CARES Act Student Emergency Assistance

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, provides institutions like WMU with resources to award emergency assistance to students who have been financially impacted by pandemic. The U.S. Department of Education has encouraged us to prioritize students with the greatest need, while balancing the need to help as many students as available funding allows. The University has aimed to strike this balance.

Federal CARES Act requirements have established the following eligibility guidelines. A recipient must:

  • Have been enrolled for classes in the spring 2020 semester as of March 13, 2020, in an undergraduate or graduate degree-seeking program (Students who were exclusively enrolled in an online distance education program are not eligible);
  • Have a 2019-20 FAFSA on file with Western Michigan University; and
  • Demonstrate financial need or hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students must apply for emergency assistance as outlined below. Once the Office of Student Financial Aid reviews applications, awards will be made directly to students. Refunds will disperse electronically for students with an established e-refund account. Those without an e-refund account will receive a paper check.

Application Process

  1. Visit WMU ScholarshipUniverse using your Bronco NetID and password.
  2. Complete all of the screening questions.
    •     First time users: Click the "I'm Ready" button to begin and answer screening questions.
    •     Returning user: Click the gray banner or "Questions" tab and answer new screening questions.
  3. Click the brown "Matches" tab. If you are eligible for CARES emergency assistance, the CARES application will appear.
  4. Click "Apply" to begin.
  5. Answer the questions in the Student Emergency Funding section and click "Continue."
  6. Answer the Acknowledgements section and click "Continue."

Applications will be accepted through Friday, May 29, 2020. Please allow 7-10 business days for application processing. Please continue to check GoWMU regarding the status of your refund.

Please contact  Bronco Express for assistance at (269) 387-6000 or email