Coronavirus (COVID-19) Financial Aid Information

The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund - Student Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CARES Act?

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) was approved by Congress as an economic stimulus package for areas of the economy disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher education was an area that received funding.

Does the CARES Act provide grants for students?

Yes. The act provided funding for students enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester who incurred educational expenses related to the disruption of campus operations. Duquesne University received $2.6 million in CARES emergency assistance grants to be allocated to over 6,600 eligible students.

At this time, the federal government has not designated funding for the Fall 2020 semester. As federal guidelines change, we will keep this information updated when we receive any new guidance or funds for the Fall 2020 semester. Please know that the following FAQs apply to the Spring 2020 CARES funding.

Who is eligible for the federal CARES grant?

According to current federal policy, any student who is eligible for federal Title IV funding, and was not exclusively an online student prior to the pandemic is eligible for CARES funds. Based upon this criteria, international, undocumented, or exclusively online students are NOT eligible for CARES Act funding. We will verify Title IV eligibility as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants must have completed the 2019-20 FAFSA to be considered.

What expenses can be covered by the CARES Act grant for students?

Emergency expenses incurred because campus operations were disrupted due to the pandemic include: food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and childcare.

How do I apply?

The University will send an informational email, with an application link, to eligible students.

Is there a deadline for application?

Yes. There is an application submission deadline of June 5, 2020. Funding is limited and Duquesne University is required to distribute these grants as soon as possible.

How much will I receive from the CARES fund?

The University's goal is to help as many eligible students as possible. Grants of $730 and $1500 will be awarded. Pell Grant recipients will qualify for the higher award.

When will I be notified?

Each applicant will be notified of their eligibility within 21 days of the application deadline.

How will the funds be disbursed?

Funds will be credited to your student account and electronically refunded to your bank account through CASHNet. This action will occur within four business days of any eligibility notification. For more information and instructions on registering for eRefund through CASHNet, please visit:

Will I have to repay the proceeds of the CARES Act?

No. The money is a grant rather than a loan.

Is the grant taxable?

No.  The CARES grant is not considered to be taxable income. 

What if I am experiencing reduced income due to income loss for the 2020-21 academic year?

Complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA application. Duquesne University's school code is 003258. Financial aid notifications will be sent beginning in late May; if you are experiencing income losses, contact the Financial Aid Office for opportunities to review your aid.

Student Loan Information

For federal education loans, the CARES Act provides relief for federal student loan borrowers. A temporary interest rate of 0% on most federal loans is in effect from March 13, 2020 to September 30, 2020. In addition, these loans are receiving an "administrative forbearance" from March 13, 2020 to September 30, 2020 that temporarily suspends monthly payments.

For questions on your federal loans please contact your servicer. Additional information can be found at

For issues you may experience with Private Education loans during the pandemic, please contact your respective lending institution for any details or help.

Updated June 12, 2020