Tufts University COVID-19 Emergency Fund

The COVID-19 crisis created significant financial hardship for individuals and families around the world, including members of the Tufts community. The federally funded Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under the CARES Act provided emergency grants to qualifying students for unforeseen expenses related to the pandemic.

These funds were available to currently enrolled, eligible degree- or certificate-seeking students who were experiencing unexpected financial hardship and meet the requirements set forth below. Please note that availability of institutional COVID-19 emergency funding was limited and varied by school.

Students who received Tufts University COVID-19 HEERF III Emergency Funds did not need repay these funds. Application review committees were established at each school at Tufts. Upon approval, the funds were disbursed to the student's account through the Bursar's Office and refunded to the student.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Any student enrolled in a Tufts degree program or a financial aid eligible certificate program was allowed to request funding.
  • Financial aid recipients received high priority for funding, and students with exceptional need received the highest priority.
  • Students who did not receive financial aid could apply, but were given lower priority.
Types of Expenses

Funds must be used for unexpected expenses incurred by the student related to the COVID-19 pandemic while they have been enrolled in school. Examples of qualified expenses, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education, include:

  • Additional food, housing and/or utility costs related to education programs changing from in-person to remote
  • Unanticipated sublet expenses such as forfeited deposits or rent
  • Technology needs required for remote learning such as laptops, peripheral equipment and/or wireless hotspots
  • Additional childcare costs because dependent children are not in school/daycare as normally expected
  • Medical expenses not covered by health insurance because of relocation or disruption of relationship with usual health care provider
  • Unanticipated travel-related costs due to pandemic
  • Moving or storage expenses
Examples of non-qualified expenses
  • Provide financial aid for future semesters
  • Supplement any income losses related to changes in family employment circumstances

Range of Awards

$100$2,000 — Dependent Students; $100$4,000  Independent Students (graduate/professional students are considered independent by federal definition)

Awards were based on financial need as determined by the student's financial aid application if available, the student’s cost of attendance (as defined by the school), and additional factors used at the discretion of each school committee. The award amounts were adjusted based on the relative need of all applicants, the number of applicants, and the availability of funds. Many students received awards that were less than the maximum amount.

How to Apply

The application site was open from September 10, 2021, through October 1, 2021. No applications were considered after October 1. School committee decisions were determined until after October 1. School committees notified students of their award eligibility in November.