Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting

The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law, provides funding to colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The University will utilize no less than 50% received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. 

The University of South Alabama received $5,704,268 on April 25, 2020 as a result of certifying and submitting the Recipient's Funding Certification and Agreement, on April 21, 2020.

HEERF Funds Distribution

Date Total # of students eligible to receive HEERF Financial Aid Grant Total number of students who have received HEERF Financial Aid Grant Total Amount of HEERF Funds Awarded
April 21, 2020   6871     
May 19, 2020 6928 3486 $4,050,000
June 12, 2020 6990 4142 $4,786,600
June 30, 2020 7008 4169 $4,815,400
August 1, 2020 7051 4596 $5,290,800


To be eligible students must, at the time of the President's Proclamation, "Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak" (March 13, 2020):

  • have been an undergraduate or graduate student;
  • have been enrolled in a degree-seeking program;
  • are or could be eligible to apply for Title IV funds;
  • have not been exclusively taking online courses (on or prior to March 13, 2020).

Title IV eligibility, at the time of the President's Proclamation, will be represented through a completed 2019/2020 FAFSA on file with the university. 

The USA HEERF application is an online process. USA will use the completed application, available through a students PAWS account, to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance.

The University devised a methodology to award in a way that prioritizes students with the greatest demonstrated need and ensures that funds are distributed as widely as possible, to students impacted by the campus disruption because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We created the application to be mindful of each student's particular socioeconomic circumstances as we stage and administer these grants. After eligibility is established, awards are made at three different levels. The award level a student receives is based on a combination of application data and and unmet need factors as determined by the student's FAFSA and federal aid packaging.  The three levels are $1,200/$1,000/$800 for eligible students that submitted an application by the priority deadline of May 18, 2020.

For more information on the USA HEERF program please see the USA Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Program (CARES Act) website here.


Please click here to view a complete list of messages sent to students with regard to the USA HEERF program, eligibility, and application process.