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Schools that missed out on initial allocations from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) may now begin to apply for and receive those resources.

Most institutions have long since received, and likely spent, the financial support provided to colleges and universities in Section 18004(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the HEERF. But some institutions were initially unable to receive an allocation under Section 18004(a)(1), which splits aid into an “institutional share” and “emergency grant aid to students” share, because the requisite Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) enrollment data and Federal Student Aid (FSA) Pell data for their institutions were not available. These schools can now apply for the funding. The required application and corresponding certification and agreement forms for the institutional share and the emergency grant aid to students share are available on the Department of Education’s HEERF webpage. Applicants have until August 15 to submit applications.

Updates are also available for a separate portion of CARES Act HEERF aid, which was allocated by Congress to be administered through ED’s existing Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program. The allocation of these funds was designed to prioritize aid to institutions with the greatest unmet need as a result of the pandemic and those that had received less than $500,000 under other CARES Act HEERF allocations. While ED initially had provided an allocation table for institutional recipients of those funds along with other CARES Act HEERF aid, it paused disbursement of funds shortly thereafter. Per ED, the initial allocation methodology for those funds awarded aid to some institutions that went beyond actual institutional need.

ED has adjusted its methodology, and updated allocations for the FIPSE HEERF funds are now available. Institutions can review the allocations and find application materials, the corresponding certification and agreement form, and reporting guidance for these funds on ED’s HEERF webpage. Eligible institutions that have not already applied for this portion of funds must do so by August 1.


Megan Schneider

Senior Director, Government Affairs


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