Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

Awarding Information

Eligible Students

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Per federal regulations, emergency financial aid grants under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act may only be given to those 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).  In short, only students who are eligible to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) were eligible to receive the funding.  Students were also required to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements and could not be enrolled in a program offered 100% online. Furthermore, per guidance from the Texas A&M University System leadership, this funding was to be used to retain students for fall semester so that they could continue progress toward a degree.  Therefore, students that had applied to graduate in May or August were not eligible to receive this funding. 

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CCRSSA) funds

Per federal regulations, eligible students under CCRSSA are the same as they were for the CARES Act Funds, with the following exception: Students enrolled in 100% online programs are eligible for these funds.

American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds

Per federal regulations, eligible students under ARP are the same as they were for the CCRSSA funds, with the following exception:  Students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF, regardless of whether they completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or are eligible for Title IV.  This essentially means that undocumented and international students are eligible where they were not eligible for CARES or CCRSSA funding.

Awarding Process

An Emergency Aid Grants Awarding Committee was established to develop and implement a process to award the HEERF funding. This committee has included the following members:

  • Kathy Williams, Vice President of Student Enrollment, Engagement and Success
  • Stacey Epps, Scholarship Coordinator, Financial Aid
  • Michael Fuller, Director of Financial Aid and Veteran Services
  • Venus Lillis, Director of Academic Advising
  • Elizabeth Patterson, Assistant Vice President for Student Success
  • Sarah Johnson, Director of Title V (I-CARE)
  • David Allard, Professor of Biology
  • Joni Millican, Bursar
  • Rhonda Jones, Controller
  • Jennifer Davis, Director of International Studies
  • Lisa Myers, Director of BAAS Program
  • Nelson Irizarry, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

TAMUT built an online application using a secured system called LaserFiche.  The application allowed students to provide their name, campus id, school email address, and current physical address.  They had to self-certify that they are eligible for the HEERF funding by letting us know if they have completed a FAFSA, or if they plan to complete a FAFSA, or if they are not eligible to complete a FAFSA.  Even though the student self-certified their eligibility through this application, their responses were checked for accuracy.

The student was required to write a narrative regarding the reason they were asking for HEERF funding.  Along with the narrative, students selected the area of need from the following categories:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Health
  • Technology
  • Computer
  • Child Care
  • Books
  • Transportation
  • Other

Funding was determined by assigning values to the categories of need listed in the application.  The values were added up and multiplied by an appropriate multiplier, then capped at $2500, make awards to all eligible students who applied without exceeding our allocation.  The values for each field of need are indicated below:

  • Housing $1000
  • Groceries $600
  • Medical Expenses $500
  • Internet $150
  • Computer $750
  • Child Care $750
  • Books $400
  • Transportation $350