In Spring of 2020, Pacific Lutheran University received funding through through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Half of this funding is designated for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare).

CARES Act funding is not need-based, but recipients must meet criteria for participation in programs under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA). If you have never filed a FAFSA, we encourage you to complete the 2020-21 FAFSA now to allow us to deliver approved grant funds to you without delay. Current guidance from the Department of Education suggests that a completed FAFSA is required to demonstrate that eligibility criteria have been met by filers, regardless of need status. While future guidance may allow students to self-certify eligibility criteria, that guidance has not yet been issued, and we are unable to release approved CARES Act funds to non-FAFSA filers.

Furthermore, students must be enrolled to receive CARES Act funding. Students not enrolled for the Summer 2020 Session are not eligible for CARES Act funding until they resume classes in the Fall.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis in the order they are received. The maximum award is $1,000, and we will make every effort to award funding as quickly as possible. If you have set up direct deposit in the past, then you will receive these funds via direct deposit. Otherwise, a paper check will be mailed to the permanent address we have on file.

You must access the application via your PLU email. If you are logged into another Gmail account in addition to your PLU email, you must sign out of all Gmail accounts and then log back into your PLU email.  The application for CARES Act funding can be found here.  

Update 9/12/2020

To expedite the awarding of our remaining CARES Act funds as quickly as possible to as many eligible students as possible, we are discontinuing the application process. Instead, we are asking you to respond Yes or No to a statement of affirmation. If you can affirm that you are encountering expenses related to the disruption of PLU campus operations due to coronavirus for the cost of attendance; such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses, then please select Yes to the statement on your Banner Self-Service. Otherwise, select No. Students who meet the following criteria should be eligible for CARES Act funding:

  • Answer Yes to the statement of affirmation
  • Enrolled for fall
  • Submitted a 2020-21 FAFSA
  • Eligible for federal student aid

Amounts per student are not yet known, but will be determined based on EFC and the number of eligible recipients. Unfortunately, international students and undocumented students are not eligible for CARES Act funding. These students can apply here for PLU emergency funds.


  • Log onto Banner Self-Service
  • Select “Financial Aid Services”
  • Select “Award”
  • Select “Award By Aid Year”
  • Select Aid Year ” Financial Aid Year 2020-21 ” and “Submit”
  • Select “Resources/Additional Information”
  • Choose YES or NO from the drop down menu and select ‘Submit Information’

You must reply to the statement of affirmation no later than Friday, September 18th in order to receive CARES Act funding, including those of you who have already submitted an application and are still waiting to receive funds. After Friday, September 18th, students will no longer be able to respond to the statement of affirmation. At that point, PLU’s remaining CARES Act funding will be distributed to eligible students who responded Yes to the statement of affirmation until funds are exhausted.

Due to the anticipated number of eligible recipients, it will take PLU’s Business Office several weeks to issue funding to all eligible students. If you have set up direct deposit in the past, then you will receive the funds electronically in your bank account. Otherwise, a paper check will be mailed to your permanent address in Banner. Please make sure your permanent address is up to date.