In April 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This legislation allocated funding to institutions to provide financial support to students that experienced a financial disruption related to the transition to online learning. At Roosevelt University, award amounts range from $200 to $400 and are based upon the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA and the date the FAFSA was submitted.

To qualify for CARES Act funding, a student must also meet specific criteria in accordance with U.S. Department of Education guidelines:

  • Title IV eligible as determined by the FAFSA
  • Meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  • Not in default or owe an overpayment to any Federal Student Aid programs
  • Not enrolled in 100% online courses prior to March 13, 2020
  • Experienced a financial disruption related to the transition to online learning

If a student meets the above preliminary criteria, they will receive an email from Financial Aid Services with further instructions. If you have questions regarding the CARES Act, please contact Financial Aid Services at fas@roosevelt.edu or 866.421.0935.


A student’s Title IV eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and certain institutional requirements. To be a Title IV-eligible student, the student must:

  • Be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree, certificate or other recognized educational credential;
  • Not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school and have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) if the student is a currently enrolled student;
  • Not owe an overpayment (refund) on Title IV grants;
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan;
  • File with the S. Department of Education “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification (Statement of Educational Purpose) that includes:
    • A statement of educational purpose, and
    • The student’s Social Security Number (SSN);
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen;
  • Have returned any fraudulently obtained Title IV funds, if the student is convicted of or has pled guilty or no contest to charges;
  • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits;
  • Have repaid any Title IV loan overpayment amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits, if obtained inadvertently;
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if required;
  • Have a valid SSN, except for residents of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau; and
  • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
Financial Aid Services will notify potentially eligible students the week of May 11, 2020.

Roosevelt’s undergraduate SAP policy can be found here: https://catalog.roosevelt.edu/undergraduate/financial-aid/

Roosevelt’s graduate SAP policy can be found here: https://catalog.roosevelt.edu/graduate/financial-aid/

CARES Act funding must be used to offset expenses associated with the transition from on-campus to online learning. Per the U.S. Department of Education, these funds cannot be used to replace lost wages due to unemployment or furlough.
No documentation will be requested.
CARES Act funds do not need to be repaid.


The Student Emergency Assistance Fund provides grants to students experiencing temporary financial hardships. During the COVID-19 crisis, grants will help students make the transition to remote learning and cope with loss of income.

Over 150 current students have received emergency funding to cover immediate, essential expenses, such as:

  • Rent, food and utilities
  • Emergency medical costs
  • Remote-learning technology and internet access
  • School supplies: culinary supplies, online subscriptions and more.

Any currently enrolled student can apply for up to $500 to help with short-term financial hardships. Applications are then reviewed by the University Students of Concern team, a group of Roosevelt staff members that develops plans to care for students in crisis. Our team is working as quickly as possible to turn around requests. Funds are awarded as grants and do not need to be repaid.


Please note that due to the recent high volume of applications and disbursements, there is currently a waitlist to receive Laker Grant funds. To add your name to the application waitlist, please fill out this form. Please also visit the COVID-19 Resources page for additional information and resources.

Laker Grant funds can be used to cover financial needs such as rent, utilities, health care costs, etc. Laker Grant funds can’t be used to cover the cost of tuition or other school fees. The Stronger Tuition Grant, however, can only be used for tuition and other school-related fees.

  • Technology (including laptops if they can’t be loaned to you by RU)
  • Overdue rent or utilities
  • Medical, dental or other health-related emergencies
  • Replacement of personal items lost in a natural disaster
  • Travel cost related to bereavement or emergency situations
  • Safety-related needs (i.e. changing locks, short-term emergency shelter)


Once the student is moved off of the waitlist, students who apply should receive a response if approved or not in no more than 5 business days. 

If approved without any further follow-up questions regarding the application, the funds should take about 2–3 business days to appear in your bank account (start to finish, the process could take anywhere from 7–10 business days). For students who don’t have direct deposit set up with Roosevelt University, checks will be delivered through the mail and will take up to 21 days.

If a request does not provide enough information for the committee to make a determination, staff members will contact you requesting additional information.

Most requests will require some form of documentation prior to approval. 
For example:

  • Utility bill and statement
  • Monthly rent statement
  • Medical bills
    Car note
Tuition, credit card bills, parking tickets and entertainment expenses are not covered.
All students who submit a request will receive a response, including those who are denied. Students that are denied will receive a letter from the committee explaining why the request was denied and a possible solution to their need. The University has many resources already available to students that might not be known. Please follow the committee’s instructions and advice on how to move forward. In most cases, students are eligible to submit another request for further review, or there is a form of support available to you other than the Laker Grant Fund.


In times of crisis, the new Stronger Tuition Grant will award students one-time grants of up to $5,000 ($2,500 per semester). The new fund is available for students with a sudden increase in financial need due to illness, unemployment or other hardships.

In a recent Roosevelt survey, students overwhelmingly agreed that finances were their number one concern about returning this fall. The tuition grant will be the final piece of the financial aid puzzle, closing the gap so students can continue their transformative Roosevelt education.

The Stronger Tuition Grant will be awarded in addition to any federal and state aid as well as Roosevelt financial aid. The new grant is part of the University’s ongoing commitment to equity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the Stronger Tuition Grant will begin accepting applications for the fall 2020 semester. Undergraduate and graduate students from all six Roosevelt colleges are welcome to apply.

For more information on how to support this initiative, visit roosevelt.edu/giving.


In June, the Stronger Tuition Grant will begin accepting applications for the fall 2020 semester. More detailed information will be shared soon.

Laker Grant funds can be used to cover financial needs such as rent, utilities, health care costs, etc. Laker Grant funds can’t be used to cover the cost of tuition or other school fees. The Stronger Tuition Grant, however, can only be used for tuition and fees.
Yes. These two grant programs fund different financial needs. As a result, a student who has been approved for Laker Grant funds is still eligible to apply for the Stronger Tuition Grant.
The Stronger Tuition Grant can be used to assist with the cost of tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year. It cannot be used for prior balances.
Students apply by completing the Special Circumstance Form available in the “Appeals” section of the Financial Aid Services forms library. The applications are reviewed by a committee and may take up to 14 days for review. Additional documentation may be requested as a result of the committee’s review.
The Special Circumstance Form provides suggested items based upon the circumstance. This includes but is not limited to: federal tax returns, W2s, letters regarding severance or unemployment, and copies of medical bills not covered by insurance.
Stronger Tuition Grant funding can only be used for tuition and fees. It cannot be used for prior balances, late fees, residence hall expenses or the meal plan.
You should contact your Financial Aid Services counselor to discuss what options may be available to you.