Fresno State CARES Emergency Grant Program

Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the U.S. Department of Education announced the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to support the changes and challenges students are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. Fresno State signed and returned the Certification Agreement on 4/10/2020. We assure no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is provided as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Fresno State received approximately $16.4 million for emergency financial aid grants for students in an effort to help with additional expenses associated with the impacts of COVID-19. As of May 31,2020, we have distributed a total of $16,604,550 to 17,630 students.

Click here to view a detailed breakdown of recipients.

Who is eligible? 

All currently enrolled Fresno State undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are eligible to receive federal financial aid and were not enrolled in a completely online program as of March 13, 2020 may receive emergency financial grants funded by HEERF. Grants are prorated for part-time students. 

International and Undocumented students may receive also emergency grants supported by other institutional funding. For more information, please click below:

What can the grant fund?

The CARES emergency grants are designed to support student expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These expenses may include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses. Funds will not apply to any balance you have on your student account.

How will grant amounts be determined?

Grants will be based on each student’s documented Title IV eligibility and financial need as determined by the FAFSA.  Three primary categories include:

Category 1 Lowest Income: EFC = 0 (No Application necessary)

  Unit Load Award
   Less than Full-Time $700.00
   Full-Time $1,400.00


Category 2        Some Financial Need: EFC Greater than 0 (No Application necessary)

  Unit Load Award
  Less than Full-Time $325.00
  Full-Time $625.00


Category 3                                        Students who meet requirements in Categories 1 & 2 and have additional financial need related to COVID-19(Application required for consideration)

  Unit Load Award
  Less than Full-Time $150.00
  Full-Time $300.00


Full-time defined as: Undergraduates, Credentials, and Certificate = 12+ Units
Master's and Doctoral Students = 9+ Units

Students who meet the requirements as stated for Categories 1 and 2 do notneed to fill out an application as the minimum grant amount will be automatically awarded. If students in Categories 1 & 2 have needs greater than the minimum grant award, they will need to apply for additional funds by completing a simple online application.

How and when will students receive the grants?

CARES emergency financial grants are to be paid directly to students and cannot apply to any outstanding charges.  Grants will be disbursed to BankMobile in the same manner as all refunds to students.  Students should verify all information at BankMobile is up-to-date by going to the ‘BankMobile Refund Selection’ in your Student Self Service. We recommend selecting a bank account to avoid the wait time for a mailed check. 

Disbursement of Category 1 and 2 grants will begin the week of May 4th. 

How can I  apply?

For Category 1 and Category 2 grants, students with a completed 2019-2020 FAFSA have already been identified and do not need to submit an application. 

For a Category 3 grant, students will be able to access a simple, online application beginning on May 4th in their Student Center under ‘My Finances’.  The deadline to submit an application for Category 3 is May 11th.


What are Title IV eligibility requirements?

To be eligible, students must meet the eligibility requirements to receive Title IV aid as described in Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA):

  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program
  • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school
  • For currently enrolled students, be making satisfactory academic progress
  • Not owe an overpayment on Title IV grants or loans
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan
  • File "as part of the original financial aid application process" a certification that includes
    • A statement of educational purpose
    • Student's SSN
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen
  • Have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges
  • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits
  • Have repaid Title IV loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently
  • If required, have a verified Selective Service registration
  • Have a verified Social Security Number
  • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations

How can I find out what my EFC is?

You can find out what your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is by logging into your 2019-2020 FAFSA at

What if I have not completed the 2019-2020 FAFSA?

Grants are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. To be considered for this grant, you will need to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA. 

You can still complete your 2019-2020 FAFSA at and you will want to make sure you include Fresno State's school code 001147. Please keep in mind that it will take a few days for us to receive your 2019-2020 FAFSA once it is submitted and if you have any To Do items for 2019-2020 as a result, you will need to take care of them as quickly as possible.