NC CARES Emergency Grants FAQs

2021 Stimulus Emergency Payments for Students – up to $1,750 in Additional Help!

NC State has awarded $705,000 in emergency grants to more than 900 students from the first federal stimulus (CARES act). Given the ongoing pandemic, Congress passed additional legislation providing even more emergency aid to students. NC State has responded with a plan to auto-award grants in spring, summer and fall terms in 2021. Most post high school students who have filed a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be eligible, including over multiple terms.

Student Type: Pell Eligible
Spring 2021: $150
Summer 2021: $600
Fall 2021: 12+ credits $1,000 or 1-11 credits $500
Student Type: Not Pell Eligible
Spring 2021: $100
Summer 2021: $400
Fall 2021: 12+ credits $600 or 1-11 credits $300
: T.B.D.

If you have any questions not answered below, please email

    • These are emergency student grants from the federal stimulus Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) passed in December 2020.

    • Yes, as long as you are enrolled after the second week of the term.

    • Yes, unlike the first stimulus this new legislation allows fully online students to receive grants.

    • Paying tuition and fees. Note that students can “opt-in” to directly credit their student account.
    • Other living expenses such as food, housing, vehicle repair, technology, course materials, health care and child care.

    • These funds can help secure your registration for an upcoming term. Even smaller awards can be very important for helping put an installment on a payment plan to avoid losing your place in a registered class.

    • The opt-in could cover any tuition and fees on your account, with the exception of books and educational materials purchased through the campus bookstore.

    • Yes. NC State feels this is the safest means to ensure against unintended use of student funds between academic terms. Eligible students will be notified when the new opt-in window is available.

    • Anything over and above a next term’s balance will be issued in a refund check for that given term.

    • Students enrolled at NC State College in a major eligible for federal financial aid. Students still in high school are not eligible, though former College Credit Plus students that have enrolled after high school can be eligible. Currently enrolled students must be making satisfactory academic progressin line with federal financial aid rules – including grades for spring term.
    • The student must have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the college – even if the student is not eligible for federal aid. Note that an individual may first wish to check basic eligibility requirementsfor filing a FAFSA, which includes submission of a high school diploma, GED or equivalent credential.
    • Spring term students will need to be enrolled as of April 5. Students for summer and fall terms will need to be enrolled through the first two weeks of the term.

    • Yes, there is no exclusion if a student received a grant from CARES.

    • Most post high school students will be automatically eligible by virtue of having filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) – even if not awarded a Pell grant. The eligibility data is part of that filing.
    • Students planning to enroll for summer or fall are encouraged to file a FAFSA to likely qualify. Summer enrollees will need a 2020-21 FAFSA, and fall enrollees a 2021-22 FAFSA.

    • NC State will notify eligible spring term students after April 5th. They will have until April 23rd to opt-in apply against their account through the online form, after which they will be mailed a check. Likewise, summer and fall term students will be given an opt-in period, after which those not opting in will be mailed payments.

    • NC State is awaiting additional guidance on potential funding for student grants from the third federal stimulus.
    • Regardless of the third stimulus, students may be able to access other options for emergency help. NC State programs for emergency laptop loaners, an on-campus food distribution, and even small emergency grants/loans through the NC State Foundation. Further, it has outside partnerships with community organizations that can provide for basic needs. We encourage all persons to inquire through

    • According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators based on conversations with the federal Department of Education that grants awarded to students are not treated as EFA when packaging students. Likewise, emergency grants are not treated as taxable income or untaxed income for Title IV federal student aid purposes.

    • Institutions receiving CARES Act monies are required to prepare quarterly reports of their budget and expenditures.The report dated September 30, 2020 can be downloaded here. (PDF)

      The report dated December 31, 2020 can be downloaded here. (PDF)

      The report dated March 31, 2021 can be downloaded here. (PDF) This report now includes information from both the first and second rounds of CARES Act funding.