Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Overview)

CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants

The Federal CARES Act provides institutions of higher education with emergency funding to help students impacted by COVID-19. The University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges (UHCC) CARES program provides emergency grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus and are facing financial challenges.

Fall 2020 COVID Support Stipend

For Fall 2020, UHCCs will provide a COVID Support Stipend of $500 for students continuing from Spring 2020 to Fall 2020. No application is required. The stipend provides financial support to cover expenses associated with the shift to remote learning. For students who meet the CARES eligibility requirements, the stipend will be covered by federal CARES funding; other students’ stipends will have alternative funding sources.

Eligible students will receive a personal email notification in mid-July. To be eligible, students must do the following:

  • Register in at least 6 credits for Fall 2020 at one or more of the UH Community Colleges by July 31, 2020
  • Declare major by August 12, 2020, if previously unclassified
  • Apply for financial aid for 2020-21 academic year by July 31, 2020


  • This is a grant that does not have to be repaid
  • If you register for classes and complete the FAFSA by July 31, and have a declared major, you will receive your funds by the end of August
  • You don’t have to qualify for federal financial aid to be eligible
  • You will receive a notification to your UH email account when your funds are released
  • If you have eRefund setup, the funds will be deposited directly into your bank account
  • Without eRefund, a check will be mailed to your mailing address on file, which will take longer to process

Students who are being funded by CARES funds must also meet the following criteria:

  • Meet Title IV eligibility criteria*
  • Not be enrolled in a fully-online degree program
  • Making Satisfactory Academic Progress

*Title IV eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen, a valid Social Security Number, registration with Selective Service (if student is male), and a high school diploma, GED or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting

Students who are not eligible for CARES, but otherwise meet criteria for the stipend, will be paid by other funds.

Additional opportunities for CARES Student Emergency Aid may be offered in the future contingent upon available funds.

Questions about CARES or the Covid Support Stipend can be directed to:


+What is the CARES Act?
The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides funding to institutions to administer emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by COVID-19, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.
+How much funding is available for the CARES Act emergency financial aid grants?
University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges received $4,310,068 from CARES Act for emergency financial aid grants. For the first round of awards, $1.7 million was made available to students to help them complete the Spring 2020 semester.
+How will I receive the funds?
The CARES Act grants will be processed like financial aid or any other awards from the University. We strongly encourage you to sign up for eRefund to have funds directly deposited into your bank account. If you don’t have eRefund, a paper check will be sent to your mailing address, which will take longer.
+Is the CARES Act grant taxable?
No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act, related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, are considered as qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income. See IRS Guidance for more details.
+Will the CARES grant affect my current or future financial aid eligibility?
No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act will not affect your financial aid.

Quick Links

Campus Contacts

Hawai‘i CC
Christine Quintana, Program Coordinator
Tel: (808) 934-2699

Honolulu CC
Heather Florendo, Financial Aid Officer
Tel: (808) 845-9116

Kapi‘olani CC
Thomas No‘eau Keopuhiwa, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Tel: (808) 734-9522

Kaua‘i CC
Margaret Sanchez, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Tel: (808) 245-8274

Jeff Anderson, Financial Aid Specialist
Tel: (808) 245-8384

Leeward CC
Kami Kato, Interim Dean of Student Services
Tel: (808) 455-0260

UH Maui College
Marilyn Fornwall, Development Assistant
Tel: (808) 984-3261

Windward CC
Robert Yamashita, HI-Net Coordinator
Tel: (808) 235-7386




top of page