HEERF II (CRRSA) Information
The Federal CRRSA Act
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion expeditiously provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.
HEERF II Q&A
What is the COVID Relief Grant that I have been awarded?
- The COVID Relief Grant is emergency assistance funding provided to post-secondary institutions under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II), authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, 2021.
This funding is similar to the emergency grants issued to students during the Spring 2020 semester under the HEERF I program authorized by the CARES Act. Within the HEERF II appropriations, post-secondary institutions were allocated a student share of funds that must be awarded to students in the form of emergency assistance grants. The purpose of these grants is to aid students with the financial burdens imposed by the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
Why do I need to accept the COVID Relief Grant? Last time, the grant was accepted on my behalf.
- One major change from HEERF I (the funds awarded in Spring 2020) to HEERF II (the current funds) is that, with a student’s written or electronic consent, an institution may apply the COVID Relief Grant to satisfy a student’s outstanding account balance.
When first posted, the COVID Relief Grants for all students were awarded at an “Offered” status. Missouri State University collected students’ electronic affirmative consent to apply emergency grant funds to outstanding account balances by either accepting or declining the offered funds.
In correspondence via Bear Mail as well as posted through Self-Service Banner, students were clearly instructed as follows:
- If you consent to have Missouri State University apply your emergency grant funding to charges currently owed on your student account first, then refund any surplus funds to you, please accept the COVID Relief fund.
- If you do not consent to have Missouri State University apply your emergency grant funding to charges currently owed on your student account, but would rather receive the full portion of your grant funding directly, please decline the COVID Relief fund that has been offered to you.
- You will still receive your emergency grant money if you decline this fund. A different fund for the same value will replace the declined fund on your online aid offer and will be issued directly to you, bypassing any charges currently on your student account.
If I decline the offered COVID Relief Grant will I lose my eligibility for funds?
Declining the offered COVID Relief Grant will in no way adversely affect your eligibility for emergency grant funding.
Accepting the offered fund is simply the way for students to provide their electronic affirmative consent to have emergency funds applied to their outstanding account balance. If there are surplus funds remaining after a student’s account balance has been paid in full, the remaining grant funding will be issued to the student as a refund by check or direct deposit.
What will happen if I decline the offered COVID Relief Grant?
- All students who decline the offered COVID Relief Grant will be considered as having not provided their electronic affirmative consent to have emergency grant funds applied toward outstanding account charges.
As such, a different fund for the same value will replace the declined fund on their online aid offers. This fund will be issued directly to these students during the week of March 22, 2021 via check or direct deposit. This process will bypass any charges currently on their student account.
Any COVID Relief Grant funds left at an “Offered” status will be treated as if declined by the recipient and will follow the procedure outlined above.
What will happen if I accept the offered COVID Relief Grant?
During the week of March 22, 2021, the Office of Student Financial Aid will work to disburse all accepted funds to student accounts. Because accepted funds are viewed as having provided Missouri State University with electronic affirmative consent to apply the funds to outstanding account balances, the funds will run through the normal disbursement procedure.
In other words, the funds will pay toward any outstanding balance owed by the student. If there are surplus funds remaining after a student’s account balance has been paid in full, the remaining grant funding will be issued to the student as a refund by check or direct deposit.
Why is there a Tier 1 and a Tier 2 of the COVID Relief Grant?
Guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education regarding the treatment of the HEERF II funds “requires that all institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students” (FAQ, 2021).
Missouri State University has satisfied this requirement by prioritizing all Pell Grant eligible undergraduate students through the awarding of a Tier 1 grant. The value of the Tier 1 grant is $705. All other eligible recipients were awarded a Tier 2 grant valued at $505.
Due to the coronavirus, I have incurred more expenses than the grant funding I have been awarded. Can I appeal for a greater COVID Relief Grant amount than I was awarded?
Grant values cannot be adjusted and are the same for all recipients within a respective tier.
When will I receive my emergency grant funds?
- During the week of March 22, 2021, the Office of Student Financial Aid will work to disburse all funds to student accounts.
If I receive this COVID Relief Grant as a refund by check or direct deposit does that mean my account balance with Missouri State University is paid in full?
Because some students may opt out of having these funds applied toward outstanding account balance charges, receipt of COVID Relief Grant funds as a refund is in no way an indication that your financial responsibility to Missouri State University has been resolved.
Please sign into you My.MissouriState.edu account to view and verify your current account balance.