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May 12, 2020   |  Campus Communication
Updated July 13, 2021

 

HEERF II Emergency Grant - CRRSAA


About the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was passed by Congress and signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020 to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CRRSAA established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II). Through this fund, Benedictine University has $1,648,946 to use for emergency financial aid grants to students who are struggling financially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon review of the student demographic that makes up the entire Benedictine University population, it is estimated that the potential pool of students who may be CRRSAA eligible is 2,952.

Who is eligible for CRRSAA funding?

In order for a student to be considered for a HEERF II Emergency Grant, the student must meet three criteria. First, all eligible students must be enrolled during the spring 2021 term. Second, all eligible students must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. Lastly, eligible students must demonstrate financial need as measured by the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). In the event that a student’s FAFSA arrives with any comment codes (C-Codes) or is selected for verification, the codes and verification must be cleared in order to make the EFC official.

On May 11, 2021, the Department of Education (ED) released an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) grants under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Notably, the FAQs reverse a narrow position that had been taken by ED under the former administration, and the policy now allows "Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students" as well as "international students" to receive HEERF grants. The policy guidance in the May 11, 2021 FAQs were followed up by a Final Rule that was published in the Federal Register on May 14, 2021.

How are Emergency Grant amounts determined?

Benedictine University utilizes a hybrid approach when allocating HEERF II Emergency Grants under CRRSAA to its students. Under this approach, Benedictine University provides all students who have filed a FAFSA by March 26th, 2021, and who have passed the citizenship requirement and EFC threshold implemented by the institution, with an Emergency Grant. Students who have not filed a FAFSA by March 26th, 2021 but who are eligible to file a FAFSA may receive an emergency financial aid grant after their FAFSA is processed and they pass the criteria outlined above. Emergency grants offered to applicants who file a FAFSA after March 26th, 2021 will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis as determined by a student’s 20-21 FAFSA received date. HEERF II Emergency Grant amounts offered under CRRSAA are determined by a student’s EFC with an emphasis on higher awards being allocated to students who have a low EFC.

Students who are not eligible to file a FAFSA due to their citizenship status will need to complete a HEERF Emergency Grant Application to have their eligibility for an Emergency Grant determined. Information collected on the HEERF Emergency Grant Application will be entered into an EFC calculator and the EFC that is generated will be used to determine an applicant’s Emergency Grant eligibility and award amount using the same criteria as those that are able to file a FAFSA.

Benedictine University has also set aside CRRSAA Emergency funds for eligible students who continue to experience financial hardship after receiving their HEERF II Emergency Grant. Students can request additional emergency funds through an appeal application process.

All appeals applicants are advised to review and fully complete the appeals application found here. Students approved for additional funds via the appeals process will be notified of their eligibility via their Benedictine University email account. Awards are dependent on a student’s eligibility, financial need, the overall applicant pool, and available funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What emergency relief funds are available for students not covered by CRRSAA?

Benedictine University is committed to allowing all impacted students the opportunity to apply for emergency funding via the University’s Mission Fund. Because the Mission Fund pool is limited, an application does not guarantee an award will be given as awards will be dependent on a student’s financial need, the overall applicant pool, and available funds. Students who are interested in applying for emergency aid via the Mission Fund must complete and submit the Mission Fund application.

How will Benedictine University distribute the funds?

Benedictine University partners with BankMobile to issue refunds to students. Your CRRSAA refund will be issued according to the preference you have selected with BankMobile. If you do not have a refund preference selected, please contact sar@ben.edu for assistance or follow the instructions under “how do I select a refund preference” found here. When no selection is made, the delivery of your refund will be delayed an additional 21 days.

How will students be notified if they are approved for emergency grant funding?

Students will be notified via their Benedictine University email account once their emergency grant has been awarded.

When will the emergency grant funds be available?

Funds will be processed on a rolling basis, beginning in early April 2021.

Can you apply these funds to my current or past-due balance?

Yes. Recipients of HERRF II emergency grant funding may use the funding for any component of their cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

If you wish to have your grant applied to your tuition, you must provide written (or electronic) affirmative consent to Benedictine University’s Business Office. It is worth noting that even if you do choose to have the funds applied to your tuition, you retain the option to receive a direct disbursement of the financial aid grant if/when needed.

What expenses are eligible to be covered using my emergency grant funding?

CRRSAA funds can be used to cover expenses related to any component of your cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronarvirus. Examples of such expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Books and supplies needed for online course(s) completion
  • Technology needs for online course delivery (Internet, data plan, etc.)
  • Unexpected medical expenses
  • Expenses related to moving home or for storage
  • Child care
  • Food
  • Tuition
  • Health Care (including mental health care)

Will these funds count against my future financial aid eligibility?

No. The emergency grant will not impact your current or future aid eligibility.

Earlier this year, I was told I could not receive any additional aid due to being at my Cost of Attendance. Will I still be eligible to receive these funds?

CRRSAA emergency grants are not counted against Cost of Attendance so students currently awarded to their Cost of Attendance will be eligible to receive this one-time offering.

Is there an application deadline for the award appeals?

Appeals applications will be reviewed beginning in mid-April 2021 and will continue on a rolling basis until all funds have been exhausted. Because funding is limited, you are strongly encouraged to apply for an appeal ASAP.

Will there be emergency funds for 2021-22?

Benedictine University is concentrating on issuing the one-time award offerings during the spring term. Because the funding is limited, we anticipate that all funds will be utilized in short order. If all funding is not exhausted by the end of the spring term we will update this webpage and communicate the plan for distributing the remaining funds.

In addition to the funding provided by the federal government under CRRSAA, Benedictine University is fortunate to have a Mission Fund provided by various donors. Through the University’s Mission Fund students can apply for financial assistance when faced with a financial hardship. Students interested in applying for additional financial assistance can complete an application found here.

The Department of Education and Benedictine University’s Office of Financial Aid recognizes that the information collected by the FAFSA may not accurately reflect each

student’s unique financial circumstances. If you feel that the information that was required to be reported on your FAFSA does not accurately reflect your family’s ability to contribute towards affording the cost of your degree, you may be eligible to appeal on the basis of special circumstances. More information on special circumstances including the qualifying circumstances and how to apply can be found here.

CRRSAA Emergency Grant Quarterly Report

CRRSAA Student

As of June 30, 2021, $1,643,204 in CRRSAA Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,935 students within the total potential pool of 2,952 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA)

 

HEERF I Emergency Grant - CARES Act

About the CARES Act

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) and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to be issued to students to help offset expenses related to campus closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Shortly after the passing of the CARES Act, Benedictine University signed and returned the CARES HEERF Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education. Within this agreement, Benedictine University has agreed to use, 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. 

Under the CARES Act, Benedictine University is slated to receive a total of $3,297,892. Of that, no less than $1,648,946 will be distributed directly to students in the form of emergency grants. Upon review of the student demographic that makes up the entire Benedictine University populations at both the Lisle, IL and Mesa, AZ locations, it is estimated that the potential pool of students who may be CARES eligible is 2,732. 

As of June 30, 2021, $1,648,946 in CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,969 students within the total potential pool of 2,732 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Who is eligible for CARES Act funding? 

Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.  

On May 11, 2021, the Department of Education (ED) released an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) grants under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Notably, the FAQs reverse a narrow position that had been taken by ED under the former administration, and the policy now allows "Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students" as well as "international students" to receive HEERF grants. The policy guidance in the May 11, 2021 FAQs were followed up by a Final Rule that was published in the Federal Register on May 14, 2021. Unfortunately, ED’s reversal occurred after Benedictine University exhausted all of its CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant funding.

How are Emergency Grant amounts determined? 

Benedictine University will utilize a hybrid approach when allocating emergency grant funds under the CARES Act to its students. Under the hybrid approach, Benedictine University will provide all students who are, or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, a fixed emergency grant valued at $250. In addition, students will have additional dollars given to them based on need as determined by their 19-20 estimated family contribution (EFC) with the maximum Emergency Grant award set at $750. 

Benedictine University has also set aside CARES Act Emergency funds for eligible students who were not initially awarded the maximum $750 grant to access through an appeal application process. Students who are interested in applying for an award appeal must meet the same basic eligibility criteria under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) outlined above. All appeals applicants are advised to review and fully complete the appeals application found here. Students approved for additional funds via the appeals process will be notified of their eligibility via their Benedictine University email account. Awards are dependent on a student’s eligibility, financial need, the overall applicant pool, and available funds. The combined total award through the initial EFC review and the appeal is set at $750 total. 


Frequently Asked Questions 

What emergency relief funds are available for students not covered by the CARES Act? 

Benedictine University is committed to allowing all impacted students the opportunity to apply for emergency funding via the university’s Mission Fund. Because the Mission Fund pool is limited, an application does not guarantee an award will be given as awards will be dependent on a student’s financial need, the overall applicant pool, and available funds. Students who are interested in applying for emergency aid via the Mission Fund must complete and submit the Mission Fund application

How will Benedictine University distribute the funds? 

Benedictine University partners with BankMobile to issue refunds to students. Your CARES Act refund will be issued according to the preference you have selected with BankMobile. If you do not have a refund preference selected, please contact sar@ben.edu for assistance or follow the instructions found here. When no selection is made, the delivery of your refund will be delayed an additional 21 days. 

How will students be notified if they are approved for emergency grant funding? 

Students will be notified via their Benedictine University email account once their emergency grant has been awarded. 

When will the emergency grant funds be available? 

Funds will be processed on a rolling basis, beginning the week of May 18, 2020. 

Can you apply these funds to my current or past-due balance? 

No. The emergency grant funds can only be used for specific costs that you incurred as a result of the COVID-19 campus disruption. 

What expenses are eligible to be covered using my emergency grant funding? 

CARES Act funds only can be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Examples of such expenses include, but are not limited to: 

  • Books and supplies needed for online course(s) completion
  • Technology needs for online course delivery (Internet, data plan, etc.)
  • Unexpected medical expenses
  • Expenses related to moving home or for storage
  • Child care
  • Food

Will these funds count against my future financial aid eligibility? 

No. The emergency grant will not impact your current or future aid eligibility. 

Earlier this year, I was told I could not receive any additional aid due to being at my Cost of Attendance.  Will I still be eligible to receive these funds? 

CARES Act emergency grants are not counted against Cost of Attendance so students currently awarded to their Cost of Attendance will be eligible to receive this one-time offering. 

Is there an application deadline for the award appeals? 

Appeals applications will be reviewed beginning May 25th and will continue on a rolling basis until all funds have been exhausted. Because funding is limited, you are strongly encouraged to apply for an appeal ASAP. 

Will there be CARES funds for 2020-21? 

Benedictine University is concentrating on issuing the one-time award offerings during the 2019-2020 aid year. Because the funding is limited, we anticipate that all funds will be utilized in short order. If all funding is not exhausted by the end of the spring term we will update this webpage and communicate the plan for distributing the remaining funds. 

CARES Act Emergency Grant Quarterly Reports

CARES Act Student

As of June 30, 2021, $1,648,946 in CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,969 students within the total potential pool of 2,732 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of March 31, 2021, $1,638,100 in CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,982 students within the total potential pool of 2,732 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of December 31, 2020, $1,631,200 in CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,982 students within the total potential pool of 2,732 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of September 30, 2020, $1,631,200 in CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,982 students within the total potential pool of 2,732 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of June 30, 2020, $1,051,300 in CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,982 students within the total potential pool of 2,732 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

CARES Act Institutional