What is HEERF II funding?

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) was created by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. The CRRSAA authorized additional support for education beyond what was provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.

How much did CWRU receive?

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) was allocated and received a total of $6,502,716 from the federal government. The university distributed $2,257,092 directly to students for emergency financial grants.  The institutional portion, $4,245,624, was used to defray expenses associated with coronavirus, specifically surveillance testing.  The final Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the institutional portion for the quarter ending June 30, 2021 is made publicly available here pdf.*

*updated 1-05-2022

As of April 30, 2021, the university has distributed all of the emergency grant funds allocated by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The final Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the institutional portion for the quarter ending March 31, 2023, is made publicly available here.

How were the emergency grants distributed?

When determining how to distribute HEERF II emergency grants, CWRU prioritized students who demonstrated the greatest financial need per their FAFSA submissions. Three-quarters of the total funding went to financially needy undergraduates, while the remaining 25 percent to graduate and professional students. The proportions also align with the federal government’s approach to determining CWRU’s allocation: 75 percent of the amount awarded to colleges and universities was based on the number of full-time federal Pell Grant recipients–an exclusively undergraduate-focused measure.

The methodology used to determine CWRU distribution is outlined below. All students, however, must already have submitted a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and been enrolled in the spring 2021 semester.

Undergraduate Amounts: Undergraduate students must have had an expected family contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA of less than $20,000. Federal Pell Grant recipients received $1,380.50 and eligible students who were not eligible for Federal Pell Grants received $1,102.99.

Graduate Amounts: Graduate and professional students must have been enrolled in a program offered in-person prior to March 13, 2020, and borrowed federal student loans in the spring semester of 2021 to pay for their CWRU educational expenses. Each of these students received $272.85.

Funds to 3,403 students were applied as credits to their student accounts on April 28, 2021, and were refunded to the students on April 30, 2021. Funds were sent via direct deposit if the student had set up direct deposit in the Student Information System (SIS). If the student had not set up direct deposit in SIS, a paper check was sent to the student's permanent address.

On April 21, 2021, each student eligible for HEERF II funds was sent the following email detailing their eligibility, direction on next steps and who they contact with questions.

We hope this email finds you and your family in good health.

We recognize you may have experienced challenges over the past year as the pandemic disrupted nearly every aspect of daily life. In addition to changes to course delivery and campus activities, for some, COVID-19 also led to loss of income and/or added expenses to travel, technology and other needs.

In recognition of the broad economic impact the pandemic has had for many, the U.S. Congress passed a second significant economic stimulus bill. Known as HEERF II (Higher Education Emergency Fund II), the law includes funding for colleges and universities to assist students in managing the financial effects of the pandemic.

After reviewing the HEERF II guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), we are distributing these funds to students demonstrating the greatest financial need as indicated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submitted in 2020. We are writing to inform you that, per your 2020 FAFSA, you have qualified to receive support.

The university will issue these funds according to the direct deposit information provided in the Student Information System (SIS). If you have not provided direct deposit information in SIS, the university will mail a check to the permanent address entered in SIS. We recommend that you verify direct deposit or permanent address information no later than Wednesday, April 28. The USDOE’s guidance stipulates that we must distribute these funds directly to you.

You can find more information about the HEERF II and Case Western Reserve’s distribution of this funding at case.edu/financialaid.


Richard Bischoff
Vice President of Enrollment Management