The Coronavirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was approved by Congress and includes support for higher education, including emergency grants for students facing expenses due to COVID-19.

Montana State University Bozeman acknowledges it signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement on April 13, 2020, and will use no less then 50% of the funds received for grants to students as directed in section 18004(a)(1).

Montana State University Bozeman is set to receive approximately $10.4 million with no less than $5.2 million designated for emergency financial aid grants to students. As of May 26, 2020, $1,678,800 has been distributed. This amount will be updated every 45 days.

The total number of students 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 under section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act is approximately 7,400.

The total number of students with a grant processed as of May 26 is 2,766.

The methods used to determine which and how much students receive in emergency fund grants under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act follow:

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree seeking students who were enrolled as of March 16, 2020, and not scheduled to graduate in the current term.
  • Students who were not enrolled exclusively in online programs (programs defined as having no residential instruction).
  • Eligible under section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
  • Awards will be prioritized based on the 2019/2020 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is the value calculated because of your 2019/2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid as of May 11, 2020.
  • MSU Bozeman selected a three-tiered approach to more equitably help as many eligible students as possible, prioritizing need based on the calculated EFC and institutional cost of attendance.
  • Students will be contacted in need order to allow for distribution and evaluation of resources.
  • Remaining funds will be disbursed via an application or appeal process that is being developed. 

Instructions, direction, and guidance were provided to eligible students by email and subsequent application. The application certifies that eligible students had a qualifying expense [1] or hardship related to COVID-19 campus disruption.

Additional MSU Bozeman support related to COVID-19


1. Qualifying expenses include but are not limited to food insecurity, housing, course materials, healthcare, childcare, technology changes, and transportation.

Last Updated: 5/20/20