Emergency Financial Support
Cal Poly Cares
One-time emergency grants are available to students struggling with housing and meals, tuition and academic supplies, medical and transportation needs, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Financial Aid Office still open?
The Financial Aid Office remains fully operational. Our physical office on campus is not open, but our team is working remotely.
Do you expect financial aid processing delays?
At this point, we are not experiencing any processing delays.
What happens to my financial aid if I attend part-time?
Financial aid’s Part-Time Enrollment page provides details about how enrollment status may affect your aid.
Can I still meet with my financial aid counselor?
Absolutely! Students, parents, and supporters can send requests for a video meeting (via Zoom) to email@example.com. If you'd prefer not to use the video feature, you can disable it and use the Zoom's audio-only option as well.
How do I submit my documents?
Students can still e-mail and fax non-sensitive documents. At this time, if students are still local and want to drop off paper documents, they can be left in the secure drop box in Building 1 (outside Room 212) where they are being collected regularly for processing. Please be sure that documents are complete, signed if necessary, and include the student EmplID number each page.
What if my family's financial situation has changed as a result of COVID-19? Is there a way to have our financial aid re-evaluated?
We understand that many families are facing economic adversity and a financial situation that may be significantly different than what was reported on the FAFSA application. We encourage families who have experienced a loss of income to submit a Change of Income appeal, which will be available on our website after June 15, 2020.
We begin accepting these appeals in June because we will be requesting documentation of your current income for the first six months of 2020 to use as rationale for any potential adjustments. During this process, we can re-evaluate your eligibility for financial aid based on this updated income information.
For more information and support, please visit the Cal Poly Student Account website, https://afd.calpoly.edu/student-accounts/.
Federal Cares Act Emergency Student Grant and Institutional Grant Reports
According to the Federal Cares Act Requirements, the following information regarding the Student Emergency Grants are being made available and per federal guidance will be updated Quarterly (October/January/April/July) until the emergency grant funds are fully expended.
Additionally, the campus must provide a public report for each quarter on how the institutional portion of the grant funds have been utilized to offset COVID related expenses incurred by Cal Poly.
Institutional Grant Report - Federal CARES Act
The total amount allocated to Cal Poly is $14,095,976 of that, 50% or $7,047,988 is allocated for emergency student grants (see below). The remaining 50% is allocated to be used for institutional costs resulting from COVID. As a Minority Serving Institution, Cal Poly has been awarded another $57,643 to support institutional expenses related to COVID for a total of $7,105,631.
Emergency Student Grant Report
Cal Poly signed and returned to the Department of Education the signed certification and agreement to receive Cares Act funding which assures that no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) will be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.
The total amount allocated to Cal Poly under the CARES ACT provision is $14,095,976.
Of that, $7,047,988 is to be spent as direct emergency grants to students. At this time, all of the student emergency grant funds have been spent.
The estimated total number of students at Cal Poly eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in the Title IV of 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 is 15,167.
The total number of students who have received an emergency grant under the CARES Act is 6,736.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant (HEERF II)
On December 27, 2020 additional federal emergency funds (HEERF II) were authorized. Cal Poly’s portion is $20,752,799 of which $7,047,988 must be used for direct grant aid to students.
For these funds Cal Poly awarded block grants in the March 2021 to 4,535 students who completed a FAFSA, had an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 0-9,000, and were enrolled in the winter quarter at least half time. The grants ranged from $650 to $1500. The remaining funds are being used for emergency and technology needs and continue to be awarded to eligible students through the Cal Poly Cares application ranging from $50-$2000. The language in the second relief bill was to provide direct aid to students with the highest need and those are the students this funding is concentrated on.
As of 10/09/21 a total of $6,378,473 has been disbursed to 4,592 students.
All currently enrolled students who have additional expenses related to the disruption of campus activities due to COVID can apply for grant assistance through the Cal Poly Cares application.
Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting
HEERF I, II, and III (a)(1) Institutional Portion and (a)(2) Minority Serving Institutions
- July – September 2020
- October – December 2020
- January – March 2021
- April – June, 2021
- July - September 2021
American Rescue Plan (HEERF III)
On March 11, 2021 the American Rescue Plan (HEERF III) was signed into law. Cal Poly’s portion is $36,886,641 of which $18,444,062 must be used for direct grant aid to students. Block grants are planned and funds are being used for emergency and technology needs and continue to be awarded to eligible students through the Cal Poly Cares application ranging from $50-$2000. The language in the third relief bill is to provide direct aid to students with the highest need and those are the students this funding is concentrated on.
Students can apply for a tech grant to purchase a needed computer. Please email financialaid@calpoly for information and to determine if you are eligible for the grant.
As of 10/9/21 a total of $966,044 has been disbursed to 589 students for computers.