GW to distribute $9.1 million in federal CARES Act funds to students

GW gate
May 30, 2020

GW leadership reported the university has been allocated approximately $9.1 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This fund is positive news for our students, many of whom have faced significant financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While universities may use half of the funding for institutional purposes, GW will distribute all $9.1 million directly to students. Direct grants will be issued to more than 4,600 students at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels who have demonstrated the highest levels of financial need based on their completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file for the current academic year (2019-20). 

  • Students who have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,600 or less based on their FAFSA will be eligible to receive a one-time monetary grant of $1,868. Students eligible for this funding will be contacted directly. For more information, visit
  • Students with an EFC of $5,601 or more based on their completed 2019-20 FAFSA have the opportunity to apply to receive a one-time grant of $500 for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations during the pandemic. These students must apply for this funding. The application will be available beginning June 8 at 9 a.m. EST at We will process applications until funds are exhausted, anticipating 900 students will be able to receive grants.

While GW is grateful for these federal funds to support students in need, we recognize many more students incurred unanticipated expenses. The recently created GW Cares Student Assistance Fund is providing additional assistance with donations from the Student Association, alumni, faculty, staff and other community members. GW continues to encourage donations to this fund, knowing that need remains in our community. 

Students facing longer-term financial challenges are encouraged to submit updated information so that we may help you plan for the upcoming academic year. More detailed guidance is available online.

Full GW Today story (May 27, 2020)