Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF): Student Grant Programs I and II

Dyersburg State Community College disbursed emergency student assistance provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act beginning the week of May 19, 2020. The college disbursed emergency student assistance provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) the week of April 7, 2021.

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act 2021 (CRRSAA) / Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II)

To assist students with emergency needs that have arisen due to the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) on December 27, 2020. On February 12, 2021, the Tennessee Board of Regents issued guidance on the student funding calculation and disbursement process. DSCC received $747,611 in emergency student aid through the HEERF II Grant.
Funds awarded under section 314(a) of the CRRSAA must be reserved to provide students with financial aid grants, which 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.
If an institution obtains a student's written (or electronic), affirmative consent, an institution is permitted to apply these grants directly to the student's institutional account; however, students must be informed that they retain the option to receive a direct disbursement of the financial aid grant and that an institution may not require that the grant be applied to the student's account.
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. However, students do not need to be Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants to be identified as having exceptional need. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.

Payment Methodology

Our institution determined funds would be allocated to the largest number of students possible due to impacts of COVID-19 related events. Following USDOE's guidance, Pell eligibile students received priority funding. However, based on our institution's determined criteria, certain non-Pell eligible students were also considered eligible for funding. Criteria for eligibility include:

  • An individual must have been enrolled at some point during the Spring 2021 semester
  • Students did not have to be Title IV eligible; however, per USDOE guidance, eligible students had to meet citizenship requirements
  • Students cannot be enrolled as dual enrollment, non-degree seeking, or transient

Disbursement Process

Any disbursed emergency grant funds were released to students by either refund check or direct deposit, depending on the method the student has setup with the college. Students were provided the option to authorize payment towards current account balances, but this was not required for eligibility. A payment was not necessarily a reflection of a student's current account balance, as these funds were disbursed directly to a student no matter if a current balance was owed to the institution, unless the student provided authorization for application to account balances. Students determined eligible for HEERF payments received a confirmation email from the DSCC Business Office. A copy of the email template may be reviewed here.

HEERF Payment Allocation Information

Total amount of HEERF II aid paid to eligible students:

 $710,233.76

Total number of eligible students paid:

 1,637

 

Contact and Questions

Student questions can be submitted by emailing CARES@dscc.edu.

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act / Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I (HEERF I)

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released guidance related to CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to higher education institutions to assist students with unmet expenses as a result of COVID-19. Funds must have been used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as course materials, technology, food, housing, health care, childcare, or other cost of attendance related items.

Furthermore, USDOE guidelines required emergency grants only be distributed to students who were eligible to participate in federal Title IV aid programs. Students exclusively enrolled in online courses prior to March 13, 2020 were not orginally eligible. In accordance with the HEERF Certification and Agreement signed and returned to the USDOE, the institution used no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Payment Methodology

Our institution determined funds would be allocated to the largest number of students possible due to impacts of COVID-19 related events. Following Secretary of Education DeVos’s guidance, Pell eligible students received priority funding. However, based on our institution’s determined criteria, certain non-Pell eligible students were also considered eligible for funding. Criteria for eligibility included:

  • An individual must have been a student as of March 13, 2020
  • Students must have been enrolled in at least one on-ground course as of March 13, 2020
  • Students must have been Title IV eligible unless during a period of time in which USDOE guidance did not require Title IV eligibility for awarding
  • Per USDOE guidance, eligible students must meet citizenship requirements
  • Students cannot be enrolled as dual enrollment, non-degree seeking, or transient

Disbursement Process

Any disbursed emergency grant funds were released to students by either refund check or direct deposit, depending on the method the student had setup with the college. A payment was not necessarily a reflection of a student’s account balance, as these funds were disbursed directly to a student no matter if a balance was owed to the institution. Students determined eligible for HEERF payments received a confirmation email from the institution. A copy of the email template may be reviewed here.

Please direct all questions to CARES@dscc.edu.

HEERF Payment Allocation Information

Number of Title IV eligible students who may qualify for HEERF payments:

 1,372

Total amount of HEERF aid available for payments to students:

 $745,436.52

Total amount of HEERF aid paid to eligible students:

 $745,436.52

Total number of eligible students paid:

 1,372

Table is initially published no later than 30 days after the institution received HEERF funds and is updated no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter. The table below provides these dates.

 

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting

The latest quarterly budget and expenditure report can be accessed below:

10/07/2020 - Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report

10/30/2020 - HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Public Posting

01/08/2021 - HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Public Posting

04/06/2021 - HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Public Posting

05/25/2021 - HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Public Posting

06/30/2021 - HEERF Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Public Posting

 

Date Institution Submitted HEERF Certification and Agreement to USDOE:

 4/14/2020

Date Information Originally Published Online:

 5/20/2020

Website Updated (1st 45-day requirement): 

 6/16/2020

Website Updated (2nd 45-day requirement): 

 7/6/2020

Website Updated (3rd 45-day requirement): 

 8/17/2020

Website Updated (4th 45-day requirement): 

 9/30/2020

Website Updated (5th 45-day requirement): 

 1/4/2021

Website Updated (6th 45-day requirement): 

 4/6/2021

Website Updated (7th 45-day requirement): 

 5/25/2021

 

Click here for FAQs regarding the CARES Act Student Emergency Aid Funding