The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)

The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), established under the Federal CARES Act, supports targeted initiatives to enroll and retain underrepresented, first generation, and high economic need students.

NOTE: As of July 13, 2021, applications are under review. The College is unable to accept more applications at this time.

The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) Eligibility

  • All applicants must identify as at least one of the following targeted populations: underrepresented, first-generation, and/or high economic need (see definitions below).
  • Current students must maintain continued enrollment towards degree or certificate completion.
  • New students applying for funding must show a continued commitment towards certificate or degree completion by remaining enrolled after their first year.
  • Students meeting eligibility requirements were invited to apply, and funds and applications are under review.

The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) Frequently Asked Questions

GEER funds will be applied directly to your College of DuPage account to cover tuition, fees or bookstore charges for books or educational materials related to a course.


An individual belonging to a group whose percentage of the population is lower than the majority population in the country. For GEER funds, eligibility includes the following ethnicities:

  • African American/Black
  • Asian
  • Hispanic/Latino/Spanish
  • Pacific Islander
  • Native American


At College of DuPage, students are considered "First Generation" if one or both of their parents/legal guardians:

  • Did not attend a four-year college/university.
  • Attempted some college, but did not complete a bachelor's degree.
  • Attended a community college, a technical school, or an institution in another country.
  • Did attend college, but you (the student) have lived away from them for more than half of your life.
  • You are an adult student (20+) and you meet one of the above.

High-economic need

The College of DuPage uses an expected family contribution (EFC) equaling $10,000 or less per year for eligibility requirements.

Your EFC is calculated using information reported on your FAFSA form, such as tax information, and represents what financial aid formulas believe a family should be able to pay towards one year of their student’s college education.

Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. You will be notified, via your COD student email account, when a decision has been made on your application.

If your application is approved and you are offered an award, your first step is to accept your award. You MUST do this before we can issue you the funds.

After you accept the award, please allow 2 to 3 weeks for the funds to be processed and applied directly to your College of DuPage account.

 Funds will be applied directly to your COD account to cover any past due tuition, fees or bookstore charges.

 Students must meet eligibility requirements to receive GEER funds. Please see eligibility requirements above for clarification of what is required.

College of DuPage offers and connects students to many potential funding opportunities. 

Scholarship opportunities currently available to COD students with eligibility criteria can be found at

Undocumented and DACA Resources are available for DACA and undocumented students looking for scholarships or funding specific to their needs.

State funding for eligible undocumented and transgender students who qualify through the Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid

Additional Information on the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)

GEER funds, under the CARES Act Relief, are not considered taxable income and will not impact your financial aid. More guidance from the IRS on that topic is available at IRS CARES Act FAQs.