CARES Act Emergency Grants

The U.S. Department of Education provides guidance regarding funding eligibility and requirements. To be eligible for a Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in (or accepted for enrollment in) a degree or certificate program as of the Fall 2020 Term.
  • Have been enrolled in at least one course in the Fall 2020 Term.
  • Have completed a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA) to verify the following general eligibility requirements. The student must:
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have qualifying non-citizenship status.
  • Have earned a high school diploma or GED.
  • Have registered for selective service (if the individual is male and under 26 years of age).
  • Fulfill the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards of Polk State College at the beginning of the Fall 2020 Term.
  • Have a certified need of funding for eligible expenses incurred as a result of disruption to College operations and related to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare.

Note: A student who has not yet completed a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid must do so ( to be eligible for CARES Act Emergency Grants. The deadline to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA was June 30, 2020. To be considered for Fall CARES Act funds, students must complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA and be enrolled.

The online application: the applicant has not used the Etrieve service previously for submission of documents, information about this resource is located here: Instructions for Activating an Etrieve Account.

Disbursements began on May 13, 2020.

Questions about the application process can be directed to the Financial Aid Office by phone at: 863.297.1004, or by email:

As of September 30, 2020:

  • Polk State received the $3,058,025 CARES student allocation on April 25, 2020.
  • Polk State distributed $2,478,500 to 3,636 students.
  • Polk State has an estimated 3,700 students who are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965; thus, these individuals are also eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  • Students received information about the CARES Act Emergency Grant through email, phone contacts, the College’s CARES Act web page,, and through notifications in the College’s learning management system, Canvas.

A comprehensive report through September 30, 2020, can be located here: CARES Act Report #4.