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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

On April 14, 2020 under the signature of Ina Sotomayor, Financial Aid and Scholarships Director, University of California, Los Angeles 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.

The total amount of funds that UCLA has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $35,906,870, of which at least 50% ($17,953,435) will be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

The estimated total number of students at UCLA, 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 is 31,600.

The table below shows the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students as well as the total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Awards Made To Students Number of Students Amount Disbursed
April 14, 2020 - May 15, 2020 18,312 $11,038,300
May 16, 2020 - September 30, 2020 4,386 $3,542,799
October 1 - December 31, 2020 4,438 $2,953,905
January 1, 2021 - March 31, 2021 766 $418,431
Total (Unduplicated) 22,695 $17,953,435

To determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act UCLA used the following approach:


Since all students were impacted when UCLA moved all instruction on line for Spring 2020 Universal Grants were awarded in the Spring of 2020 to all eligible students who requested funding to cover Covid-related expenses.


In the spring of 2020, UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships developed a need-based approach based on the Expected Family Contribution and need analysis. CARES funds were not awarded to students who received financial aid to cover on-campus housing expenses but canceled their housing contracts. Awarding methodology ensured that higher awards were distributed to students with higher financial need since low income students were impacted more significantly by the pandemic.

The table below shows the EFC ranges used to award the Need Based CARE Grant for Undergraduate Students

EFC Range Grant Amount Grant Amount for Special Populations*
0 $1,200 $1,850
1 - 5,576 $1,000 $1,550
5,577 - 14,070 $800 $1,350
14,071 - 22,000 $500 $1,050
22,001 - w/need $250 $850

*Special populations include students with dependent children, former foster youth, students who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, students with disabilities, and system impacted students

In the Fall of 2020 , Need-Based CARES Grants were awarded using the following funding priorities:

  • Financial aid recipients living in UCLA Residence Halls and impacted by increased housing prices due to the pandemic
  • Very high financial need students living in off-campus apartments whose living costs are higher due to social distancing and reducing density in shared spaces. This group included students with Expected Student Contribution on the FAFSA of $0.
  • Students who have historically relied on work-study earnings to help with their educational expenses and who experienced a funding gap because of inability to find employment due to the scarcity of work-study positions available.
  • Students who are reporting loss of income or special circumstance due to the pandemic, which prevent them from being able to pay for their educational and living expenses.

Grant awards ranged from $249 to $900.

Need Based Grants for Graduate and Professional Students:

The distribution methodology focuses on the majority of funds going to students who have been most impacted and/or neediest due to COVID-19.

In the spring of 2020 students who are eligible for the CARES Grant received a survey via email and must have completed it for funding consideration. Survey responses were forwarded to each students’ home academic department. Departments then facilitated a needs assessment and submitted their funding recommendations to the Graduate Division. The Graduate Division validated the departmental recommendation against applicable FAFSA data and determined the final funding level. Need-based CARES Grants ranged between $200 and $1,850.

In the fall of 2020, Graduate Division used FAFSA application data to identify neediest students most impacted by the continuing of the pandemic. Awards were $328 per eligible student.

Professional student's awards ranged from $200-$844 and awarding priority was for students with loan debt.


CARES funds were also awarded to undergraduate and graduate students based on individual circumstances submitted via an appeal form and requesting additional funding to cover Covid-related expenses that were not addressed by Universal Grant or Need Based Grant allocations.
Impact CARES awards ranged from $103 to $5,000.

Following are the instructions, directions, or guidance provided by UCLA to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Memorandum: The purpose of CARES Act funding is to provide financial assistance to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. This funding is separate from the financial aid you may have already been awarded for 2019-2020. On May 7,2020 Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Monroe Gordon Jr. issued an electronic memorandum informing UCLA students about the availability of CARES Act Grant funding. To view the memorandum, click on the CARES Act Grant Funding Memorandum.

Webpage: In collaboration with the CARES Act Task Force, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office developed the FAQ Cares Act Webpage to provide information to UCLA students about CARES ACT Grant funding and procedures at UCLA. In addition an appeal form for students who need additional assistance with Covid related expenses is available on our home page

Financial Aid Notifications: Following information was included on the financial aid notification of students who were offered a federal CARES grant: “Federal CAREs grant offered exclusively for the purpose of providing emergency financial aid to student experiencing expenses related to the disruptions of campus related operations due to COVID-19. Your award will not be disbursed if you are not enrolled at least half time (6 units undergrad students, 4 units graduate students/professional students.