HEERF III Final Distribution

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 $4,877,684 from the federal government as of September 30, 2021. The university distributed $4,877,684 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. The institutional portion, $5,887,145, was fully drawn and utilized as of March 31, 2022. The institutional portion was used to conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants, defray expenses associated with coronavirus, specifically surveillance testing, and replace lost revenue from the 2020 Fall semester and 2021 Spring semester due to the reduction of housing density on campus.

The final Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the institutional portion for the quarter ending September 30, 2021, is made publicly available here.

The final Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the institutional portion for the quarter ending December 31, 2021, is made publicly available here.

The final Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the institutional portion for the quarter ending March 31, 2022, 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’s final distribution of the remaining HEERF III funds of $870,143.61 is outlined below. Students must have been enrolled in the fall or spring semesters of 2021-2022, had not withdrawn from the university, and have not received funding from HEERF III Emergency Funds in the past.

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 $1607.41 and eligible students with expected family contributions between $10,000 and $20,000 received $1285.93.

Graduate Amounts: Graduate and professional students must have been enrolled at least half-time and borrowed federal student loans in the 2021-2022 academic year to pay for their CWRU educational expenses. Each of these students received $269.23.

Funds to 1,239 students were applied as credits to their student accounts on May 4, 2022, and were refunded to the students on May 6, 2022. As of May 6, 2022, funds have been distributed to 4,962 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 April 21, 2022, each student eligible for the HEERF III final distribution 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. COVID-19 has led to loss of income and/or added expenses for travel, technology and other educational and personal needs.

In recognition of the broad economic impact the pandemic has had for many, the U.S. Congress passed a significant economic stimulus bill that was 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 who have not previously received this funding. Undergraduates must have demonstrated the greatest financial need as indicated by the CSS Profile submitted in 2021. Graduate students must have borrowed federal loans to pay for their educational expenses. We are writing to inform you that, per your 2021 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 Thursday, May 5. The USDOE’s guidance stipulates that we must distribute these funds directly to you; the amount cannot be used to help pay for a current or future term. You may use these proceeds to make a personal payment of direct charges or assist with other expenses.

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

Best regards,
Rick Bischoff
Vice President for Enrollment Management

Updated 05-06-2022