERF student grant aid, students must be eligible for federal aid. Luther awarded the student emergency relief grant aid using the following criteria:

  • Aid was distributed to all students who demonstrated eligibility for federal financial aid (Title IV) funds, and those with more need received more assistance. Luther’s existing financial aid need framework was used to apportion these funds.
  • Financial need was calculated as the cost of attendance (COA) less the expected family contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Graduates, non-degree seeking students, high school students taking PSEO, those auditing classes, and those who did not file a FAFSA, did not receive emergency financial aid.

The funds were made available to Luther on April 22, 2020, and refunds were sent to students on May 2, 2020.  If a student qualified, the funds were sent to them via direct deposit (if available) or by mailed check to the address on file.