HEERF/CARES Reporting Overview

OVERVIEW

Federal and state authorities have passed a series of relief bills in response to the extraordinary circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic. As the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact students and their families, there have been federal and State Relief Funds madsepare available to Universities.

NC A&T State University has received $209 million and distributed over $80 million dollars in federal relief funding from HEERFI, HEERF II and HEERF III since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.  On April 23, 2020 NC A&T State University signed and returned to the Department of Education the required Funding Certification and Agreement forms and agrees that the University has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES funding for colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for Emergency Financial Aid to Students and Institutional Support “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” 

In addition to the Student Aid and Institutional Portion HEERF grants, the U.S. Department of Education allocated supplemental HEERF grants for institutions of higher education that are one of the following: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP), or Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). North Carolina A&T State University is a HBCU, and therefore has received an additional grant.

The funds for Emergency Aid are distributed to qualified undergraduate and graduate students, including distance education students. Financial aid grants for students have been offered to defray the costs  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 child care. 

The funds for Institutional and HBCU awards are utilized to defray expenses associated with the Coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with transition to online education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll). 

 

HEERF I- CARES

In March 2020, NC A&T received an allocation of $42.3 million in federal appropriations from the Department of Education that under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES funding for colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for Emergency Financial Aid to Students and Institutional Support “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” 

This HEERF I funding was allocated to higher education institutions based on a formula that includes the number of Pell-eligible students. The funds may be used to provide financial aid and emergency funds to students as well as to defray institutional expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

HEERF II- CRRSAA

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) provides funding for individual institutions of higher education to award emergency grants to students, much like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020.  NC A&T received an allocation of $53.3 million from the U.S. Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations that include a COVID-19 supplemental relief measure. Congress set aside approximately $81.88 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA).

This HEERF II funding was allocated to higher education institutions based on a formula that includes the number of Pell-eligible students The funds may be used to provide financial aid and emergency funds to students as well as to defray institutional expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

HEERF III- ARP

Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021 (H.R. 1319) NC A&T received an allocation of $114.3 million from the U.S. Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations that include a COVID-19 supplemental relief measure. Federal legislation requires campuses to use a defined amount of HEERF funds for financial aid grants to students. These grants 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. Campuses must prioritize grants to students with exceptional needs, such as students who receive Pell grants.

Excluding HEERF funds earmarked for student aid, federal legislation allows institutions to use all other HEERF III funds for the following purposes: 

  • Defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement forexpenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distanceeducation, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll); and 
  • Provide additional student aid awards. 


The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) also requires that a portion of HEERF III funds be used to: 

  • implement evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordancewith public health guidelines; and 
  • conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants about the opportunity to receive afinancial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member orindependent student, or other specified circumstances.