By Andrea Taylor
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, $21.2 billion of which is now available to institutions of higher education to ensure learning continues for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Allocations to institutions are based on a formula that includes the relative shares of federal Pell Grant recipients, the relative shares of non-Pell Grant recipients, and the relative shares of federal Pell and non-Pell Grant recipients exclusively enrolled in distance education prior to the coronavirus emergency. CRRSAA continues to support the important work of addressing students’ unmet needs by providing a minimum amount of funding that each institution must devote towards financial aid grants to students. Institutions that were previously approved for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) HEERF awards are not required to submit a new or revised application to receive additional funding under the CRRSAA.
HEERF II has some similarities—as well as important differences—from the CARES Act HEERF funding allocated to institutions in the Spring of 2020. HEERF II provides certain changes and flexibilities by expanding the allowable uses of funding as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the enrollment, instruction and the overall financial health of many institutions. Some important changes include:
Institutions should regularly check the HEERF II CRRSAA website for the latest CRRSAA information and program guidance.
This article originally appeared in BDO USA, LLP’s “Nonprofit Standard” newsletter (Spring 2021). Copyright © 2021 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved. www.bdo.com