Tufts University COVID-19 Emergency Fund

The COVID-19 crisis has created significant financial hardship for individuals and families around the world, including members of the Tufts community. The federally funded Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) under the CARES Act provides emergency grants to qualifying students for unforeseen expenses related to the pandemic. Such expenses include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and travel-related costs.

These funds are available to currently enrolled, eligible degree- or certificate-seeking students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship and meet the requirements set forth below. Please note that availability of institutional COVID-19 emergency funding is limited and varies by school.

Students who receive Tufts University COVID-19 HEERF III Emergency Funds do not need repay these funds. Application review committees have been established at each school at Tufts. All requests for funding may be submitted using the link below. Upon approval, the funds are disbursed to the student's account through the Bursar's Office and refunded to the student.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Any student enrolled in a Tufts degree program or a financial aid eligible certificate program may request funding.
  • Financial aid recipients will receive high priority for funding, and students with exceptional need will receive the highest priority.
  • Students who do not receive financial aid may apply, but will be given lower priority and may not be eligible for an award. These students may be required by their school to provide additional information regarding their need for funding.

Tufts students who previously received HEERF grants through the CARES Act can reapply for additional funding. Note that the availability of institutional funds varies by school.

Types of Expenses

Funds must be used for unexpected expenses incurred by the student related to the COVID-19 pandemic while they have been enrolled in school. Examples of qualified expenses, as specified by the U.S. Department of Education, include:

  • Additional food, housing and/or utility costs related to education programs changing from in-person to remote
  • Unanticipated sublet expenses such as forfeited deposits or rent
  • Technology needs required for remote learning such as laptops, peripheral equipment and/or wireless hotspots
  • Additional childcare costs because dependent children are not in school/daycare as normally expected
  • Medical expenses not covered by health insurance because of relocation or disruption of relationship with usual health care provider
  • Unanticipated travel-related costs due to pandemic
  • Moving or storage expenses
Examples of non-qualified expenses
  • Provide financial aid for future semesters
  • Supplement any income losses related to changes in family employment circumstances

Range of Awards

$100-$2,000 – Dependent Students; $100-$4,000 – Independent Students (graduate/professional students are considered independent by federal definition)

Awards will be based on financial need as determined by the student's financial aid application if available, the student’s cost of attendance (as defined by the school), and additional factors used at the discretion of each school committee. The award amounts will be adjusted based on the relative need of all applicants, the number of applicants, and the availability of funds. Many students will receive awards that are less than the maximum amount.

How to Apply

You are not required to submit documentation in support of your request for the federal HEERF Grant funding. However, you should retain documentation of your expenses since it may be necessary for you to submit it at a later time.

Applying for emergency funds is simple and is open to all undergraduate, graduate, and health professions students enrolled at Tufts. The application site will be open from September 10, 2021, through October 1, 2021. No applications will be considered after October 1. School committee decisions will not be determined until after October 1. School committees anticipate they will begin to notify students of their award eligibility on or around November 1.

Apply for COVID-19 Emergency Funds