The 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) is federal legislation that established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II), which has provided the University of Southern Indiana with $2.9 million for emergency financial aid grants for students. The grants may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arose due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care, mental health care or childcare.
The legislation requires institutions to prioritize grants to students with exceptional need, such as those who receive Pell Grants, when awarding emergency financial aid grants. However, students do not necessarily need to be Pell Grant eligible to receive these additional grants.
The Department of Education has established eligibility guidelines that students must meet to be eligible for a grant.
- Students must be currently enrolled in an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree program or a qualified Title IV eligible certificate program.
- Students must have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 20/21 academic year. If you have not yet filed, but intend to, the 2020-2021 FAFSA is available through June 30, 2021 for those enrolled in the Spring 2021 and/or Summer 2021 terms. The 2021-2022 FAFSA is also available for students who are or will be enrolled in Fall 2021.
Under Department of Education guidelines, some students are not eligible for a grant such as international students, DACA students, and students who are not degree-seeking.
Grants range from $2000 - $1000. The grant is determined by the results of the FAFSA and the current enrollment status. Receipt of prior CARES Act funds will not make a student ineligible for the new HEERF II emergency financial aid grants.
The HEERF II Emergency Student Grant Application has been closed. However, the Student Financial Assistance office has recently received preliminary information regarding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF III). At this time, we are waiting on final guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. Upon receipt of final guidance, we will create an application for the funds and lay out procedures in which funds can be received. At that time, students for fall 2021 will be informed via email with the eligibility requirements and the steps necessary to apply for the funding. These funds are highly regulated and all eligible students who complete a 2021-2022 FAFSA and the HEERF III application will be considered for a one time award.
- How will I receive the HEERF II grant? The grants can be applied to the student account with written authorization. Otherwise, the grants are paid directly to the student via a check or direct deposit, if set up.
- Do I have to repay a HEERF II grant? These funds are a grant, not a loan. There is no requirement to repay the grant funds.
- Where can I go if I have more questions? If you have any additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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