The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) was signed into law on March 27, 2020, to provide emergency assistance and economic stabilization funds to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of the CARES Act (Section 18004) provides approximately $14 billion in U.S. Department of Education funding for colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” In accepting HEERF grants, institutions of higher education are required to sign a certification and agreement affirming that at least fifty percent of the funds will be provided as emergency student financial aid grants, while the remaining fifty percent may be used by the institution to cover certain expenses related to the change in instruction due to the coronavirus.
The HEERF II is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020. The CRRSAA provides $81.88 billion in support for education, including $22.7 billion to distribute to institutions of higher education in order to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus” through the HEERF grants.
As of April 9, 2021, zero funds from the student portion or the institutional portion of this award have been expended.
HEERF III (ARPA)
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), a third coronavirus relief bill signed into law on March 11, 2021. The ARPA provides $1.9 trillion in federal stimulus funding, including approximately $39.6 billion for higher education.
For more detailed information regarding these funds, please visit the following website: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html