Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

COVID-19 - CARES Act of 2020

HEERF grant funding FAQs

 

What is the CARES Act of 2020 and what are HEERF grant Funds?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 was passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020. As part of the CARES Act, emergency funds were set aside in different programs.  One such program is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) which provides higher education institutions funds to, among other things, distribute HEERF grant funds to their eligible students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  More specifically, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has stated that HEERF grant funds must be used by students to assist with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, including eligible expenses under a student’s indirect cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

How much HEERF funding did my school receive?

ED formulated HEERF fund allocations based on a historical number of Federal Pell Grant eligible students enrolled and the overall enrollment based on a weighted scale.  ED has asked schools to award HEERF grants to as many students as possible in a manner that provides the most funding to the neediest students.

To view the HEERF Grant funding allocation amounts for your campus, including the methodology used to calculate student eligibility and amounts, please go to the Consumer Information Website under your specific campus location and click on the link labeled: CARES Act Fund Allocation Communication and Summary.

am I eligible for a HEERF Grant?

There are several factors for eligibility:

1. Students must be in one of the following categories of attendance: Active category, Leave of Absence category, or in a SPN status as of the census date[1].

2. Students must meet Federal Student Aid (FSA) eligibility under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).  In other words, the student must have an eligible Student Aid Report on file.

3. Students must be enrolled in a Title IV eligible program; however, students who were enrolled in a fully online program as of March 13, 2020 and forward are not eligible for the program.

Do I have to pay the HEERF grant back?

No.  The HEERF funds are a GRANT and do not have to be paid back.

are the HEERF grant funds taxable?

NEW INFORMATION RELEASED 05/15/2020 – The IRS and ED clarified two points related to HEERF Grant funds:

1. HEERF grant funds are not included in your gross income.

2. You cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit since the HEERF Grant funds are not included in your income. 

For more details, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-higher-education-emergency-relief-fund-and-emergency-financial-aid-grants-under-the-cares-act

If I currently owe a balance to the school, will I still receive a HEERF grant?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility requirements listed above.  The HEERF grant funds are completely separate from any obligation you may owe the school.

iS THERE AN APPLICATION PROCESS?

No.  The school is distributing funds to all eligible students; therefore, a separate application is not needed.

However, students will be asked to attest that funds will be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.  If students incurred no such expenses or do not need the funds, they should not accept the funds.  Any funds not accepted will be allocated to another student with need.

How will I receive my HEERF grant?

Once the final HEERF Grant fund amounts are determined, students will be issued payment via Wisely® Pay Card and Wisely® Check.  The campus will update the progress of HEERF awards and the Wisely® process at http://www.edaff.com/cares-act-information.php.  The school will also email you directly, as needed.

Will accepting the HEERF grant make me lose my federal Pell grant or direct loans?

No.  HEERF grant funding is not included in your Title IV FSA Award Package.  It will not impact your ability to receive any of your Title IV funds; including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, or Federal Work Study employment.

How can I use the money?

ED has stated that HEERF grant funds must be used by students to assist with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, including eligible expenses under a student’s indirect cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.  When you receive your Wisely packet, activating your Wisely® Pay Card or Wisely® Check would mean that you are accepting the funds and can attest that you incurred such expenses and will spend the funds in that manner.  If you cannot attest to incurring such expenses or using the funds in that manner, you will be directed to contact us to cancel the HEERF funds.  If you cancel the HEERF funds, they will be made available to other students in need.   

how will i know if i am a recipient of the HEERF grant and when will the HEERF grant funds be distributed?

Emails to all recipients will be sent from Education Affiliates beginning May 27, 2020.  Wisely Pay® packets will begin distribution May 28, 2020. 

Campus

HEERF Grant Notification Emailed

Wisely Packets Mailed

Campus

HEERF Grant Notification Emailed

Wisely Packets Mailed

All-State Career - Baltimore

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Norfolk

5/27/20

5/28/20

All-State Career – Essington

5/29/20

6/1/20

Fortis College - Orange Park

5/27/20

5/28/20

All-State Career - Pittsburgh

5/27/20

5/28/20

 

Fortis College - Richmond

5/27/20

5/28/20

Denver College of Nursing

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Salt Lake City

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Baton Rouge

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Smyrna

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Centerville

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Birmingham

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Cincinnati

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Cookeville

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Columbia

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Forty Fort

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Columbus

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Houston North

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Cutler Bay

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Lawrenceville

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Cuyahoga Falls

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Nashville

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Dothan

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Pensacola

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Foley

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Port Saint Lucie

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Houston South

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Scranton

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Indianapolis

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Towson

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Landover

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis Institute - Wayne

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Mobile

5/27/20

5/28/20

St. Paul's SON - Queens

5/27/20

5/28/20

Fortis College - Montgomery

5/27/20

5/28/20

St. Paul's SON - Staten Island

5/27/20

5/28/20

What is Wisely® Pay?

Please visit https://drive.google.com/open?id=10WwsQ7BBVUjdhPHJma9vQfAM_FcVI7Df for more information about Wisely® Pay.  You can learn more about the features and benefits of your Wisely® Card at https://info.mywisely.com/pay/

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Visit http://www.edaff.com/cares-act-information.php where new information will be added as we finalize the process and add more details about funding dates and the Wisely® payment process.  If you have other unanswered questions, please contact us at HEERFinfo@edaff.com.

 



[1] The census dates are currently set at the 24th of each month, from May 2020 through October 2020,