Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Student Emergency Grants

Northeast State Community College disbursed emergency student assistance provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act beginning the week of May 18th, 2020. The College began disbursing emergency student assistance provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) the week of April 23rd, 2021.


HEERF I - CARES Act

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released guidance related to CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) funding to higher education institutions to assist students with unmet expenses as a result of COVID-19. Funds must be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as:

  • course materials
  • technology
  • food
  • housing
  • health care
  • childcare
  • or other cost of attendance related item

Furthermore, USDOE guidelines require emergency grants only be distributed to students who are eligible to participate in federal Title IV aid programs. Students exclusively enrolled in online courses prior to March 13, 2020 are not eligible. In accordance with the HEERF Certification and Agreement signed and returned to the USDOE, the institution will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Payment Methodology

Our institution determined funds would be allocated to the largest number of students possible due to impacts of COVID-19 related events. Following Secretary of Education DeVos’s guidance, Pell-eligible students received priority funding. However, based on our institution’s determined criteria, certain non-Pell-eligible students were also considered eligible for funding. Criteria for eligibility include:

  • An individual must have been a student as of March 13, 2020
  • Students cannot have been enrolled solely in an online format as of March 13, 2020
  • Students paid must be eligible to participate in Title IV financial aid programs

Much of the funding is automatically disbursed to eligible students, but eligibility for students who did not file FAFSAs cannot yet be verified. We anticipate USDOE will release an option for these students to self-certify eligibility. However, affected students may elect to complete a 2019-2020 FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov so eligibility can be determined. Visit the Financial Aid webpage more information regarding filing a FAFSA

Disbursement Process

Any disbursed emergency grant funds will be released to students by either refund check or direct deposit, depending on the method the student has set up with the college. A payment is not necessarily a reflection of a student’s current student account balance, as these funds are disbursed directly to a student no matter if a current balance is owed to the institution.

Students determined eligible for HEERF payments will receive a confirmation email from the institution. Please direct all questions to CARESAct@NortheastState.edu.  

HEERF I Payment Allocation Information

Number of Title IV eligible students who may qualify for HEERF payments: 3944
Total amount of HEERF aid available for payments to students: 2,244,158.00
Total amount of HEERF aid paid to eligible students: 2,244,156.49
Total number of eligible students paid: 3944

HEERF Information Updates

Table is initially published no later than 30 days after the institution received HEERF funds and is updated every 45 days until funds are fully expended.

Date Institution Submitted HEERF Certification and Agreement to USDOE: April 16, 2020
Date Information Originally Published Online: May 22, 2020
Website Updated (1st 45-day requirement):  July 1, 2020
Website Updated (2nd 45-day requirement):  August 17, 2020

   

HEERF II - CRRSAA

Funds awarded under section 314(a) of the CRRSAA must be reserved to provide students with financial aid grants, which may be used for any component of the student's cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or childcare.

If an institution obtains a student's written (or electronic), affirmative consent, an institution is permitted to apply these grants directly to the student's institutional account; however, students must be informed that they retain the option to receive a direct disbursement of the financial aid grant and that an institution may not require that the grant be applied to the student's account.

Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. However, students do not need to be Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell Grants to be identified as having exceptional need. In addition, CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.

Payment Methodology

Our institution determined funds would be allocated to the largest number of students possible due to impacts of COVID-19 related events. Following USDOE's guidance, Pell eligible students received priority funding. However, based on our institution's determined criteria, certain non-Pell eligible students were also considered eligible for funding.

Criteria for eligibility include:

  • An individual must have been enrolled at some point during the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Students did not have to be title IV eligible. However, per USDOE guidance, eligible students had to meet citizenship requirements.
  • Students cannot be enrolled as dual enrollment, non-degree seeking, or transient.

Disbursement Process

Any disbursed emergency grant funds will be released to students by either refund check or direct deposit, depending on if the student has an e-refund profile set up with the College. Students were provided the option to authorize payment towards current account balances, but this was not required for eligibility.

A payment is not necessarily a reflection of a student's current student account balance, as these funds are disbursed directly to a student no matter if a current balance is owed to the institution, unless the student provided authorization for application to account balances.

Students determined eligible for HEERF payments will receive a confirmation email from the College. Please direct all questions to CARESAct@NortheastState.edu

Communications to Students

Email and text messages sent to students

D2L message to students regarding authorization to apply HEERF funds to outstanding account balances

HEERF II Payment Allocation Information

Number of eligible students who may qualify for HEERF payments:
3527
Total amount of HEERF aid available for payments to students:
2,278,058
Total amount of HEERF aid paid to eligible students:
2,148,906
Total number of eligible students paid:
3527


Institutional Relief

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) distributed formula grants to higher education institutions through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for Institutional Relief. These funds are to be used to defray expenses associated with coronavirus and/or carrying out support activities authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, that address needs related to coronavirus.

    Total Amount of HEERF I funds available for institutional costs (CARES Act)$2,244,158 
    Total Amount of HEERF II funds available for institutional costs (CRRSAA) $6,723,417
    Total Amount of HEERF III funds available for institutional costs (American Rescue Plan) $7,773,656

    Quarterly reports on the expenditure of these funds are provided below. This page will be updated on a regular basis.

    Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP)

    The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) issued supplemental awards through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for existing grantees under the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program. These funds are to be used “address needs directly related to the coronavirus…”

    Total Amount of HEERF funds available through Title III SIP $593,576 

    Quarterly reports on the expenditure of these funds are provided below. This page will be updated on a regular basis.

    Quarterly Reports

    Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF I, II, and III (a)(1) Institutional Portion, (a)(2), and (a)(3) Funds.