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USD Announces CARES Act Program for Student Aid During COVID-19

Seal o the University of South Dakota Students can apply for the USD CARES Act, an emergency aid program available for those who may be experiencing difficulties with expenses related to COVID-19 campus disruptions.

VERMILLION,S.D. – The University of South Dakota has launched the USD Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, an emergency aid program for students who may be experiencing difficulties with expenses related to COVID-19 campus disruptions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted our daily routines, and some have found themselves in distressing predicaments,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “The USD CARES Act is meant to help alleviate that stress as well as provide relief to those who need it the most.”

Students must meet all the following eligibility requirements to qualify for a USD CARES Act grant. Students must:

  • Classify as a full-time USD student taking the majority of classes at a physical USD campus or remote site (i.e., USD Community College for Sioux Falls). This includes students whose on-campus classes transitioned to remote instruction due to COVID-19.
  • Demonstrate inability to work or significantly reduced hours of work due to COVID-19.
  • Be in good academic standing and maintaining satisfactory academic progress with the university.
  • Be otherwise eligible for Title IV aid as required by the CARES Act, which is determined by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who have not yet filled out a FAFSA will be required to complete one to verify eligibility.

Applications should take approximately five minutes to complete. As part of the application process, students will be asked to provide:

  • Name and Student ID
  • Demonstrate the expenses related to disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, health care and child-care expenses (Note: coronavirus was declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020).

Qualifying students/families with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $8,500 or less may receive a $500 grant per student. Qualifying students/families with an EFC of more than $8,500 may receive a $250 grant per student.

Funds are limited, and priority will be given to those who complete their application by May 8.

Apply for the USD CARES Act Program through Coyote One Stop

More information regarding CARES Act funding for higher education programs can be found at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News