What is HEERF III funding?
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. The ARP authorized additional support for education beyond what was provided by HEERF II (CRSSA) and 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 $11,774,291 and received a total of $4,927,472 from the federal government as of September 30, 2021. The university distributed $ 4,927,472 directly to students for emergency financial grants and has reserved $1,009,462 for additional students whose need is impacted by COVID-19 during the 2021-2022 academic year (see the process below). The institutional portion, $5,887,145, has not been drawn by the university as of December 31, 2021. The final Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the institutional portion for the quarter ending December 31, 2021, is made publicly available here.
How were the emergency grants distributed?
When determining how to distribute HEERF III emergency grants, CWRU prioritized students who demonstrated the greatest financial need as indicated by the CSS Profile submitted in 2020 . 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 prior 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 CSS Profile and been enrolled in the spring 2021 semester.
Undergraduate Amounts: Undergraduate students must have had an expected family contribution (EFC) as determined by the CSS Profile of less than $20,000. Eligible students with expected family contributions less than $10,000 received $2977.00 and eligible students with expected family contributions between $10,000 and $20,000 received $2,000.00.
Graduate Amounts: Graduate and professional students must have been enrolled in a program offered in-person and borrowed federal student loans in the spring semester of 2021 to pay for their CWRU educational expenses. Each of these students received $530.00.
Funds to 3,677 students were applied as credits to their student accounts on August 18, 2021, and were refunded to the students on August 20, 2021. As of September 30, 2021, funds have been distributed to 3,693 students.
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 August 11, 2021, each student eligible for HEERF III 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 that has been signed by President Biden. Known as HEERF III (American Rescue Plan funds), the law includes funding for colleges and universities to assist students in managing the financial effects of the pandemic. After reviewing the HEERF III 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 CSS Profile submitted in 2020. We are writing to inform you that, per your 2020 financial analysis, 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 August 18, 2021. The USDOE’s guidance stipulates that we must distribute these funds directly to you; the amount cannot be used to help pay for a future term.
You can find more information about the HEERF III and Case Western Reserve’s distribution of this funding at case.edu/financialaid.
Vice President of Enrollment Management
CWRU reserved $1,009,462 of HEERF III for students whose families were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but who did not meet the criteria outlined above. Each student who contacted the Office of University Financial Aid was asked to provide a statement regarding how COVID-19 impacted their family’s finances as well as 2019 and 2020 federal income tax returns. In the event that an analysis using recent year income yielded additional financial need, the additional need may be met with HEERF III funding. To date, CWRU has disbursed $75,476 to 26 students through this process.