The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) that provides an additional $22.7 billion to higher education institutions to ensure learning continues for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CRRSAA requires that an institution receiving funding under section 314(a)(1) provide the “same amount” in financial aid grants to students from the new CRRSAA funds that it was required or which it would have been required to provide under its original CARES Act Student Aid Portion award. Bradley University received $2,138,007 in funding for the HEERF I - student share.
Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education, non-degree seeking, non-credit, dual enrollment, and continuing education students. Financial aid grants for students 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.
How did Bradley University prioritize students with exceptional need?
Bradley University has chosen to prioritize student need based upon the expected family contribution, or EFC. EFC is the measure of a family's financial strength generated by the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Pell Grants are awarded based upon the EFC so the university decided this would be the most equitable approach for determining exceptional need. Bradley University will use the following EFC ranges in awarding HEERF II financial aid grants to students.
Level Of Need
0001 - 1000
1001 - 2000
2001 - 2001
3001 - 4001
4001 - 5001
5001 - 5711
The EFC range will begin at a zero EFC and end at a 5,711 EFC. A 5,711 EFC represents the maximum EFC threshold for Pell Grant eligibly. The amount of the financial aid grant awarded to students with a zero EFC will start at an amount no greater than $1,521 and will reduce by $200 at each EFC interval range thereafter. An EFC based upon the student's 2020-2021 FAFSA will determine the level of need and corresponding financial aid grant amount.
HEERF II financial aid grant is being disbursed automatically to eligible students. Students do not need to apply to receive this funding.
How will those students identified with exceptional need receive an emergency financial aid grant through HEERF II?
A student will automatically have the financial aid grant issued in a check and mailed to their home address of record unless the student elects to apply the financial aid grant to any component of their cost of attendance at Bradley University.
HEERF II emergency aid may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or childcare.
What if a student does not receive an emergency financial aid grant through HEERF II but has an emergent need that may impact the successful completion of their Bradley University courses?
If circumstances are impacting a student’s success, Lydia’s Promise provides limited emergency financial assistance to current Bradley students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses. Designated to off-set a short-term financial need, it is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. Funds may be subject to federal and/or state taxes. Awards range up to $600. Please visit https://www.bradley.edu/offices/student/assets/documents/LydiaPromise.pdf for more information.
Does an emergency financial aid grant through HEERF II need to be repaid?
No, funds received through CRRSAA – HEERF II do not need to be repaid. The funds are designed to be a grant, not a loan.
Would an emergency financial aid grant through HEERF II reduce a student’s financial aid?
No, this fund does not negate nor replace financial aid and is a grant.
Does a student need to report HEERF grant funding on their federal tax return?
No. Emergency financial aid grants under the HEERF for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are not included in your gross income. Visit the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/higher-education-emergency-grants-frequently-asked-questions.
For additional questions regarding the HEERF funds, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.