Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting

On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA).  This new law provides the U.S. Department of Education with funds to distribute to institutions of higher education in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).  The U.S. Department of Education has made a portion of these funds available to the University of South Alabama (South) to ensure learning continues for students during the COVID-19 pandemic, under the CRRSAA as HEERF II. These funds are earmarked to support students that have experienced unexpected financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic related to any component of their cost of attending school - such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

The University of South Alabama received a supplemental award on Jan. 17, 2021 of $5,704,268.

CRRSAA - HEERF 2 Funds Distribution

Date Total # of students eligible to receive HEERF  Grant Total Applications Received  Total number of students who have received a HEERF Grant Total Amount of HEERF Funds Awarded
February 17, 2021 12844 6751 6546 $5,629,100
February 22, 2021 12844 6751 6656 $5,683,400
February 28, 2021 12844 7055 6846 $5,829,700
Final Award Information 12844 7055 6846 $5,829,700

 

Emergency aid was made available to students that met the HEERF II guidelines and were currently enrolled at USA, in a degree-seeking program. Per the CRRSAA guidance, these funds were earmarked to support students that have experienced unexpected financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic related to any component of their cost of attending school - such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.  And, unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA required that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need. 

To be eligible students must, as of the Spring 2021 term, and at the time of the application completion:

  • Have been enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student;
  • Have been enrolled in a degree-seeking student;
  • Have indicated that they have experienced unexpected financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic related to any component of their cost of attending school - such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

USA distributed information about the CRRSAA program, application access, and important deadlines across multiple mechanisms, including the unversity student email system (JagMail), USA's Daily Digest system, automated phone messages to the student's selected contact phone of reference, USA social media outlets, and electronic billboards across campus.  USA also partnered with student organizations to assist with information dissemination across their media/communication outlets.

USA distributed the HEERF funding in a way that prioritized students with the greatest demonstrated need and ensured that funds were distributed as widely as possible. After eligibility was established, awards were 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 were $1,050/$850/$450 for eligible students that submitted an application by the program deadline and indicated a need as outlined in the CRRSAA guidance. 

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