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CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

CARES Act - US Capitol building

The Federal Government has established the Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF) under the CARES Act which was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020. This fund will allow SUNY Canton to provide emergency grants to students experiencing financial hardship specifically due to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. SUNY Canton has completed the Certification and Agreement for this funding with the assurance that we will use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency grants for students. Here are some facts regarding this funding.

  • SUNY Canton has been awarded $2,510,929 of which $1,255,465 (50%) is designated for emergency grants for students.
  • We have identified 3,004 students with potential eligibility. These students have received an email with the application link. The link is specific only to the student it is sent to and cannot be shared.

Students who have received CARES Disbursements (cumulative)

30 day report ending 5/22/2020 – 0 students for $0 dollars

45 day report ending 7/6/2020 – 407 students for $278,881

45 day report ending 8/20/2020 – 687 students for $483,995.47

Quarterly report ending 9/30/2020 – 700 students for $491,465.47

Quarterly Report ending 12/31/2020 – 1413 students awarded for $642,786.40

Quarterly Report ending 3/31 2021 - 1064 student awards for $119,499.75

Total Awarded as of 3/31/2021 – 1983 unduplicated students for $1,235,465.25



As of November 18, 2020 eligible students include students enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester and re-enrolled for Fall 2020 but not withdrawn. We have also expanded this to include first time freshmen for the Fall 2020 semester. Students must also be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. 

Student must be eligible to receive Title IV (federal) financial aid. If you were awarded and declined Stafford Loans you are still Title IV eligible.

Title IV Eligibility includes:

  • US Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Meets Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements (after Fall 19)
  • Not in default on federal student loans
  • FAFSA filed and processed and all required documentation received.
  • Passed all FAFSA database checks.

Student must have expenses incurred specifically due to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that funding must be utilized for the expenses you are requesting.

Incurred allowable expenses may include:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Course materials
  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Other – please describe expense on the application.

How to Apply

As of November 18, 2020 students determined eligible for funding will be awarded automatically and notified of eligibility.

Students who have potential eligibility will receive an email with a link to the online application once funding is available to us. This application is linked to the specific student it was sent to so it cannot be shared.

Determination of Award Amounts

As of November 18, 2020 students who have been determined eligible and have not received a prior CARES award will receive a grant of $450. Eligible students will be notified.

Once a student has been determined eligible for CARES emergency grant funds they will be awarded in the following priority order by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated on the FAFSA.

  • Tier 1 EFC 0 – 2500
  • Tier 2 EFC 2501 – 5576
  • Tier 3 EFC 5577 – 7500
  • Tier 4 EFC 7500+

Students in Tiers 1 & 2 will be reviewed first. Tiers 3 & 4 will be reviewed after the application deadline to ensure higher need students have priority per SUNY guidelines. All students will be notified of eligibility by SUNY Canton email.

You are required to use the emergency grant funds toward the expenses for which they were approved.

Impact on Existing Financial Aid

This funding will not have any effect on your current or future financial aid eligibility.


You do not need to repay a Federal CARES emergency grant.

Additional CARES Act Questions?

  • Please submit questions and/or requested documentation to the following email caresact@canton.edu.

Office of Public Relations
34 Cornell Drive
MacArthur Hall 214
Canton, NY 13617
Phone: 315-386-7300