Centenary University Alert

Centenary University Alert: Please visit the Centenary University COVID-19 area of the website to learn the latest updates.

Message from Dr. Bruce Murphy, President of Centenary University

In order to serve the maximum number of students, as of 5 p.m. on June 19, 2020, the committee will consider first time applications only until 1 October 2020 at which time remaining CARES ACT funds will be made available for additional requests by students.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support and signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. Part of the funding package was marked for colleges and universities to provide direct cash assistance to students who were impacted by the changes to their educational pathway resulting from the COVID-19 health emergency. In accordance with the statutory requirement, the funds may only be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance resulting from lost wages because you are not able to work on campus such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).


The Centenary CARES fund is available to assist enrolled, admitted or currently registered students at Centenary experiencing an unanticipated financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which would interfere with the student’s ability to continue their education at Centenary University. Emergency funding is provided in the form of direct grant to the student and is not required to be repaid. Students experiencing additional hardships related to COVID-19 may apply for more funding if the need arises.  Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first-served basis with first-time applicants given priority until the fund exhausts.

  • The applicant must be a full-time, matriculated, degree seeking student in an undergraduate or graduate program, at any Centenary University location. In accordance with the guidance issued from the US Department of Education, international and undocumented students and those students enrolled in an exclusively online program prior to March 13, 2020 are not eligible. University employees (other than work-study students) are not eligible.
  • The applicant must be an active student, currently enrolled at Centenary University. New students attending Centenary University in the fall 2020 semester will become eligible to apply for a CARES grant on September 9, 2020 provided they meet the posted guidelines for a Centenary University CARES grant.
  • The applicant must be eligible to apply for federal financial aid.
  • The costs must have been incurred while enrolled at or admitted to Centenary University as a result of the disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Costs for expenses incurred prior to March 13, 2020 will not be considered.
  • The applicant must be in good standing at Centenary University, in regards to both conduct and academics.
  • The grant is intended to be used for unforeseen, short-term or temporary costs, not regular ongoing expenses.
  • Demonstration of need may be shown by supplying supporting documentation (e.g., bills, quotes, receipts etc.).
  • Any award is considered a grant and not meant to be re-paid. It will neither affect nor be reported to financial aid or the bursar’s office. Students receiving a grant are encouraged to give forward to others in need as they are able.
What’s covered:

Expenses you incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 health emergency such as housing, food, technology, childcare, medical/healthcare, transportation expenses. Here are some examples, but are not all-inclusive or exclusive. All requests will be reviewed and considered on a case by case basis. If a request is received that falls outside of the parameters of the Centenary CARES Fund, all attempts will be made to assist the student in finding additional aid and resources.

Examples of covered expenses:

  • University health insurance, if no longer covered by parents’ insurance
  • Health care costs
  • Technology cost of adjusting to online learning environment (e.g., laptop computer, hot spots, etc.)
  • Losses related to cancelled study abroad/study away
  • Travel due to family emergency, crisis or death
  • Standard living expenses including rent, food, essential utilities, commuting costs
  • Unanticipated childcare costs
  • Other immediate critical needs of the student causing acute financial stress brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic may be considered

Expenses not covered:

  • Expenses incurred prior to March 13, 2020
  • Expenses related to future study abroad / study away
  • Costs for entertainment or recreation, non-emergency travel or other non-essential expenses
How Students Apply:
Fill out my online form.

You will be redirected to the CARES grant application form where you will be prompted to answer a few specific questions/describe your need and submit supporting documentation. Supporting documentation is not required but can assist in the decision-making process.  It may be asked for later during the review of the application.

The information and supporting documentation, when available, will then go to a review panel for a recommendation to the Staff Senate Executive Board for approval. Requests will be reviewed, and awards granted by the Staff Senate Executive Board, based on available funds. Decisions of the Staff Senate Executive Board are final, but you may make subsequent requests if conditions change.

The Board will take into consideration several factors in granting, granting partially or denying the request, including but not limited to:

  • The urgency of the hardship
  • The degree to which the emergency impacts the student’s academic or living situation or their ability to continue their education at Centenary.
  • The availability of other support or resources that can be accessed for the particular situation
  • Additional information supplied by others, such as advisors or advocates, to substantiate or clarify the student’s circumstance or need.

Please feel free to visit this page of helpful resources.

US Department of Education Federal CARES Act Reporting:

  1. On 14 April 2020 Centenary University signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education an acknowledgement for Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. $675,262 is the total amount of funds that the institution has received from the Department of Education pursuant to the Centenary’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. These funds became available on 27 April 2020.
  3. As of 21 July 2020, a total of $418,229 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to Centenary students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  4. An estimated 877 students at Centenary University are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  5. As of 21 July 2020, 1,120 grants have been awarded to eligible students for an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  6. Centenary University used the following methods to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act:
    • The University believes that all of its students have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to an online learning environment. In accordance with the intent of the federal CARES Act, to get funds to those individuals in need of emergency funding to help offset unanticipated costs, an initial disbursement of $300 per qualified student was awarded to help offset the cost of moving to on-line instruction, such as the need for a lap top, hot spots, moving costs, etc.
    • Students with additional financial needs brought on by the disruption in university operations were directed to an application site to request additional CARES Act funding. Evaluation panels reviewed each application in terms of two criteria: urgency of need and level of financial hardship. This mechanism was set up using the model of the existing Staff Senate Emergency Fund process.
  7. Instructions, directions and guidance about applying for the Centenary CARES Emergency Relief Grants can be found at the top of this page or by clicking on the following link.