CARES Act Student Fund Report

As of June 30, 2021

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's CARES Act Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of June 30, 2021, and will be updated no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, and December 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the department the certification and agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal certification and agreement to receive CARES Act funding on April 10, 2020 and agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the department pursuant to the institution's certification and agreement [for] emergency financial aid grants to students.

The university received $7,412,589 million from the U.S. Department of Education for CARES emergency financial aid grants to be distributed to students.

  1. The total amount of emergency financial aid grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission ((e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

As of June 30, 2021, NIU had distributed $7,412,589 directly to students, in accordance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

NIU has approximately 22,299 students eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. This number is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that only students eligible for federal Title IV aid are eligible for a grant-funded through the CARES Act. The U.S. Department of Education determined that international and undocumented students were not eligible for federal grants.

The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CARES Act limited the eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs that were not exclusively online on or after March 13, 2020.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of June 30, 2021, NIU had distributed CARES Act funds to 8,747 eligible students.

  1. 7,425 eligible students have received CARES Act funds through an automatic distribution to eligible students identified as students with greatest need and potential impact.
  2. 3,924 students have received Cares Act funds through the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program.

Some students received funds through both programs.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The federal government instructed NIU to determine eligibility criteria for the distribution of emergency financial aid grants and encouraged the university to prioritize students with the greatest need./p>

The university has established various criteria for populations of students to be awarded CARES grants without an application for the grant.

  • The methodology for awarding automatic $800 CARES Act grants established that students who transitioned from face-to-face courses to an online modality, together with the closure of some NIU resources, experienced a minimum of $800 to $1,300 in expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus. These expenses include but are not limited to food, housing, course materials, establishing a new learning environment, technology, health care, and child services. The university assessed eligibility using the following criteria:
  • 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file and financial need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs
  • Enrolled at least half-time as of March 13, 2020
  • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program
  • Not an international or undocumented student

In fall 2020, NIU created two new categories with remaining funds:

  • A $500 grant for technology for the highest need new admits in anticipation of potential technology needs including devices, wifi, software, or other related needs.

In addition to Title IV eligibility, NIU awarded the technology grants to incoming first-year students who had an expected family contribution (EFC) of less than $7,500. The $500 grant partially offsets the technology cost associated with participation in online coursework.

  • Academic recovery grants for students who withdrew from one or more courses in the spring semester are re-enrolled in fall 2020. Additional criteria detailed as follows:
  • Title IV Eligible
  • Originally began Spring 2020 semester attendance in two or more face-to-face courses
  • Still actively enrolled (not withdrawn) on March 13, 2020
  • Subsequently withdrew from one or more face-to-face course(s) during or after the extended spring break
  • Did not graduate in spring 2020 nor summer 2020
  • Continue to make satisfactory academic progress
  • Eligible to enroll for fall 2020

Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $2,000 through this program, depending on how many credit hours they withdrew from during spring 2020.

The university also established criteria for a student emergency fund grant, to which students could submit applications for funds. NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants after the passage of the CARES Act to students via an electronic application process that was made available through university announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritized as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount, but rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500 through this program.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.

Students received an email on May 19, 2020, informing them that NIU had received CARES Act funds and would distribute automatic grants in the amount of $800 to students with the greatest need and impact. The NIU Student Emergency Grant program was open and the students were notified by email on the following dates:

  • April 6-17, 2020
  • June 1- August 16, 2020
  • September 3-30, 2020
  • February 1-2, 2021
  • March 1-4, 2021

A set of FAQ was also established and posted online to provide further guidance about eligibility and distribution.

Students who received funds from the technology or recovery initiatives received emails regarding their eligibility on September 24, 2020. The FAQ was updated on the website at this time as well.


Previous Reports

Updated March 31, 2021

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's CARES Act Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of March 31, 2021, and will be updated no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, and December 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the department the certification and agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal certification and agreement to receive CARES Act funding on April 10, 2020 and agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the department pursuant to the institution's certification and agreement [for] emergency financial aid grants to students.

The university received $7,412,589 million from the U.S. Department of Education for CARES emergency financial aid grants to be distributed to students.

  1. The total amount of emergency financial aid grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission ((e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

As of March 31, 2021, NIU had distributed $7,412,589 directly to students, in accordance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

NIU has approximately 14,377 students eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. This number is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that only students eligible for federal Title IV aid are eligible for a grant-funded through the CARES Act. The U.S. Department of Education determined that international and undocumented students were not eligible for federal grants.

The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CARES Act limited the eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs that were not exclusively online on or after March 13, 2020.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of March 31, 2021, NIU had distributed CARES Act funds to 8,753 eligible students.

  1. 7,450 eligible students have received CARES Act funds through an automatic distribution to eligible students identified as students with greatest need and potential impact.
  2. 3,888 students have received Cares Act funds through the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program.

Some students received funds through both programs.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The federal government instructed NIU to determine eligibility criteria for the distribution of emergency financial aid grants and encouraged the university to prioritize students with the greatest need.

The university has established various criteria for populations of students to be awarded CARES grants without an application for the grant.

  • The methodology for awarding automatic $800 CARES Act grants established that students who transitioned from face-to-face courses to an online modality, together with the closure of some NIU resources, experienced a minimum of $800 to $1,300 in expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus. These expenses include but are not limited to food, housing, course materials, establishing a new learning environment, technology, health care, and child services. The university assessed eligibility using the following criteria:
  • 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file and financial need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs
  • Enrolled at least half-time as of March 13, 2020
  • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program
  • Not an international or undocumented student

In fall 2020, NIU created two new categories with remaining funds:

  • A $500 grant for technology for the highest need new admits in anticipation of potential technology needs including devices, wifi, software, or other related needs.

In addition to Title IV eligibility, NIU awarded the technology grants to incoming first-year students who had an expected family contribution (EFC) of less than $7,500. The $500 grant partially offsets the technology cost associated with participation in online coursework.

  • Academic recovery grants for students who withdrew from one or more courses in the spring semester are re-enrolled in fall 2020. Additional criteria detailed as follows:
  • Title IV Eligible
  • Originally began Spring 2020 semester attendance in two or more face-to-face courses
  • Still actively enrolled (not withdrawn) on March 13, 2020
  • Subsequently withdrew from one or more face-to-face course(s) during or after the extended spring break
  • Did not graduate in spring 2020 nor summer 2020
  • Continue to make satisfactory academic progress
  • Eligible to enroll for fall 2020

Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $2,000 through this program, depending on how many credit hours they withdrew from during spring 2020.

The university also established criteria for a student emergency fund grant, to which students could submit applications for funds. NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants after the passage of the CARES Act to students via an electronic application process that was made available through university announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritized as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount, but rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500 through this program.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.

Students received an email on May 19, 2020, informing them that NIU had received CARES Act funds and would distribute automatic grants in the amount of $800 to students with the greatest need and impact. The NIU Student Emergency Grant program was open and the students were notified by email on the following dates:

  • April 6-17, 2020
  • June 1- August 16, 2020
  • September 3-30, 2020
  • February 1-2, 2021
  • March 1-4, 2021

A set of FAQ was also established and posted online to provide further guidance about eligibility and distribution.

Students who received funds from the technology or recovery initiatives received emails regarding their eligibility on September 24, 2020. The FAQ was updated on the website at this time as well.

Updated December 31, 2020

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's CARES Act Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of Dec. 31, 2020, and will be updated no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, and Dec. 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter.

  1. An acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or 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.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal Certification and Agreement to receive CARES Act funding on April 10, 2020 and agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The university received $7,412,589 million from the US Department of Education for CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grants to be distributed to students.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission ((e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

As of Dec. 31, 2020, NIU had distributed $7,353,377.50 directly to students, in accordance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

NIU has approximately 13,801 students eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. This number is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that only students eligible for federal Title IV aid are eligible for a grant funded through the CARES Act. The U.S. Department of Education determined that international and undocumented students were not eligible for federal grants.

The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CARES Act limited eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs that were not exclusively online on or after March 13.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of Dec. 31, 2020, NIU had distributed CARES Act funds to 9,342 eligible students.

  1. 7,451 eligible students have received CARES Act funds through an automatic distribution to eligible students identified as students with greatest need and potential impact.
  2. 3,833 students have received Cares Act funds through the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program.

Some students received funds through both programs.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The federal government instructed NIU to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of emergency financial aid grants and encouraged the university to prioritize students with greatest need.

The university has established various criteria for populations of students to be awarded CARES grants without an application for the grant.

  • The methodology for awarding automatic $800 CARES Act grants established that students who transitioned from face-to-face courses to an online modality, together with the closure of some NIU resources, experienced a minimum of $800 to $1,300 in expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus. These expenses include, but are not limited to: food, housing, course materials, establishing a new learning environment, technology, health care, and child services. The University Assessed eligibility using the following criteria:
  • 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file and financial need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs
  • Enrolled at least half-time as of March 13, 2020
  • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program
  • Not an international or undocumented student

In fall 2020, NIU created two new categories with remaining funds:

  • A $500 grant for technology for the highest need new admits in anticipation of potential technology needs including devices, Wi-Fi, software or other related needs.

In addition to Title IV eligibility, NIU awarded the technology grants to incoming first-year students who had an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of less than $7,500. The $500 grant partially offsets the technology cost associated with participation in online coursework.

  • Academic recovery grants for students who withdrew from one or more courses in the spring semester are re-enrolled in Fall 2020. Additional criteria detailed as follows:
  • Title IV Eligible
  • Originally began spring 2020 semester attendance in two or more face-to-face courses
  • Still actively enrolled (not withdrawn) on March 13, 2020
  • Subsequently withdrew from one or more face-to-face course(s) during or after the extended spring break
  • Did not graduate in spring 2020 nor summer 2020
  • Continue to make Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Eligible to enroll for fall 2020

Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $2,000 through this program, depending on how many credit hours they withdrew from during spring 2020.

The university also established criteria for a Student Emergency Fund Grant, to which students could submit applications for funds. NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants after the passage of the CARES Act to students via an electronic application process that was made available through University Announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritized as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount, but rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500 through this program.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Students received an email on May 19, 2020, informing them that NIU had received CARES Act funds and would distribute automatic grants in the amount of $800 to students with the greatest need and impact. Students received an email on April 6, 2020, informing them of the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program. A set of frequently asked questions were also established and posted online to provide further guidance about eligibility and distribution.

Students who received funds from the technology or recovery initiatives received emails regarding their eligibility on September 24, 2020. The FAQ was updated on the website at this time as well.

Updated September 30, 2020

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's CARES Act Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of September 30, 2020 and will be updated no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, and December 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter. An archive of previous reports is available below.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or 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.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal Certification and Agreement to receive CARES Act funding on April 10, 2020 and agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The university received $7,412,589 million from the US Department of Education for CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grants to be distributed to students.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission ((i.e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

As of September 30, 2020, NIU had distributed $7,266,788.50 directly to students, in accordance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

NIU has approximately 13,687 students eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. This number is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that only students eligible for federal Title IV aid are eligible for a grant funded through the CARES Act. The U.S. Department of Education determined that international and undocumented students were not eligible for federal grants.

The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CARES Act limited eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs that were not exclusively online on or after March 13.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of September 30, 2020, NIU had distributed CARES Act funds to 9,295 eligible students.

  1. 7,452 eligible students have received CARES Act funds through an automatic distribution to eligible students identified as students with greatest need and potential impact.
  2. 3,748 students have received Cares Act funds through the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program.

Some students received funds through both programs.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The federal government instructed NIU to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of emergency financial aid grants and encouraged the university to prioritize students with greatest need.

The university has established various criteria for populations of students to be awarded CARES grants without an application for the grant.

  • The methodology for awarding automatic $800 CARES Act grants established that students who transitioned from face-to-face courses to an online modality, together with the closure of some NIU resources, experienced a minimum of $800 to $1,300 in expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. These expenses include, but are not limited to: food, housing, course materials, establishing a new learning environment, technology, health care and child services. The university assessed eligibility using the following criteria:
    • 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA on file and financial need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs.
    • Enrolled at least half-time as of March 13, 2020.
    • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program.
    • Not an international or undocumented student.

In fall 2020, NIU created two new categories with remaining funds:

  1. A $500 grant for technology for the highest need new admits in anticipation of potential technology needs including devices, Wi-Fi, software, or other related needs.

    In addition to Title IV eligibility, NIU awarded the technology grants to incoming first-year students who had an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of less than $7,500. The $500 grant partially offsets the technology cost associated with participation in online coursework.
  2. Academic recovery grants for students who withdrew from one or more courses in the spring semester are re-enrolled in fall 2020. Additional criteria detailed as follows:
    • Title IV eligible.
    • Originally began spring 2020 semester attendance in two or more face-to-face courses.
    • Still actively enrolled (not withdrawn) on March 13, 2020.
    • Subsequently withdrew from one or more face-to-face course(s) during or after the extended spring break.
    • Did not graduate in spring 2020 or summer 2020.
    • Continue to make Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    • Eligible to enroll for fall 2020.

    Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $2,000 through this program, depending on how many credit hours they withdrew from during spring 2020.

The university also established criteria for a Student Emergency Fund Grant, to which students could submit applications for funds. NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants after the passage of the CARES Act to students via an electronic application process that was made available through University Announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritized as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount, but rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500 through this program.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Students received an email on May 19, 2020 informing them that NIU had received CARES Act funds and would distribute automatic grants in the amount of $800 to students with the greatest need and impact. Students received an email on April 6, 2020, informing them of the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program. A set of FAQs was also established and posted online to provide further guidance about eligibility and distribution.

Students who received funds from the technology or recovery initiatives received emails regarding their eligibility on September 24, 2020. The FAQs were updated on the website at this time as well.

Updated September 21, 2020

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's CARES Act Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled on September 21, 2020 and will be updated no less than every 45 days. An archive of previous reports is available below.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or 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.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal Certification and Agreement to receive CARES Act funding on April 10, 2020 and agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The University received $7,412,589 million from the US Department of Education for CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grants to be distributed to students.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

As of September 21, 2020, NIU had distributed $5,719,728.50 directly to students, in accordance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

NIU has approximately 9,866 students eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. This number is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that only students eligible for federal Title IV aid are eligible for a grant funded through the CARES Act. The U.S. Department of Education determined that international and undocumented students were not eligible for federal grants.

The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CARES Act limited eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs that were not exclusively online on or after March 13.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of September 21, 2020, NIU had distributed CARES Act funds to 6,544 eligible students.

  1. 5,364 eligible students have received CARES Act funds through an automatic distribution to eligible students identified as students with greatest need and potential impact.
  2. 3,464 students have received Cares Act funds through the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program.

Some students received funds through both programs.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The federal government instructed NIU to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of emergency financial aid grant and encouraged the university to prioritize students with greatest need.

The University's methodology for awarding automatic $800 CARES Act financial aid grants determined that students who transitioned from face-to-face courses to an online modality together with the closure of some NIU resources experienced a minimum of $800 to $1,300 in expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. These expenses include but are not limited to food, housing, course materials, establishing a new learning environment, technology, health care, or childcare services. The University assessed eligibility using the following criteria:

  • 2019-2020 FAFSA on file and need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs.
  • Enrolled at least half-time as of March 13, 2020.
  • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program.
  • Not an international or undocumented student.

For the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program, NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants, after passage of the CARES Act, to students via an electronic application process that was made available through University Announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritize as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500 through this program.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Students received an email on May 19, 2020 informing them that NIU had received CARES Act funds and would distribute automatic grants in the amount of $800 to students with the greatest need and impact. Students received an email on April 6, 2020, informing them of the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program. A set of FAQs was also established and posted online to provide further guidance about eligibility and distribution.

Updated July 17, 2020

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's CARES Act Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled on July 17, 2020 and will be updated no less than every 45 days.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or 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.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal Certification and Agreement to receive CARES Act funding on April 10, 2020 and agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The University received $7,412,589 million from the US Department of Education for CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grants to be distributed to students.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

As of July 17, 2020, NIU had distributed $5,607,753.50 directly to students, in accordance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

NIU has approximately 9,870 students eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. This number is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that only students eligible for federal Title IV aid are eligible for a grant funded through the CARES Act.

The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CARES Act limited eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs that were not exclusively online on or after March 13. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education determined that international and undocumented students were not eligible for federal grants.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of July 17, 2020, NIU had distributed CARES Act funds to 6,474 eligible students.

  1. 5,364 eligible students have received CARES Act funds through an automatic distribution to eligible students identified as students with greatest need and potential impact.
  2. 3,264 students have received Cares Act funds through the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program.

Some students received funds through both programs.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The federal government instructed NIU to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of emergency financial aid grant and encouraged the university to prioritize students with greatest need.

The University's methodology for awarding automatic $800 CARES Act financial aid grants determined that students who transitioned from face-to-face courses to an online modality together with the closure of some NIU resources experienced a minimum of $800 to $1,300 in expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. These expenses include but are not limited to food, housing, course materials, establishing a new learning environment, technology, health care, or childcare services. The University assessed eligibility using the following criteria:

  • 2019-2020 FAFSA on file and need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs.
  • Enrolled at least half-time as of March 13, 2020.
  • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program.
  • Not an international or undocumented student.

For the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program, NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants, after passage of the CARES Act, to students via an electronic application process that was made available through University Announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritize as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations.

Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500 through this program.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Students received an email on May 19, 2020 informing them that NIU had received CARES Act funds and would distribute automatic grants in the amount of $800 to students with the greatest need and impact. Students received an email on April 6, 2020, informing them of the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program. A set of FAQs was also established and posted online to provide further guidance about eligibility and distribution.

May 27, 2020

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's CARES Act Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled on May 26, 2020 and will be updated no less than every 45 days.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or 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.

    Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal Certification and Agreement to receive CARES Act funding on April 10, 2020 and agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Grants to students.

  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

    The University received $7,412,589 million from the US Department of Education for CARES Emergency Financial Aid Grants to be distributed to students.

  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

    As of May 26, 2020, NIU had distributed $5,013,663 directly to students, in accordance with Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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.

    NIU had approximately 13,579 students eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. This is greater than the number of Title IV eligible students due to the Department of Education modifying its eligibility requirements on May 21, 2020.

    The CARES Act provides emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CARES Act limited eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs that were not exclusively online on or after March 13. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education determined that international and undocumented students were not eligible for federal grants.

    Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

    As of May 26, 2020, NIU had distributed CARES Act funds to 6,061 eligible students.

    • 5,207 eligible students have received CARES Act funds through an automatic distribution to eligible students identified as students with greatest need and potential impact.
    • 2,574 students received Cares Act funds through the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program.


    Some students received funds through both programs.

  6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

    The federal government instructed NIU to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of emergency financial aid grant and encouraged the university to prioritize students with greatest need.

    The University's methodology for awarding automatic $800 CARES Act financial aid grants determined that students who transitioned from face-to-face courses to an online modality together with the closure of some NIU resources experienced a minimum of $800 to $1,300 in expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. These expenses include but are not limited to food, housing, course materials, establishing a new learning environment, technology, health care, or childcare services. The University assessed eligibility using the following criteria:

    • 2019-2020 FAFSA on file and need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs.
    • Enrolled at least half-time as of March 13, 2020.
    • Not enrolled in an exclusively online program.
    • Not an international or undocumented student.


    For the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program, NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants, after passage of the CARES Act, to students via an electronic application process that was made available through University Announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritize as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations.

    Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500 through this program.

  7. Any instructions, directions or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

    Students received an email on May 19, 2020 informing them that NIU had received CARES Act funds and would distribute automatic grants in the amount of $800 to students with the greatest need and impact. Students received an email on April 6, 2020, informing them of the NIU Student Emergency Grant Application program. A set of FAQs was also established and posted online to provide further guidance about eligibility and distribution.

CARES Act Institutional Report (PDF) CARES Act FAQ

Still Need Help?

For general concerns or questions, contact the Center for Student Assistance at studentassistance@niu.edu or 815-753-8300.

For technological concerns contact the Service Desk at servicedesk@niu.edu or or 815-753-8100

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