CARES ACT-HEERF and CRRSAA - HEERF II
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a bill designed to provide financial support and resources to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The $2 trillion stimulus bill is the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history and Congress’ third major piece of legislation to address the COVID-19 crisis. The Education Stabilization Fund (Fund) is created under the CARES Act in the total amount of $30.75 billion. The Fund was created with the purpose to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, and will remain available through September 30, 2021. The CARES Act provides several different methods for distributing roughly $14 billion in funds to institutions of higher education. The most significant portion of that funding allocation provides that $12.56 billion will be distributed to institutions using a formula based on student enrollment. The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education (“institutions”) to use no less than 50 percent of funds received under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. On April 10, 2020 the U.S. Department of Education started taking applications for the Student Aid portion (50% under Section 18004 (a)(1)) that is to be distributed as Financial Aid Grants to students. To apply for the funding, institutions were required to sign a Funding Certification and Agreement assuring that the institution has used or intends to use, no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004 (a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. WVSOM signed the Funding Certification and Agreement on 4/17/20. Once the funds were made available on 4/29/20, WVSOM immediately sent an email to each student encouraging them to apply for the CARES HEERF Grant.
On December 27, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion former Secretary DeVos expeditiously provided through the CARES ACT. On January 14, 2021 The U.S. Department of Education announced an additional $21.2 billion available to higher education institutes to ensure learning continues for students during the COVID-19 pandemic under the CRRSAA as HEERF II.
CARES ACT/CRRSAA-Student Aid (Financial Aid Grants)
CARES Act funds that WVSOM has access to for Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004 (a)(1)
CRRSAA funds that WVSOM has access to for Financial Aid Grants under Section 314 (a)(1)
Total funds for Financial Aid Grants for WVSOM Students
Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students to date
The estimated total number of students at WVSOM eligible to apply
The total number of students at WVSOM who have received CARES Act/CRRSAA Financial Aid Grants to date
Above Table Data Last updated 4-12-21
Each application is reviewed by the Financial Aid Director and Associate Director. If the students meet all the eligibility requirements and their expenses are deemed COVID related, then they are considered eligible for the grant up to $2,000. Their award is based on the documentation provided with their application. If the application is approved by the Financial Aid Director it is then forwarded to the Vice President of Finance and Facilities for final approval.
Email sent to students for the CARES ACT HEERF Grant:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grant at WVSOM provides emergency financial assistance to eligible students who are experiencing hardship that could adversely affect their educational success. The main criteria for a grant are the demonstration of a genuine need and that the capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to the financial hardship. Applicants must be able to provide documentation supporting the need.
Students who plan to submit an application for a CARES HEERF Grant should contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions. Please note that all applications are reviewed and awarded in the order the applications are received. The funds are limited and on a first come, first served basis. All information will remain confidential.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR A CARES HEERF GRANT:
- Students must be registered at WVSOM for the current semester.
- Students must be matriculated.
- Students must have a record of good conduct and making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- Students must have current emergency need.
- Students must demonstrate an ability and intention to complete their course of study.
- Expense must be incurred subsequent to March 13, 2020.
Examples of emergencies include, but are not limited to:
- Housing and moving expenses
- Expense related to transition to remote learning
- Unexpected expenses due to illness or death in the immediate family COVID related
The CARES HEERF Grant cannot be used for:
- Previous educational debts
- Credit card debts or loan payments
- Legal representation or services
Maximum Award: $2000 subject to supporting documentation. However, the final award will be based on need as described in the student’s application and as supported by the appropriate documentation. Please note: applications submitted without documentation will not be reviewed.
Applicants will be contacted five to seven days after submitting their applications via WVSOM email.
As the grant draws on a limited pool of funds, WVSOM cannot guarantee the availability of funds for assistance.
HOW TO APPLY FOR THE CARES HEERF GRANT
Applications are available online (link included below) and require a statement explaining:
your emergency and how the current situation is affecting you
what the requested funds will be used for. You will be asked to itemize each cost and provide supporting documentation for each item. (upload feature on form)
what you have done and what you are planning to do in order to resolve your crisis and stay enrolled in school.
Students can apply through their MYWVSOM Student Portal and upload supporting documentation. Click on the link below to redirect to the Student Portal.
Upon review of the student’s eligibility, completed applications will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid and a determination will be made. Decisions are final. If approved, the grant will be disbursed to the student’s account within 10-14 business days of the approval date.
Examples of possible approved claims:
- VSLO fees – such as if a test was cancelled due to COVID and you applied for the refund but not approved or only reimbursed for a portion. Documentation must be included.
- Travel Expenses – student had to travel to an unexpected location for the COMPLEX testing. Mileage, hotel expenses, gas, etc.
- Student was forced to pay rent in two different locations due to limited rotations due to COVID.
- Health Care Expenses – student tested positive for COVID19, will cover expenses not covered by students current healthcare coverage.
- Any ERAS application fees exceeding the $300 allowed in the budget already.
- Technology and internet fees that exceed what is already allowed in the financial aid budgets.
Examples of possible denied claims:
- Personal choices – such as requesting funds to pay for a personal study space separate from your residence, pet care/boarding fees.
- Students requesting additional rent allowance since rotation was not available to live back home rent-free.
- Applications submitted without supporting documentation.
- Requesting moving expenses for the fourth year students. The moving expenses previously incorporated in the second year budget as students move to their rotation site. This is an expected/required expense before COVID.
- Student requested repair on their car. This expense is included in the student’s budget.