CARES Act Distribution to Students Expected Week of May 4

The University of Maine System’s universities have been allocated $17.2 million in funding through the federal CARES Act, which was supported by Maine’s Congressional Delegation.  The Act requires that half of these dollars ($8.63 million) go directly to students to cover emergency expenses arising from the disruption in campus operations.


UMS universities will begin distributing CARES Act funds to eligible students starting the week of May 4. Federal guidance precludes the distribution of CARES Act funds to international students, DACA students, and students exclusively enrolled in online programs as of March 13, 2020.


Hybrid Allocation for Distribution


85% for Direct Disbursement Based on Credit Hours:  University of Maine System universities will distribute 85% of each university’s allocation directly to undergraduate and graduate students based on the number of credit hours a student is taking in the current semester.  For the purpose of payments students will be grouped in three tiers:


  • Tier 1:   0.1 – 5.99 credit hours
  • Tier 2:   6- 11.99 credit hours
  • Tier 3:   12-plus credit hours 


Non-degree students, employees receiving UMS Employee tuition benefits, and Early College students will NOT be eligible for CARES Act payments. Payments to students will vary based on university allocations and tier-level. Many students will receive a payment of a few hundred dollars.  


15% for Student Emergencies:  UMS universities will set aside 15% of the available CARES Act funding for emergency payments to meet critical student needs.  Students will be able to apply on their respective campuses for emergency funds until the resources are expended.  


Maine Law:  The University of Maine School of Law will distribute 52% of its CARES Act student funding directly to students and use the remainder of the student resources to support emergency fund requests.


Direct Deposit:  Students are urged to sign up for Direct Deposit immediately to expedite disbursements and receipt of payments.  Students can visit this resource guide for instructions on how to sign up for Direct Deposit. 


CARES Act Distribution Concludes Payments to Students:  The University of Maine System has previously paid more than $12.7 million in student Room and Board adjustments and refunds back to its residential students.  The universities have also maintained commitments to pay nearly 5,000 federal work study and non-federal work study students through the semester. The CARES Act direct payments to students concludes planned reimbursements and/or payments for students for the spring 2020 semester.