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USHE Institutions Allocate Nearly $50M to Students

Colleges and universities in the Utah System of Higher Education are giving nearly $50 million directly to students to help with financial aid, emergency relief, and other supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that funding, nearly $48 million has come from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Through each institutions’ emergency fund program, more than $1 million has been available for eligible students across the System.

As outlined by the Department of Education, CARES Act emergency grants to students help cover student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 (including eligible expenses under a student's cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).

For those students who do not qualify for CARES Act funds, other support is available at each USHE college and university through emergency relief programs, which are funded privately by community donors, ongoing fundraising efforts and more.

"We want our students to know that assistance is available to help them with their student expenses, whether that be food, housing, or childcare,” said Dave R. Woolstenhulme, Interim Commissioner of Higher Education. “I applaud the Department of Education for promptly distributing these essential funds for our students and institutions. We hope these funds provide support to students at the right time so they are able to remain focused on their studies and complete their education.”

Institutions are still soliciting private donations to assist students through their individual emergency relief programs. For more information on where and how to donate, please contact the individual college or university.

Institution Total CARES Allocation to Students Total Other Student Emergency Funds
University of Utah $9,362,665 $550,000
Utah State University $8,714,373 $150,000
Weber State University $5,857,113 $30,000
Southern Utah University $2,812,348 $33,506
Dixie State University $3,088,350 $80,000
Utah Valley University $11,474,604 $55,137
Snow College $1,239,156 $20,000
Salt Lake Community College $5,323,937 $127,670
USHE Total $47,872,546 $1,046,313

 More information about each institution’s efforts are below:

University of Utah

CARES Allocation to Students — $9,362,665: Financial grants are intended to support the pressing financial needs of students who have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. An estimated 2,800 students may be eligible. The university has designated three sources for this aid: Need-based financial support, the Student Emergency Fund, and one-time technology/book scholarships during the Summer 2020 Semester.

Other Student Emergency Funds — $550,000: The U’s Student Emergency Fund is available to all students, including those who may not be eligible for CARES funding, but who still need financial assistance. $300,000 in private donations to the Student Emergency Fund was distributed in grants to students earlier in the shutdown. University leaders have dedicated $300,000 in CARES Act funding for the Student Emergency Fund and have shifted an additional $250,000 in institutional CARES Act resources to the fund as a challenge grant.

Additional Financial Resources: The U offers the For Utah Scholarship, which creates a fully-funded path to a University of Utah degree for first-time freshman. The initiative covers four years of tuition and fees for Pell Grant-eligible Utah residents.

More information is available at:

Utah State University

CARES Allocation to Students — $8,714,373: USU began making emergency grants this week totaling approximately $5 million to students whose financial needs are greatest. USU uses a student need index based on an estimate of the expenses associated with attending USU and a student’s total contributions (including family income, federal aid) from the student’s FAFSA. This ensures USU can give larger awards to the students who need it most. An additional $3.7 million is being reserved for students facing COVID-19 related financial challenges in summer and fall semesters, as well as to target students nearing graduation to ensure they are able to stay on track to graduate.

Other Student Emergency Funds — $150,000: Students not eligible for CARES Act grants, but who still need emergency assistance, may apply for help through the USU COVID-19 Student Emergency Hardship Resources Fund. When receiving a hardship grant, students may also receive an award to cover on-campus dining services as well as referrals for additional help with other issues they are facing.

Additional Financial Resources: As part of USU’s land-grant mission to provide access to higher education, USU is committed to providing funding for low-income students. Currently, for fall 2020, more than 550 scholarships valued at $2.1 million have been allocated to assist students who have financial need. These funds are provided through institutional awards, as well as privately endowed scholarships.

More information is available at:

Weber State University

CARES Allocation to Students — $5,857,113: In an effort to provide the most benefit to the most students, grant funds are being provided to students, based on need, whom the university has determined most likely suffered expenses due to the campus disruption. A portion of the CARES funding will also be allocated for an emergency fund to be used for students who qualify for FAFSA and who suffered expenses due to the disruption of campus operations during spring semester.

Other Student Emergency Funds — $30,000: Students who do not qualify for the FAFSA, and who may not qualify for CARES funding, may apply to WSU for emergency funds that were raised through private donors.

Additional Financial Resources: Weber State University launched Dream Weber in 2010, which provides free tuition and general student fees to students whose annual household income is $40,000 or less. Students can receive more information about Dream Weber and other scholarship opportunities by visiting WSU's Financial Aid & Scholarships page.

More information is available at:

Southern Utah University

CARES Allocation to Students — $2,812,348: SUU is working hard to disburse these funds to students as quickly as possible. To maximize helping as many students as possible, SUU will award these emergency grants through several rounds.

Other Student Emergency Funds — $33,506: SUU has disbursed over $17,552 in emergency aid to students impacted by the coronavirus and raised an additional $15,954 from 134 donors to support their food pantry and additional emergency aid for students through SUU’s TBirdstrong campaign.

More information is available at:

Dixie State University

CARES Allocation to Students — $3,088,350: More than 5,600 Dixie State University students were eligible to apply for DSU's CARES Act funding. The institution is processing applications now to ensure distribution is equitable. Funds will begin to be disbursed in late May and early June, and the disbursements will continue throughout the summer and fall semesters as additional students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are identified.

Other Student Emergency Funds — $80,000: Through the COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Fund, established by The DSU Student Association Executive Council, $60,000 in emergency funds went to assist Dixie State students who are struggling economically during this pandemic. Awards helped students who had lost employment due to the pandemic with expenses such as rent, car payments and other basic needs until CARES Act funding came through.

Dixie State also has the Dean of Students Struggling Student Fund available year-round. Through it, students in need can reach out to the Dean of Students for help with expenses such as food, power bills, and covering rent until they receive their paychecks. Additionally, the University has an emergency grant fund of $20,000 which is used to help students stay in school. Grant amounts are based upon the needs of each student.

Additional Financial Resources: Dixie State University has community, local and institutional need-based scholarships. Scholarships are funded through the Dixie State University Foundation's annual Fire & Ice Gala, private contributions, and employee payroll deductions among other sources. The scholarships are awarded yearly with the applications due every spring.

More information is available at:

Utah Valley University

CARES Allocation to Students — $11,474,604: The student CARES funds are being distributed to qualifying students, which can be used for expenses directly related to coronavirus disruptions such as food, housing, healthcare, technology, course materials, and childcare.

Other Student Emergency Funds— $55,137.55: UVU’s Student Emergency Fund is available to students who are experiencing food and housing insecurity, and safety and health issues. The fund started in August 2019 with privately donated funds and has dispersed $55,137.55 since then, including during COVID-19 pandemic. UVU students can find the application at emergency funds.

Additional Financial Resources: First- and second-year students at UVU who need financial support to pursue their educational goals may apply for the Greenlight Scholarship. This scholarship fills the gap to cover tuition for students who receive the Pell Grant but may still owe additional tuition. The university will track and award the scholarship automatically, once the FAFSA is complete. See Greenlight Scholarship for more information.

More information is available at:

Snow College

CARES Allocation to Students — $1,239,156: These funds are intended to assist students who suffered loss while enrolled spring semester 2020. Students who find themselves in a financial emergency situation (due to COVID-19) that impacted their ability to be a successful student should apply for the funds.

Other Student Emergency Funds — $20,000: Through the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Fund, graduates who are not eligible for CARES who incurred any COVID-related expenses (equipment, child care, lost wages, etc.) will be considered when distributing these funds. Snow is also promoting the federal Student Emergency Aid Initiative for students who were not included in CARES.

Additional Financial Resources: Snow currently has several general need-based scholarships as well as need-based scholarships with additional criteria (e.g. students who have declared a specific major). Additional private funds are also available specifically for low-income students.

More information is available at:

Salt Lake Community College

CARES Allocation to Students — $5,323,937: So far, Salt Lake Community College has awarded CARES Funds in excess of $1.7M to Spring 2020 semester students who were impacted by COVID-19.

Other Student Emergency Funds — 127,670.55: Awards distributed through Salt Lake Community College’s Students in Crisis Emergency Fund so far is in excess of $100,000. Funds from the Students in Crisis Emergency Fund are used exclusively for those students who are ineligible for CARES Funding (non-citizen, international, DACA, etc.). This funding can be used for school-related expenses, similar to expenses covered by CARES.

Additional Financial Resources: SLCC created a separate scholarship site dedicated to providing additional scholarship dollars for high demand short-term training programs. These are to assist displaced workers specifically for the summer term in specific programs. Low-income/low socioeconomic status students will be the majority of students who access and are awarded the additional scholarship dollars. SLCC also offers SLCC Promise, a scholarship to help eligible students pay for their education by covering the cost of tuition and fees when federal grants fall short.

More information is available at:


The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) is governed by the Board of Regents and is comprised of Utah’s eight public colleges and universities. The CEO of USHE is the Commissioner of Higher Education. For more information, visit