CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

The CARES Act is federal legislation that provides a variety of financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which allows SUNY Adirondack to provide emergency grants to students who are experiencing financial hardship from additional expenses due to the coronavirus. SUNY Adirondack completed a Certification and Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education ensuring that 50% of our total $2,558,378 received will be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. 

The $1,279,189 disbursement designated for students is designed to prioritize students with the greatest identified financial need and ensure that funds are distributed as widely as possible. There are 2,414 students who could potentially be eligible for these funds. SUNY Adirondack will disburse CARES Act funds to two groups:

1. SUNY Adirondack Students Eligible for Pell Grant in the Spring 2020 semester

Student Enrollment Status

CARES Act Grant Amount

12+ Credits


9-11 Credits


6-8 Credits


5 credits or less




2. Students who have experienced COVID-19 emergencies 

There will be a maximum award of $1,500 per student.

Spring 2020 students enrolled as of March 13, 2020 who have filed a 2019-20 FAFSA and meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid, and who have the greatest financial need can be considered for these funds. Students enrolled in the summer & fall 2020 semesters can also be considered. Students must be matriculated in approved academic degree or certificate programs and be a US citizen. The CARES Act does not allow these funds to be used for international students, or DACA students.


How to Apply

Information about applying for Federal Emergency relief funds will be provided in an email to eligible students via their school email accounts. Note that Pell eligible students who receive a Cares Act Grant can apply for additional funds through this application. Complete the application at


Allowable Expenses

Expenses can include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and/or child care.



You do not have to repay Federal Emergency relief funds. The Federal CARES Act Emergency Grant funds are designed to be a grant (otherwise called gift aid) and is not a loan.


Impact on Existing Financial Aid Plans

This funding will not reduce your financial aid. It does not negate nor replace financial aid.

Institutional Funds