NOTE: This email was sent to students who met the eligibility requirements for CARES Act grants.

Dear [student name],

The U.S. Department of Education established the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to provide emergency financial aid grants to students who experienced unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wake Forest is able to extend to you an emergency financial aid grant of [$INSERT AMOUNT].

How you will receive your grant

  • The grant will be deposited or a check will be mailed on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
  • Direct Deposit: You will receive this grant via direct deposit if you had previously signed up for direct deposit or do so by Tuesday, Feb. 23. Instructions are here.
  • Check: If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, you will receive a paper check sent to your primary address on file with the University.
  • Please check WIN to verify we have your correct address:
    • Go to WIN > Personal > Your Personal Information > Personal Information to view and edit your address, if needed.
    • If your address is incorrect, you must update it by Tuesday, Feb. 23, so there is time for your new address to be processed.

Why you are receiving your grant

You are receiving this emergency grant because you met the CARES Act eligibility requirements for Wake Forest students, which include:

  • being enrolled (not withdrawn or in “continuous enrollment status”) as of March 27, 2020; and remaining enrolled in the same academic program as of Jan. 29, 2021;
  • having valid FAFSA results for 2019-2020 as of March 27, 2020;
  • having at least one on-campus class as of March 27, 2020;
  • being eligible to participate in Title IV federal financial aid.

The University has prioritized extending CARES Act funds to students with the greatest financial need as recommended by the U.S. Department of Education.

Using your grant

According to the CARES Act, funds are for the “sole and exclusive purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses.” You are not required to report how you spend your CARES Act funds; however, we are providing these guidelines so that you are aware of their intended use per the U.S. Department of Education.

Tax implications

IRS Frequently Asked Questions clarify that emergency financial aid grants paid to students under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic are not included in students’ income because the amounts are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. Students should consult their individual tax advisors for additional information regarding this exclusion.


FAQs are available here. Please use this form to submit questions.

We know that COVID has caused many disruptions in the lives of Wake Forest students. We hope that this CARES Act funding helps alleviate some of the financial pressures that you’ve experienced.

— Student Financial Services