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. Eligible College of DuPage students who are experiencing barriers created by the COVID-19 pandemic may apply. Applications will be funded on a first come, first serve basis until moneys are exhausted.

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).
  • Students must show a continued commitment towards degree completion by maintaining continued enrollment in Fall 2020 
  • All applicants must maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • New students applying for funding must show a continued commitment towards certificate or degree completion by remaining enrolled after their first year

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.

Students meeting eligibility requirements may apply online for GEER funding.

Your login information for the application is the same login information you use for the student portal and Blackboard.

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

The COD Foundation has established a Student Emergency Relief Fund to provide assistance to students who are financially struggling as a result of the pandemic.

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.