CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

 

What is the Higher Education Relief fund?

Sections 3504, 18004, and 18008 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, allow higher education institutions to use certain funds allocated by the Department of Education to support students and higher education institutions with expenses and financial needs related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Section 3504 of the CARES Act allows higher education institutions to use additional supplemental educational opportunity grant funds they receive through the Higher Education Act to award emergency financial aid grants to support graduate and undergraduate students experiencing “unexpected expenses and unmet financial need” as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 18004 of the CARES Act directs the Secretary of Education to allocate funds out of the Higher Education Relief Fund to higher education institutions to directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures.  These funds may be used (1) to defray the institutions’ expenses, including lost revenues and payroll for employees and (2) for “emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”  Recipient higher education institutions must pay no less than 50 percent of these funds to students as emergency financial aid grants.

Section 18008 of the CARES Act directs the Secretary of Education to allocate additional funds to Howard University and Gallaudet University to directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support these institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures.  These funds may be used (1) by the institutions to help defray their expenses and (2) for “grants to students for expenses directly related to” the COVID-19 pandemic and for expenses “caused by the disruption of university operations” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unofficial copy of Interim Final Rule on eligibility: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/heerfinstitutionalcoverletter.pdf

FAQs 

 

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – Student Aid

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748), also known as the CARES Act, was signed into law by the President of the United States on March 27 to provide emergency relief funds to organizations and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), found in Section 18004, provides funding to institutions of higher education based on a formula stipulated in the legislation.

Section 18004(a)(1) of the HEERF authorizes the Secretary of Education to allocate funds to provide emergency financial aid grants to students to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance for students about the grants can be found on the EI website: https://estheticinstitute.com/cares-act-higher-education-emergency-relief-fund/

Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate. Students also had to be enrolled in a 600 hours program as of March 13th and be active at the time the award was received.

  1. Esthetic Institute returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the Institute has used, or intends to 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.
  1. Esthetic Institute has received $38,861.00 from the Department of Education pursuant to the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  1. Esthetic Institute has distributed a total of $37,838.00 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of 7/10/2020.
  1. The estimated total number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant is 38.
  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant is 37.
  1. Esthetic Institute distributed the funds equally among all 38 eligible students who were active and had received Title IV funding for their program.

Based on the guidelines provided by the department at the time the funds were received (6/22/2020), the funds were disbursed in equal portions among the 38 students who were eligible for Financial Aid and who were active at the school at the time of the award.  Each student received $1023.00. The students received a check in that amount.

All students receiving Grants were notified via email of the conditions and requirements to receive the grant and were provided the departments links and FAQs.

The Institution has not received the Institutional portion of the Grants as of 7/9/2020.

 

 Click here to see Esthetic Institute’s reporting on the CARES Act

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