CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant

Dear CalArtians,

On March 27 of this year, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which establishes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), was signed into law to assist with the economic impacts of COVID-19. The CARES Act provides emergency grant assistance to students for COVID-19 related expenses incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations. 

As a result of this legislation, CalArts has been allocated approximately $500,000 to be distributed as one-time grants to Title IV eligible students. These grants will be automatically disbursed to students enrolled for the spring 2020 semester, based on the criteria detailed below.

Who is eligible?
In order to qualify for a CARES Act Grant, students must meet existing Title IV eligibility requirements, which includes completion of a valid 2019-20 FAFSA, as well as the FAFSA verification process, if applicable. CalArts will determine eligibility for these grants using the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the 2019-20 FAFSA.

How much will eligible students receive?
Eligible students will be disbursed grants in three tiers, based on academic level and EFC.

  • $1,200 CARES Act Grant
    • Undergraduate students with an EFC less than or equal to $5,576 (the Pell Grant maximum EFC threshold)
  • $750 CARES Act Grant
    • Graduate students with an EFC less than or equal to $5,576
  • $600 CARES Act Grant
    • Undergraduate students with an EFC between $5,577 and $11,152 (twice the Pell Grant maximum EFC threshold)

The distribution of these funds will begin this coming week, and students should expect to receive them over the course of the next month. Please check your CalArts email address for payment notification. If you are not sure what your EFC is, you can find this information on your 2019-2020 Student Aid Report, which you can access by logging into your FAFSA.

What if I am not eligible?
CalArts has two additional sources of financial support for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID Emergency Fund and the Need-Based Tuition Grant are donor-funded resources that are open to all enrolled students.

For more information about these funds, and for additional details regarding CARES Act Grants, please visit the Financial Resources section of our Educational Continuity page.

All students who have questions about funding their CalArts education are encouraged to meet with a representative of the Financial Aid Office. Financial Aid staff are available to provide guidance and answer questions via email at Should you wish to speak over the telephone or Zoom, please feel free to email them in order to schedule. 

We recognize that the impact of COVID-19 is complex and wide-reaching. I hope that these financial resources can serve to alleviate at least some measure of the unforeseen expenses many members of our community are experiencing.

As you prepare for summer break, CalArts wishes everyone continued health, creativity, and optimism, though we are facing unfamiliar times. Remember that we will continue our work to support you in whatever way possible, so please do not hesitate to reach out to the Student Support Offices, outlined on our Resources for Students Page. Thank you all for your valuable contributions to our CalArts community.


Anna Jablonski
Assistant Vice President of Enrollment
and Associate Provost for Student Success