Bobcat Cares Emergency Grants
The Bobcat Cares program is closed. After accepting student applications between April 27 and May 27, the program dispersed a total of $15.8 million in emergency financial aid grants to 17,672 students.
What is Bobcat Cares?
The $30 million Bobcat Cares program was established to provide funds directly to currently enrolled and eligible students with COVID-19 related expenses, emergency grants to all students enrolled in summer courses, pro-rated refunds of certain spring semester charges, and a new scholarship to cover fee and tuition costs for the fall 2020 semester.
The $30 million in student assistance includes over $15 million in federal emergency funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act. The CARES allocation will help Texas State students deal with the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 crisis and assist with the costs of attending college by providing money directly to them.
(The application period closed May 27, 2020)
Who was eligible to apply? (The application period closed May 27, 2020)
Currently enrolled full-time and part-time students (including graduate students) were able to apply to the university for funding to offset expenses incurred related to housing, food, and technology and course materials.
The higher education emergency relief grants are based on student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), and the funding is not tied to existing financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The money will be distributed directly to students as quickly as possible.
To be eligible for this funding, students must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e., eligible to receive federal Title IV aid).
- Be (or have been) enrolled in a degree-seeking or post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program for Spring 2020.
- Not have been enrolled exclusively in online courses for the spring semester on or prior to March 12, 2020.
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
- Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment on any federal grant.
- Have a high school diploma or GED.
- Have a valid Social Security number.
- Be registered with Selective Service (if required).
- Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale.
*Your actual eligibility will be based on the above requirements and your answers to the supplemental questions. The award amount will depend on the number of applicants and the availability of funds. The application period closed on May 27, 2020.
Who qualified for the grant?
To qualify for this emergency grant, you must be Title IV eligible and have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. In other words, you do not need to have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you just need to be eligible to do so.
How are funds being distributed?
For updates on how these funds are being distributed, review the “Bobcat CARES Act Reporting” section of this page, or the infographic available here. The total number of students who have received CARES grants, and the total dollar amount distributed, are updated weekly.
How will I be notified?
If selected for an emergency grant, you will be notified via email.
Can I choose how I get my grant funds?
Yes. If awarded a grant, you can choose:
- E-Refund to your bank account. If not already set up with E-Refund, login to your Student Business Services account. Then click on the Refunds tab and select Set Up Account.
- If not signed up for E-Refund, a check will be mailed to your permanent address. So, be sure your permanent address is current with the University by visiting Texas State Self-Service and clicking Personal Information.
What are the grant amounts?
Grant amounts will be determined based on the number of applications received, availability of funds, and the specific needs presented in the application. Texas State cannot guarantee that all applicants will be selected for funding.
What if I owe Texas State for tuition or other expenses?
If awarded, the full amount of the emergency grant will be disbursed directly to you. It will not, for example, be applied to an outstanding balance with the university.
Will an emergency grant negatively affect my financial aid for this year or next year?
No. This grant will not impact your current or future financial aid awards.
What is included in Bobcat Cares for summer course sessions?
Texas State has identified $5 million to provide all students enrolled in funded courses during Summer I and/or Summer II classes a one-time emergency grant equal to $50 per credit hour up to $600 across both summer sessions. The grant funding will be in the form of a credit to student accounts to reduce the cost of summer courses.
(Funded programs do not include courses provided by the Office of Distance Education and Learning, which include Education Abroad, Correspondence, Texas State Intensive English (TSIE), and Continuing Education courses)
How are pro-rated refunds for the spring semester handled?
For students currently enrolled in the spring semester, the university is issuing more than $10 million in pro-rated refunds for on-campus housing for those who moved from university residence halls to slow the spread of the coronavirus, parking fees, and dining.
What else does Bobcat Cares support?
Students employed through the Federal and State Work Study programs who have been unable to work onsite or remotely due to the COVID-19 situation will receive emergency grants.
To support students enrolling in the fall 2020 semester, the university created the new Bobcats to Bobcats scholarship fund with a goal of providing $1 million to help students pay for tuition and fees as they continue their education.
Bobcats to Bobcats Scholarship
When can I apply for the Bobcats to Bobcats Scholarship? (Application period is now closed)
The Bobcats to Bobcats Scholarship application opened on June 1, and closed on June 15. These funds are intended to help students with expected COVID-19 related expenses that will be incurred in the fall and spring of the upcoming academic year. To access the application for the Bobcats to Bobcats Scholarship, visit the Bobcat Online Scholarship System (BOSS).
Who can apply for the Bobcats to Bobcats Scholarship?
All students (undergraduate and graduate) enrolled for fall and spring of the upcoming academic year can apply. The Bobcats to Bobcats Scholarship is funded by Bobcats and is not as restrictive as the federal funds available through the Bobcat CARES Emergency Grant program. For example, all enrolled students (including international and undocumented students) can apply for the Bobcats to Bobcats Scholarship.
BOBCAT CARES ACT REPORTING
1. Texas State University applied for CARES Act funding on April 13, 2020.
2. The total amount of funds that Texas State University received from the Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $15,895,755.
3. Total Amount Disbursed to Students: $15.8 million is the total amount awarded in Emergency Financial Aid Grant funds under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. (Reported June 15)
4. Estimated Total Number of Eligible Students: More than 30,000 students are estimated to be eligible to participate in programs under section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and, thus, eligible to receive the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
5. Total Number of Students Awarded: 17,672 students received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. (Reported June 15)
6. Method of Awarding: Before the application period ended on May 27, 2020, Texas State students were able to complete and submit the online Bobcat CARES Emergency Grant application which included identifying eligible expenses incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations caused by COVID-19. Students who had such eligible expenses (such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care) were then cross-referenced to determine if they met Title IV eligibility requirements. For eligible students, awards were based on students’ needs and eligible expenses.
7. Guidance to Students: The university president sent out a communication to the campus community about emergency assistance, including the Bobcat CARES Emergency Grant program. A Bobcat CARES page was deployed at www.txstate.edu/cares that contains information about the Bobcat CARES Emergency Grant application (including a link to the application) and eligibility requirements. The application and related FAQs specify the eligibility requirements (e.g., eligible expenses and Title IV eligibility). In addition, all grant recipients were informed that their grant funds would be disbursed directly to them. Recipients were also informed that the grant would not affect any current or future financial aid offered to them for the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic year.