CARES Act (HEERF I), CRSSA Act (HEERF II) and ARP (HEERF III) Reports and FAQs

 

Reports and Disclosures:

CARES Act (HEERF I)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to help universities provide emergency financial aid grants for students and to assist with institutional expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Iowa State received $21.7 million in HEERF funding from the CARES Act, with half ($10.85 million) used for emergency student financial aid grants and the other half for institutional operations

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions to report on usage of their HEERF funds for both student financial aid grants and for institutional support. 

CARES Act FAQ: Student Financial Aid

What types of funding were available?

  • Iowa State University received $10.85 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Iowa State University also received funding through generous donations to the #CycloneStrong fund, and through our participation in the University Innovation Alliance through support they received from ECMC and Course Hero.

Who was eligible to apply?

  • Any student – undergraduate, graduate, professional, domestic, international, or undocumented – was eligible to apply. Students must have been enrolled for Spring 2020 or have registered for classes for Summer 2020. We did not consider applications for Fall 2020 as the language of the CARES Act dollars indicated it was to be spent for students whose academic pursuits were interrupted during Spring 2020 due to COVID-19. Each funding source had different criteria, meaning that applications were matched with a fund for which the student would qualify.

What were the criteria to qualify?

    • To have qualified for CARES Act funding, students must have:
      • Demonstrated a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • Submitted the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who did not filed the 2019-20 FAFSA were not eligible.
      • Completed the financial aid verification process, if selected.
      • Met Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
      • Utilized all available sources of financial aid, including federal student loans.
  • To have qualified for funds other than CARES Act funds, students must have:
    • Demonstrated a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Met Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
    • Utilized all available sources of financial aid, including federal student loans if eligible.

Was there a maximum amount?

  • Students were asked to apply for what they needed to meet the expenses of their hardship. Because there were multiple sources of funds, we analyzed the best way in which to assist. We could not guarantee that we could meet a student’s full request.

Were students guaranteed full funding for their hardship?

  • Many students experienced hardship and the full impact of the need of all students was unknown. Funds were distributed as equitably as possible, but could not guarantee that students would receive full funding for their request.

How did students receive the funds?

  • Funds received through the CARES Act, #CycloneStrong, or the UIA, flowed through the ISU U-Bill system but did NOT apply to any outstanding U-Bill charges. It was deposited directly into a student’s personal account at their financial institution of choice as designated in AccessPlus. Students who had not set up a direct deposit account, were directed to do so at AccessPlus >> Account/U-Bill >> Direct Deposit Sign-up. Money typically took 2-3 business days to appear in a bank account from the date the refund showed on the U-Bill

How long did it take before students knew the status of their application?

  • As the volume of applications that were received was unknown, providing an exact date was difficult. Every effort was be made to respond within a week regarding the status of a request. Students received notification via their ISU e-mail address

Will funds be available beyond spring semester?

  • The first priority was to assist students who experienced a financial hardship in Spring 2020 or for enrollment in Summer 2020 as a result of a disruption in campus activities due to COVID-19. Funding through the Federal CARES Act was also utilized to assist Pell-eligible undergraduate students who had been enrolled in Spring 2020, and met all other CARES qualifications, with the purchase of a laptop when ISU announced that laptops would be a requirement for the 2020-21 academic year. Currently, all funds from the Federal CARES Act are expended. Students with continuing needs should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss other available options.

CARES Act FAQ: Institutional Support

How much funding did ISU receive for institutional expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic?

  • Iowa State University received $10.85 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

How can the funds be spent?

  • According to guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, these funds can cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. The USDOE has created specific FAQs to answer questions regarding these funds.

CRSSA Act (HEERF II)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to help universities provide emergency financial aid grants for students and to assist with institutional expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Iowa State received $21.7 million in HEERF funding from the CARES Act under section 18004(a)(1), with half ($10.85 million) used for emergency student financial aid grants and the other half for institutional operations.

On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (P.L. 116-260). The CRRSA Act 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.

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions to report on usage of their HEERF funds for both student financial aid grants and for institutional support.

CRSSA Act FAQ’s: Student Financial Aid

What types of funding were available?

  • Iowa State University received $10.85 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and an additional $10.85M through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). Iowa State University also received funding through generous donations to the #CycloneStrong fund, and through our participation in the University Innovation Alliance through support they received from ECMC and Course Hero.

Who was eligible to apply?

  • Any student – undergraduate, graduate, professional, domestic, international, or undocumented – was eligible to apply, if not initially awarded through the block awarding process. Students must have been enrolled for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021. Each funding source had different criteria, meaning that students who completed an application and met awarding criteria, were matched to a fund for which the student could qualify.

What were the criteria to qualify?

  • To have qualified for CRSSAA funding, students must have:
    • Been enrolled as an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student during 2020‐2021
    • Been eligible for funding under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965
    • Demonstrated exceptional need
  • To have qualified for funds other than CRRSAA funds, students must have:
    • Demonstrated a financial hardship
    • Met Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
    • Utilized all available sources of financial aid, including federal student loans if eligible.

Was there a maximum amount?

  • CRRSAA Funds: Students with an EFC of 0-5711 were awarded $1,600 each; students with an EFC of 5712-10711 were awarded $1,300 each; graduate or professional students whose FAFSA indicated they had dependents were awarded $1,600 each. Remaining funds were disbursed on the basis of an application with the dollar amount awarded contingent on the identified need for the funds.

Were students guaranteed full funding for their hardship?

  • Many students experienced hardship and the full impact of the need of all students was unknown. Funds were distributed as equitably as possible, but could not guarantee that students would receive full funding, based on the request submitted.

How did students receive the funds?

  • Funds received through CRRSAA, #CycloneStrong, or the UIA, flowed through the ISU U-Bill system but did NOT apply to any outstanding U-Bill charges. It was deposited directly into a student’s personal account at their financial institution of choice as designated in AccessPlus. Students who had not set up a direct deposit account, were directed to do so at AccessPlus >> Account/U-Bill >> Direct Deposit Sign-up. Money typically took 2-3 business days to appear in a bank account from the date the refund showed on the U-Bill.

How long did it take before students knew the status of their application?

  • Applications received from those students not awarded through the block awarding process were ongoing. Every effort was be made to respond within a week regarding the status of a request. Students received notification via their ISU e-mail address.

Will funds be available beyond spring semester?

  • Currently, all funds from the Federal CRRSA Act are expended. Students with continuing needs should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss other available options.

CRSSA Act FAQ’s: Institutional Support

How much funding did ISU receive for institutional expenses related to the CRSSA Act?

  • Iowa State University received $21.59 million through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA).

How can the funds be spent?

  • According to guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, these funds can cover:
    • Defraying expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll);
    • Carrying out student support activities authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), that address needs related to coronavirus.
  • The USDOE has created specific FAQs to answer questions regarding these funds.

ARP (HEERF III)

Iowa State University received $57,735,048 in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF III) from the American Rescue Plan with $28.9 million to be used for emergency student financial aid grants and the remainder designated for  institutional operations. As of September 30, 2021, 586 students have been awarded $1.1 million . To date, these students were awarded on financial need or via referral for technology needs. Additional awards will be made utilizing information from the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form to identify students with exceptional need, such as Pell Grant recipients.