Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grant Program
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grant program provides financial aid to students and higher education institutions to help with new expenses and revenue losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was created by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020, and received additional funding from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March 2021. So far, HEERF has provided about $75 billion in aid to higher education students and institutions.
NACUBO's policy team analyzes new guidance on the HEERF grant program in our weekly newsletter, Current.
COVID-19 Town Halls
NACUBO's policy team discusses HEERF updates and compliance in Town Halls for members as new guidance emerges.
Past webinars can be viewed on demand.
The slide deck from the NACUBO Policy Team's Ask the Expert Session at the 2021 Annual Meeting is also available.
These guides for NACUBO members explore accounting, reporting, and recognition considerations.
Department of Education Resources
ED Automatic Extension of HEERF Performance Period
The Department of Education issued a notice in the Federal Register
that the deadline for the HEERF performance period has been automatically extended to June 30, 2023. This applies to all open HEERF grants with a balance greater than $1,000.
ED Campus Reopening Best Practices
The Department of Education's Best Practices Clearinghouse
is meant to provide real world examples of how colleges and universities can safely reopen, as well as resources from ED, higher education associations and other federal agency guidance related to reopening.
ED HEERF Resource Pages
ARPA HEERF III Resource Page
The Department of Education's page featuring guidance pertaining to ARPA, CRRSAA and CARES Act HEERF allocations. Much of the guidance offered on this page supplants earlier department guidance and is currently the most up-to-date source for Department of Education HEERF guidance.
CARES Act HEERF I Resource Page
The Department of Education's page features guidance pertaining specifically to HEERF allocations made by the CARES Act. Much of the guidance here was subsequently updated by later guidance. Department of Education reporting guidance for these funds is available here.
CRRSAA HEERF II Resource Page
The Department of Education's page
features guidance pertaining to both CARES Act and CRRSAA allocations.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) published an analysis of how institutions have used HEERF funds. As of December 31, 2021, public research universities had spent nearly $14.5 billion to provide critical support to meet students' basic needs, mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and shift to digital/hybrid instruction modes.
Title IV and Student Accounts Information
The Department of Education has issued guidance to give institutions flexibility to help them cope with disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including guidance on bursar functions including Return to Title IV (R2T4), cash management, and credit balance refunds.
COVID-19 Title IV Frequently Asked Questions. This Title IV-specific FAQ draws from previous Department of Education guidance to provide succinct responses to a variety of Title IV-related questions.
Clarification of R2T4 Guidance Related to the COVID-19 National Emergency. This IFAP notice builds on the Department's Title IV-specific FAQ.
Guidance for Interruptions of Study Related to the Coronavirus. This wide-ranging guidance covers a variety of issues pertinent to the business office, including an extension of the timeframe for relief from R2T4 requirements first provided under the CARES Act "to periods that "include March 13, 2020, or begin between March 13 and the later of December 31 or the last date that the national emergency is in effect."
Updated Title IV and Interrupted Study Compliance Guidance for Institutions Impacted by the Coronavirus. This guidance discusses expanded flexibilities around distance education and addresses temporary changes to some bursar functions.
Bursars and Student Accounts Checklist. This NACUBO checklist provides a list of questions and topics for bursars to consider as they navigate this challenging time. This list is not intended to be exhaustive but can be used to trigger discussions and action.