COVID-19 Student Emergency Funding

In response to the nationwide COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, University of Detroit Mercy is working hard to meet the unique needs of students on an individual basis and is taking immediate action to ensure safety is the priority. Three funds are available to provide funding to students who may be impacted by the coronavirus.

  1. The COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund is made possible through the generous donations of Detroit Mercy faculty, staff, alumni and donors.
  2. The Detroit Mercy Cares Grant is made possible by the Federal Corona Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
  3. The SEOG CARES Grant fund is federal financial aid that is being used to assist students through additional financial aid awards.

*Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting

Given the current circumstances, the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund team will work to maximize individual relief funds. Students should be prepared to provide thorough and detailed information regarding funding needs.

Student Relief Award Criteria

COVID-19 Emergency Funding

COVID-19 Emergency Funding is for students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses due to temporary hardship or unforeseen emergencies related to the COVID-19 virus. Decisions regarding the award and disbursement of funds are made on a case-by-case basis. Awards are not considered loans and do not require repayment. Awards will be provided until funds are exhausted.

Detroit Mercy CARES Grant

Detroit Mercy CARES Grant is funding provided to the university through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This funding is to provide financial assistance to students for "expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus." Students must meet federal financial aid eligibility requirements in order to receive CARES Act funding. All interested in this funding opportunity must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at . Students who have already submitted a FAFSA do not need to submit another one. These funds will be paid directly to the student and cannot be paid toward any balance due on student accounts. Students enrolled in online programs are not eligible for this fund.


SEOG CARES Grant is part of the normal allocation the school receives each year. It is normally restricted to the neediest undergraduate students. The CARES Act allows schools to award SEOG to any students, including graduates who are eligible for federal financial aid and have unexpected expenses and unmet need as a result of a qualifying emergency. This is considered financial aid and will be paid to the student account. If the addition of the SEOG CARES grant results in a credit balance, refunds will be issued to students.

Important: The COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund is considered estimated financial assistance (EFA) and must be coordinated with the financial aid office to ensure a student receiving such assistance is not over awarded with Title IV aid. The Detroit Mercy CARES Grant is not considered financial aid. Both funds will be paid directly to the student and will not be used to pay account balances.

Applying for Emergency Funding

What is next?

A member of the COVID-19 Student Emergency Funding Team will be in contact with as soon as possible.

Who is eligible?

  • Students must have been enrolled during the Winter 2020 term or will be enrolled at the University of Detroit Mercy 2020 Summer or Fall or 2021 Winter.
  • A student has not previously received financial assistance through this fund.
  • Due to a limited amount of funds available, the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund team will need to evaluate individual requests and distribute funds based on critical and urgent needs. The COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund team is working to ensure relief funds are distributed to as many students as possible.

Emergency funding is reserved for students who have exhausted all other available options. Prior to granting funding from the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund, the Dean of Students Office will work with the Office of Financial Aid to determine if any funds granted impact loans, scholarships, or grants the student is currently receiving. Detroit Mercy Cares Grant is not considered to be part of a financial aid package. SEOG CARES Grant will be awarded with approval from the Office of Financial Aid.

Expenses Generally Covered

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Examples of Priority Needs Emergency housing expenses
  • Emergency temporary lodging (if you find yourself homeless or in an unsafe situation)
  • Essential utilities (e.g. electric, gas, water)
  • Temporary food insecurity
  • Emergency medical treatment/medication/prescriptions when you do not have the ability to pay and the costs cannot be covered by insurance
  • Financial needs arising from an unexpected emergency, accident, or other unexpected critical incidents
  • Other academic needs related to the switch to online learning (e.g. laptop, internet)
  • Travel costs related to death or illness of an immediate family member
  • Other financial needs arising from individual and special circumstances to be determined on a case by case basis

Expenses Generally Not Covered

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Tuition and student fees
  • Health insurance
  • Continuous fixed expenses (e.g. rent)
  • Study abroad costs
  • Non-essential utilities (cable)
  • Costs of entertainment, recreation, or non-emergency travel
  • Legal counsel and fees
  • Parking tickets
  • Expenses due to a lack of financial planning or overspending
  • Outstanding debt to the university or otherwise (i.e. credit cards, fees past due, etc.)
  • Other university fees

Distribution of Emergency Funding

The COVID-19 Emergency funds and Detroit Mercy Cares funds will be disbursed, via a check or Direct Deposit, within two weeks of the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund team’s approval. SEOG CARES Grant will be applied as financial aid, through the student account.

The University encourages all students to sign up for Direct Deposit to allow for faster receipt of funds.

Steps to sign up for Direct Deposit:

  • Log into your Titan Pass account
  • Select Self Service
  • Student
  • Student Account
  • Direct Deposit Student Refunds
  • Type in routing and account number
  • Check either savings or checking, and submit.

Update Home Address for Paper Checks:

  • Log into your Titan Pass account
  • Select Self Service
  • Student
  • Personal Information
  • Update Addresses and Phone Numbers

If you were working, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. Please check with your state for this information.

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    Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting

    On May 6, 2020, the Office of Postsecondary Education published requirements for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting. Reporting for HEERF funds distributed to the University of Detroit Mercy will begin 30 days from the signed Department of Certification and agreement and each 45 days thereafter. Find reporting details here.