HEERF Act Institutional Aid Program
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), enacted March 27, 2020, establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act, which address the HEERF, allow institutions of higher education to use up to 50 percent of the funds they receive to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus so long as such costs do not include payment to contractors for the provision of pre-enrollment recruitment activities, including marketing and advertising; endowments; or capital outlays associated with facilities related to athletics, sectarian instruction, or religious worship (collectively referred to as “Recipient’s Institutional Costs”).
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), signed December 27, 2020, provides additional funding to institutions of higher education through HEERF to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. Institutions of higher education have expanded flexibility in the use of these supplemental Institutional Portion funds.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), signed March 11, 2021, is the third stream of funding appropriated for HEERF to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. This third stream of funding is structured similar to CRRSAA, but is accompanied by changes in the required use of funds, if the Institutional Portion is not used entirely for emergency financial grants to students.
- Any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction.
- Costs for which UWF has a reasoned basis for concluding such costs have a clear connection to significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to coronavirus.
- Reimbursements for refunds made on or after March 13, 2020, to students for housing, food, or other services that UWF could not provide.
- Reimbursements for hardware, software, or internet connectivity that UWF purchased on behalf of students or provided to students after March 13, 2020.
- Emergency financial aid grants to students as allowed under CARES Act Financial Aid Grants to students.
- Award scholarships or to provide payment for future academic terms as long as they are for costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus or if provided to students in the form of emergency financial aid, are for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
- Purchase of laptops, hotspots or other IT equipment and software to enable students to participate in distance learning as a result of the change in delivery of instruction due to coronavirus.
- Purchase equipment or software, pay for online licensing fees, or pay for internet service to enable students to transition to distance learning as such costs are associated with a significant change in the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.
- Payment to an Online Program Management (OPM) provider for the added costs of transition ground-based students to distance learning instruction if it is a per-student fee for each additional student using the distance learning platform; may not be for recruiting or enrolling new students!
- Same allowable use of funds as CARES.
- Defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll).
- Carry out student support activities authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), that address needs related to coronavirus.
- Make additional financial aid grants to students, with the requirement to prioritize students with exceptional need.
- Financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.
- Same allowable use of funds as CRRSAA.
- A portion of institutional funds must be used to implement evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordance with public health guidelines.
- A portion of institutional funds must be used to conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants about the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or other circumstances, described in section 479A of the HEA.
- Expand remote learning programs; build IT capacity to support such programs, and train faculty and staff to operate effectively in a remote learning environment.
- Expand support for students with the most significant financial needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as course materials, technology, health care, childcare, food and housing.
- Prioritize emergency financial aid grants to domestic students, especially undergraduates, to include citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students.
- Discharge student debt or unpaid balances by discharging the complete balance of the debt.
- Prioritize costs associated with student safety and support and testing services.
- Payments to contractors for the provision of pre-enrollment recruiting activities, including marketing and advertising.
- Capital outlays associated with facilities related to athletics, sectarian instruction, or religious worship.
- Senior administrator and/or executive salaries, benefits, bonuses, contract incentives, stock buybacks, etc.
- Religious worship, instruction, or proselytization or equipment or supplies to be used for religious worship, instruction, or proselytization.
- Construction or purchase of real property (does not extend to activities that meet the definition of “minor remodeling” under 34 CFR 77.1).
- Emergency financial aid grants to students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs prior to the national emergency.
- UPDATE: CRRSAA and ARP allow emergency financial aid grants to students exclusively enrolled in distance education at an eligible institution on or after March 13, 2020, the date of declaration of the national emergency due to the coronavirus.
REPORT AND DISCLOSURE
University of West Florida
September 30, 2020
REPORT AND DISCLOSURE
University of West Florida
June 30, 2020
- UWF acknowledges that we signed and returned our certification on April 10, 2020, and we will award at least 50% of our CARES funding in the form of emergency financial aid grants directly to students.
- UWF received a total of $3,400,694 for Institutional Aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
- Of those funds, UWF has spent $2,039,878 for student housing refunds and student meal plan refunds as of 6/30/2020.
UWF Student Aid – CARES Act (link)
CARES Act Funding (link)