Cares Act & HEERF II

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was passed by Congress and signed into law December 27, 2020, and is the second round of funding under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) during the coronavirus pandemic. The funding package provides aid to higher education students to cover components of cost of attendance and emergency costs associated with the coronavirus pandemic.  The total award made to Marywood is $1,010,225.

Students who received funding through the first CARES Act passed by Congress in March 2020 may not necessarily receive funds this time due to stricter eligibility requirements.

Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA (HEERF II) requires that institutions prioritize students with “exceptional need”. For all undergraduate students, Marywood uses the FAFSA data point of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as the indicator for exceptional need, whereby all students who are Pell eligible based on their EFC number are eligible for an award in the exceptional need category. “Exceptional need” is defined as demonstrating via the FAFSA an expected family contribution (EFC) number within the Pell eligible range. For the current academic year, that EFC range is 0-5711.  Graduate students are also considered for HEERF II funds and the awards are based on an EFC between 0-5711, number of dependents, and number of credits enrolled for during the spring 21 semester.  The undergraduate and graduate methodology are acceptable for determination of exceptional need under the CRRSAA.  

FAQS

What is the difference between HEERF II awards and the HEERF I (CARES) awards?

CARES/HEERF I funding was specific to students’ expenses resulting from the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 emergency. 

 

Expenses applicable for HEERF II funding are defined as: 

  • Any component of the student’s cost of attendance (COA), or 
  • Emergency costs that arise due to Coronavirus, such as but not limited to tuition, food, housing, healthcare, mental healthcare, or child care. 
  • Satisfaction of student’s account balance if student provides consent.  

Expenses must be incurred on December 27, 2020 or later. 

Also, the CRRSAA requires institutions to prioritize students with exceptional need. 

 

What are the eligibility requirements for HEERF II funding at Marywood University?

  •         Be currently enrolled for the spring semester.  Undergraduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits and graduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 3 credits.
  •         Have completed a FAFSA for 2020-2021.
  •         Be eligible for Title IV aid.
  •         Be an eligible U.S. Citizen.
  •         Demonstrate “exceptional financial need” as defined above.

 

 

Do I have to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive HEERF II funds? 

Yes. HEERF II requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, and Marywood University fulfills this requirement by using the financial aid criteria that determines Federal Pell grant eligibility. Such criteria can only be obtained from the FAFSA. This is an acceptable methodology for determination of “exceptional need” under the CRRSAA.  

 

How do I apply for the HEERFII Grant?

To apply for the HEERF II Grant, students must complete the online application form.

                                         

What if I do not meet the “exceptional financial need” criteria?

Students who do not meet the “exceptional financial need” criteria as defined above will have the opportunity to appeal for funds based upon current circumstances not reflected in their EFC.  Appeals will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

As these grants are drawn from a limited pool of funds, Marywood cannot guarantee the availability of funds for assistance to everyone who applies. 

 

What is the deadline to file the application?

For priority consideration for the HEERF II Grant, applications must be submitted by March 28, 2021.

 

 

What expenses qualify for a HEERF II Grant?

Students’ cost of attendance and emergency costs arising from the coronavirus pandemic are eligible expenses, providing they were incurred on or after December 27, 2020. Examples of these costs include: 

  • Tuition and fees for spring 2021 
  • Satisfaction of student account balance 
  • On-campus room and board 
  • Other housing and food costs 
  • Technology expenses to support remote learning (hardware/software) 
  • Internet service costs necessary to support remote learning 
  • Purchase of additional educational materials, including books, tutoring or course materials to improve experience and performance of remote coursework 
  • Unexpected healthcare costs, including mental healthcare, resulting from circumstances of the pandemic 
  • Unexpected childcare expenses due to circumstances of the pandemic 

 

How will I know if I’ve been approved for a HEERF II Grant?

Notifications to students who meet the eligibility criteria will begin going out on April 1, 2021 letting applicants know if they will be receiving an award.

Notifications to students who submitted an appeal for a HEERF II Grant may take until April 15, 2021 to let applicants know if they will be receiving an award.

 

If approved, when will I receive my funding?

It is anticipated that the distribution of the funds will begin on April 1, 2021.  Students signed up for direct deposit can expect their funds to arrive within 3-5 business days, depending upon their bank  Students who have not yet done so are encouraged to set up their direct deposit information as soon as possible.  Click on this link for instructions on how to set up direct deposit through your MarywoodYou student portal.   If Marywood has to send a check, it could take up to 14 days to receive your funds.                               

Students who wish to have their HEERF II Grant applied directly to their student account as payment towards spring 21 charges, can expect the funds to be disbursed on April 1, 2021.

 

How much funding can I receive?

 The individual award amounts will vary depending on several factors: 

  •         How many students apply
  •         The varying EFC ranges for the students that apply

Can I appeal the decision outcome? 

No.  Once a decision has been made on your eligibility, there is no appeal process regarding the decision or the grant amount. 

 

My family had a loss of income, what can I do? 

If your family has experienced a loss of full- time wages for more than ten weeks, we encourage you to complete the 2020-21 Special Condition Form. With this process, Financial Aid staff will be able to review documentation related to unemployment or other factors that led to a change in your household income and with this information, make changes to your FAFSA to reflect current income. This important process may qualify you to receive additional funding for the 2020-2021 aid year.