Emergency Aid

The University of the Incarnate Word is committed to supporting our students, which includes overcoming temporary financial hardships. The following resources are available to UIW students.

Emergency Funding at UIW

Emergency Funding Applications:

Update: As of September 13, 2021, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) has been exhausted. Our office is no longer accepting emergency funding applications at this time.

  • Fall 2021 Emergency Funding Application: Application closed as of September 13, 2021.
  • Summer 2021 Emergency Funding Application: Application closed as of September 13, 2021.
  • Spring 2021 Emergency Funding Application: Application closed as of August 31, 2021.
  • Spring 2021 Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II Application: Application closed as of May 18, 2021. 
  • Fall 2020 Emergency Funding Application: Application closed as of February 22, 2021.
  • Spring 2020 Emergency Funding Application: Application closed as of June 30, 2020.
  • Summer 2020 Emergency Funding Application: Application closed as of August 18, 2020.
Students may be awarded from the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III, HEERF II, the Federal CARES Act (HEERF I) and/or the UIW Emergency Impact Fund.
  • Legislative guidance as of May 11, 2021: Recently updated guidance from from the Dept. of Education dated May 11, 2021 makes changes to requirements for HEERF I, II, and III. Eligibility
    is now defined as any individual who is or was enrolled (as defined in 34 CFR § 668.2) at an eligible institution (as defined in 34 CFR § 600.2) on or after March 13, 2020, the date of declaration of the national emergency due to the coronavirus (85 FR 15337). Therefore, a FAFSA is not required in order for a student to apply for emergency aid, but it is highly recommended in order to establish exceptional need. Undocumented/International students with exceptional need may now apply for emergency aid.
  • Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II: HEERF II is intended to provide financial support to students who are eligible to receive Title IV aid based on FAFSA requirements (e.g., U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen) to cover expenses (including eligible expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare) due to COVID-19.
  • Federal CARES Act (HEERF I): The Federal CARES Act funds are intended to provide financial support to students who are eligible to receive Title IV aid based on FAFSA requirements (e.g., U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen) to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 (including eligible expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare).
  • UIW Emergency Impact Fund: Generous donations to the UIW Emergency Impact Fund will directly help UIW students lessen the unanticipated financial stress brought on by unforeseen hardships.

Emergency Funding Application Guidelines:

  • Open to all currently enrolled UIW students that have experienced unforeseen hardship(s).
  • Emergency funding is intended to provide financial support to students experiencing unforeseen financial challenges (including expenses such as food, housing, course materials, health care, childcare, tuition and fees).
  • Priority is given to students experiencing hardship due to disruption of campus operations and/or changes to their course delivery platform due to COVID-19.
  • Funds are awarded based on qualifying expenses and aid available. 
    • The maximum total a student may receive from the HEERF III (applications beginning Summer 2021 and beyond) funds are as follows:
      • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 6,000 or less: $3,200
      • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of more than 6,000 or non-FAFSA filers: $2,000
    • The maximum total a student may receive from the HEERF II funds are as follows:
      • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 6,000 or less: $1,600
      • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of more than 6,000 or non-FAFSA filers: $1,000
    • The maximum total a student may receive from any combination of CARES, or Emergency Impact Funds in a single semester is as follows:
      • Undergraduate students who are eligible for the Pell grant: $800
      • Undergraduate students who are NOT eligible for the Pell grant: $500
      • Graduate/Professional students: $250
  • Students who were already enrolled 100% online prior to the emergency declaration on March 13, 2020 are not eligible for CARES funds. However, students enrolled 100% online for Spring 2021 may qualify for HEERF II and/or Emergency Impact Funds.
  • The submission of the Emergency Funding Application does not guarantee approval.
  • The Office of Financial Assistance will review requests and students will receive email notification regarding the decision or request for further information.
  • Students are encouraged to sign up for electronic refunds from the Business Office by completing the Accounts Payable  direct deposit via  Cardinal Apps to receive funds in a timely manner. Please note, direct deposit for Accounts Payable is required for student refunds and is separate from direct deposit for Payroll. Students who have not signed up for direct deposit will receive a check via mail to the permanent address on file. To update your address in BannerWeb,  please follow these instructions.
  • Funds awarded may be a combination of the Federal HEERF II, the Federal CARES Act and the UIW Emergency Impact Fund.

Federal CARES Act Automatic Grant Process:

  • No application required. Students meeting eligibility requirements are automatically awarded by May 11, 2020.
  • Federal CARES Act Eligibility:
    • Enrolled as of March 13, 2020
    • 2019-2020 FAFSA processed and Title IV aid eligibility confirmed as of May 6, 2020
    • Not exclusively taking online courses for Spring 2020
  • Awards account for the additional costs associated with a shift to remote learning (including technology, Wi-Fi, access to study/classroom/campus space)
  • Students enrolled in 12+ hours for Spring 2020 will receive $400 and students enrolled in less than 12 hours for Spring 2020 will receive $300. Students enrolled 100% online or who withdrew before March 13, 2020 are not eligible.
  • Students may apply for additional funding through the Emergency Funding Application, linked above.
  • All eligible students were notified on May 7, 2020 of their eligibility for the automatic grant to allow time for updates to be made on direct deposit information or permanent addresses for physical checks.

Special Circumstances for FAFSA Filers

The Office of Financial Assistance recognizes that there are times when student and/or parent tax information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may not accurately reflect a household's true financial situation. If there is an unusual circumstance that should be taken into account, you may request a review to determine if adjustments can be made to your FAFSA.

Circumstances may include:

  • Review for additional expenses (e.g., child care, laptop purchases or required software)
  • Change in financial circumstances
  • Change in household size due to pregnancy
  • Unusual medical expenses
  • Change in marital status

Visit our Special Circumstances page for more information.

Academic Scholarship Reinstatement Request

Students who left UIW and attended another institution in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 due to COVID may submit the Academic Scholarship Reinstatement Request to request to have their UIW Academic Scholarship reinstated.

Federal Student Aid and Loan Updates

For the latest information on student and parent loan changes, visit the Dept. of Education's Coronavirus page

ECMC Solutions

UIW has teamed up with ECMC Solutions to offer free counseling for borrowing/repaying your federal student loans and to help students avoid loan default. Visit ECMC Solutions for more information.

Food Resources

San Antonio Food Bank

Website:  Safoodbank.org
Telephone: (210) 431-8326

St. Vincent De Paul Society of San Antonio

Website:  Svdpsa.org
Telephone: (210) 225-7837

Catholic Charities of San Antonio

Website:  Ccaosa.org
Telephone: (210) 226-6178

Other Assistance Programs

Benefits.gov: Find government benefits related to unemployment assistancehealthcare and food and nutrition. 

2-1-1 Texas: A program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. To verify your eligibility for one of the CAA 2021 exemptions, complete the 2021-2022 SNAP Eligibility Verification Form. A copy of the signed form will be returned to you in order for you to submit it with your SNAP application.  To find out how to apply for SNAP, or for other questions about your eligibility, contact your local SNAP office.

Emergency Broadband Benefit: As of May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider.

Please note: The Department of Education is issuing guidance on a rolling basis for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds from the CARES Act. Adjustments will be made to the application and/or awarding of these funds as required by any additional guidance received from the Department, and/or any additional legislative action.

Who is eligible for the Higher Education Emergency Relief funds from the CARES Act? 

Legislative guidance as of May 11, 2021: Recently updated guidance from from the Dept. of Education dated May 11, 2021 makes changes to requirements for HEERF I, II, and III. Eligibility

is now defined as any individual who is or was enrolled (as defined in 34 CFR § 668.2) at an eligible institution (as defined in 34 CFR § 600.2) on or after March 13, 2020, the date of declaration of the national emergency due to the coronavirus (85 FR 15337). Therefore, a FAFSA is not required in order for a student to apply for emergency aid, but it is highly recommended in order to establish exceptional need. Undocumented/International students with exceptional need may now apply for emergency aid.

Requirements prior to May 11, 2021: The Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds from the CARES Act are available students who were enrolled for Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or are currently enrolled in Spring 2021 and are eligible for federal aid based on the FAFSA requirements below:  

  • U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
    *F-1 / J-1 international students and undocumented students are ineligible and still encouraged to apply for the UIW Emergency Impact Fund. Funding for these students will be provided through institutional grants based on funding availability.
  • Registered for/or exempt from Selective Service
  • Not in default or overpayment on any federal loan or grant aid
  • Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  • Not convicted of the possession or sale of illegal drugs while receiving Title IV aid
  • If selected, have completed the verification process
  • Have resolved any other FAFSA flags and/or discrepancies  

In addition, students must have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Students who were already enrolled 100% online prior to the emergency declaration on March 13, 2020 are not eligible for the first round of CARES funds; however online students enrolled for Spring 2021 do qualify for HEERF II.


Who is eligible for the UIW Emergency Impact funds? 

UIW Emergency Impact funds are open to all students enrolled during Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or currently enrolled for Spring 2021. Priority is designated to students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, childcare, tuition and fees, etc.


Which fund should I apply for?  

Students eligible for Federal HEERF II or Federal CARES Act will receive an automatic grant. However, students may also apply for Emergency Funding through the Emergency Funding Application.


How much could I qualify for?  

From the Federal CARES Act automatic grant, students enrolled in 12+ hours for Spring 2020 will receive $400 and students enrolled in less than 12 hours for Spring 2020 will receive $300. Students enrolled 100% online or who withdrew before March 13, 2020 are not eligible. However, students enrolled 100% online for Spring 2021 may qualify for HEERF II and/or Emergency Impact Funds.

In addition to the automatic grant, the maximum total a student may receive from the Emergency Funding Application in a single semester is as follows:  

  • The maximum total a student may receive from the HEERF II funds are as follows:
    • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or 6,000 or less: $1,600
    • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or 6,000 or more: $1,000
  • The maximum total a student may receive from any combination of CARES, or Emergency Impact Funds in a single semester is as follows:
    • Undergraduate students who are eligible for the Pell grant: $800
    • Undergraduate students who are NOT eligible for the Pell grant: $500
    • Graduate/Professional students: $250

Award amounts were determined based on the federal allocation process used for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds and following the priority suggested by the Department of Education. Awards are to be prioritized to the neediest students, until funds are exhausted.  


How would I receive my funds, if awarded? 

Once you have been awarded, funds will either be deposited to your bank account or mailed via USPS within 3-5 business days. You are encouraged to sign up for electronic refunds from the Business Office by completing the Accounts Payable direct deposit via Cardinal Apps to receive funds in a timely manner. Please note, direct deposit for Accounts Payable is required for student refunds and is separate from direct deposit for Payroll. Students who have not signed up for direct deposit will receive a check via mail to the permanent address on file. To update your address in BannerWeb, please follow these instructions.

  • Funding from CARES Act is issued directly to the student, regardless of any balance owed to UIW. 
  • Funding from HEERF II may be applied to an outstanding balance and/or issued directly to the student, depending on the options indicated on the application.
  • Funding from the Emergency Impact Fund will be applied to any outstanding balance first, with any remainder being issued to the student.

Can I apply again even though I have already received emergency funding in a previous semester? 

Funds will be distributed until exhausted. In the event that funds remain after all eligible students have been awarded, the application will be updated and made available online.


What if the funds I receive are not enough, or I still have a balance? 

Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance to speak about your specific situation. Emergency funds are extremely limited, but you may have other options available, such as loans.  


Would I still qualify if I didn’t file a FAFSA? 

While the guidance from the Department of Education indicates a FAFSA is not required, there is no other practicable method to confirm Title IV eligibility based on the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Section 484. You may submit the 2020-2021 FAFSA for consideration and financial assistance for the upcoming year, or you may still submit the 2019-2020 FAFSA at Studentaid.gov until June 30, 2020. However, all requirements will still need to be completed and verification finalized (if selected) in order to be eligible for funds. Keep in mind that funds are limited and will be awarded first-come, first-served.  


How will I know if my request is approved? 

Once your application has been received and reviewed, you will receive email notifying you if your financial aid awards have been updated, which can be viewed in BannerWeb, or an email notifying you of the reason(s) for denial via Cardinal Mail.


Will I have to repay these funds? 

No. Aid awarded through these emergency funds is purely grant funding and is not to be repaid.  


Are these emergency funds taxable? 

No, funding from the Federal CARES Act and UIW Emergency Impact Fund are not taxable.


The CARES Act did not specify that only students with a valid FAFSA could qualify. Why is that restriction being added? 

The Department of Education released additional guidance on April 21, 2020 which specifically excluded students who are not eligible for Title IV aid through the FAFSA.


What if my family is experiencing ongoing hardship due to the pandemic? 

The Office of Financial Assistance recognizes that there are times when student and/or parent tax information reported on the FAFSA may not accurately reflect a household's true financial situation. If there is an unusual circumstance that should be taken into account, you may request a review to determine if adjustments can be made to your FAFSA. 
Circumstances may include:

  • Change in financial circumstances
  • Unusual medical expenses

Visit our  Special Circumstances page for more information.

CARES Act (HEERF I) Funding

  • The certification and agreement form was approved on April 20, 2020, stating that UIW will use the funds to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.
  • Student CARES/HEERF I funding received by UIW for direct student grants: $2,609,844.00
  • Estimated total number of students at UIW eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and therefore eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant (excluding students enrolled 100% online prior to March 13, 2020, as dictated by grant requirements)
    • As of reporting date: May 12, 2020: 4,542
    • As of reporting date: June 3, 2020: 4,565
    • As of reporting date: July 8, 2020: 4,577
    • As of reporting date: October 1, 2020: 4,577
  • The total amount of CARES/HEERF I funds distributed
    • As of reporting date: May 12, 2020: $2,242,582.00
    • As of reporting date: June 3, 2020: $2,609,844.00
    • As of reporting date: July 8, 2020: $2,609,844.00
    • As of reporting date: October 1, 2020:/strong> $2,609,844.00
  • The total number of students who have received a CARES/HEERF I emergency financial aid grant
    • As of reporting date: May 12, 2020: 4,542
    • As of reporting date: June 3, 2020: 4,565
    • As of reporting date: July 8, 2020: 4,577
    • As of reporting date: October 1, 2020: 4,577

HEERF II Funding

  • Student HEERF II funding received by UIW for direct student grants: $2,609,844.00
  • The Grant Award Notification was received by UIW on March 8, 2021.
  • Estimated total number of students at UIW eligible for the HEERF II student grants:
    • As of reporting date: April 19, 2021: 6,091
    • As of reporting date: May 3, 2021: 6,094
    • As of reporting date: June 3, 2021: 8,350*
    • As of reporting date: July 6, 2021: 8,349
    • As of reporting date: August 4, 2021: 8,349
    • As of reporting date: September 1, 2021: 8,349
    • As of reporting date: October 4, 2021: 8,349
  • The total amount of HEERF II funds distributed
    • As of reporting date: April 19, 2021: $2,016,500.00
    • As of reporting date: May 3, 2021: $2,068,600.00
    • As of reporting date: June 3, 2021: $2,210,430
    • As of reporting date: July 6, 2021: $2,330,291
    • As of reporting date: August 4, 2021: $2,412,423
    • As of reporting date: September 1, 2021: $2,567,711.02
    • As of reporting date: October 4, 2021: $2,609,844
  • The total number of students who have received an HEERF II emergency financial aid grant
    • As of reporting date: April 19, 2021: 2,768
    • As of reporting date: May 3, 2021: 2,829
    • As of reporting date: June 3, 2021: 3,043
    • As of reporting date: July 6, 2021: 2,094**
    • As of reporting date: August 4, 2021: 2,145
    • As of reporting date: September 1, 2021: 2,243
    • As of reporting date: October 4, 2021: 2,260

*Change in total eligible students reflects clarification published by Dept. of Education on May 11, 2021 which updated the definition of eligible student to include non-citizen and non-FAFSA students.

**Unduplicated students beginning with July 6, 2021 report.

HEERF III Funding

  • Student HEERF III funding received by UIW for direct student grants: $7,843,183.00
  • The Grant Award Notification was received by UIW on May 11, 2021.
  • Estimated total number of students at UIW eligible for the HEERF III student grants:
    • As of reporting date: July 6, 2021: 7,119
    • As of reporting date: August 4, 2021: 7,904
    • As of reporting date: September 1, 2021: 9,306
    • As of reporting date: October 4, 2021: 9,513
  • The total amount of HEERF III funds distributed
    • As of reporting date: July 6, 2021: $1,767,200
    • As of reporting date: August 4, 2021: $2,244,465
    • As of reporting date: September 1, 2021: $7,222,534
    • As of reporting date: October 4, 2021: $7,786,983
  • The total unduplicated number of students who have received an HEERF III emergency financial aid grant
    • As of reporting date: July 6, 2021: 810
    • As of reporting date: August 4, 2021: 1,026
    • As of reporting date: September 1, 2021: 2,591
    • As of reporting date: October 4, 2021: 2,760

HEERF Institutional Share Funding Reports