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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grant at the University of Massachusetts Medical School provides emergency financial assistance to eligible students who have expenses directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to Covid-19. UMMS has signed and returned the certification and agreement to the Department of Education and has been awarded $155,066 to use towards emergency funding.

In order to be considered for emergency funding from the CARES HEERF Grant:

  • students must be matriculated,
  • students must have a record of good conduct,
  • students must have a current and demonstrable emergency need,
  • students must demonstrate an ability and intention to complete their course of study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School,
  • students must reside in the United States,
  • students must currently be eligible for Federal Title IV Financial Aid, and
  • the expense must have been incurred subsequent to March 13, 2020.

Examples of qualifying emergencies include, but are not limited to:

  • expenses related to transition to remote learning,
  • additional housing expenses due to changes in course schedule,
  • unexpected expenses due to illness or death in the immediate family, specifically related to COVID-19, or
  • other (students will be asked to provide a detailed explanation of the emergency).

The CARES HEERF Grant cannot be used for:

  • previous educational debts,
  • textbooks,
  • credit card debts or loan payments,
  • legal representation or services, or
  • increased need due to lost wages.

Maximum Award: $2000 subject to supporting documentation. However, the final award amount will be based on need as described in the student’s application and as supported by the appropriate documentation.

As the grant draws on a limited pool of funds, UMMS cannot guarantee the availability of funds for assistance.


Applications are available through the financial aid portal Net Partner. Students will be required to include a statement explaining:

    • the emergency and how the current situation is affecting the student’s studies,
    • what the requested funds will be used for, and
    • an itemized list of each cost, with supporting documentation for each item.


At the University of Massachusetts Medical School, there are 1109 students potentially eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and therefore eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant.

UMMS is using the following methods to determine the need for emergency grants:


$65,000 to 65 students at $1000 each has been distributed as of 5/12/2020 to rising 3rd year medical students who have received institutional funding or used federal loans to pay living expenses in the past. These students had their semester start date delayed by one month. This month is therefore now excluded from their cost of attendance and students have an unexpected month of rent and food expenses.


Additional Students may submit an application detailing their emergency expenses due to the disruption of on-campus operations or healthcare expenses directly related to the coronavirus using the link above. Students will provide detailed descriptions and documentation of expenses to be reimbursed through the fund. Such expenses as the purchase of technology for on-line learning, additional rent expenses, healthcare costs for coronavirus, or other related expenses outlined and detailed by the student.


Applications are being distributed and will be available throughout the 20-21 academic year until funds are exhausted.

As of 8/13/2020 all $156,000 of funding was distributed to students meeting the above eligibility requirements.