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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

The Coronavirus Aid,Relief, and Economic Security Act or, CARES Act, was passed by Congress on March27th, 2020. This bill allotted $2.2 trillion to provide fast and direct economic aid to the American people negatively impacted by the COVID-19pandemic. Of that money, approximately $14 billion was given to the Office ofPostsecondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, orHEERF.  The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance to assist institutions of higher education with the use of theirHigher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) grants. These HEERF funds were authorized first by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act(“CARES Act”) in April 2020 (“HEERF I”); next by the Coronavirus Response andRelief Supplemental Appropriations Act (“CRRSAA”) in December 2020 (“HEERFII”); and the third stream of funding will soon be available under the authorization of the American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) (“HEERF III”). 

HEERF guidance has been distributed to colleges and universities in several parts. Institutions have been reminded that the CARES Act requires that at least 50% of all HEERF Ifunds (i.e., the Student Aid Portion plus the Institutional Portion) must be used for direct grants to students. The CRRSAA mandates that any institution receiving HEERF II funds under Section 314(a)(1) must provide at least the same amount of student grant funds as the institution was required to provide under the CARES Act. The Department continues to emphasize that institutions must prioritize students with exceptional need as they award student grant aid funds and this guidance is expected for the recently-authorized HEERF III-ARP. 

The CARES Act and CRRSAA distributions have been awarded completely. Further information will be provided for HEERF III-ARP. Email HEERF@manhattan.edu with any questions. 

 

  • HEERF I - CARES Act

    As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Manhattan College is required to post the following information:

    1. Manhattan College has signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the required Certification and Agreement for receipt of CARES Act funding. Manhattan College has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students
    2. The total amount of funds that Manhattan College will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students: $1,638,875
    3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to Manhattan College students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission: $1,638,875
    4. The estimated total number of Manhattan College students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: 3,563
    5. The total number of Manhattan College students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: 3,563
    6. The methodology used by Manhattan College to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is as follows:
      1. Manhattan College assumed all degree-seeking enrolled students incurred some level of expenses related to the disruption of campus operations and courses moving to a remote learning format due to the pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare expenses
      2. Manhattan distributed the funds in a way that matched the allocation methodology of the Department of Education; awarding more to students demonstrating high need based on EFC 
      3. Awards were made in tiers in the following grant amounts: $70, $140, $210, $355, $360, $540, $900
      4. Grant amounts were calculated based on the demonstrated financial need of eligible students as reported on the FAFSA submissions for the current academic year (Expected Family Contribution). The College has created separate funding pools for Pell recipients and non-Pell recipients to ensure we prioritize students with greatest need from both categories, which is in keeping with US Department of Education requirements and funding allocations. Funds have been allocated to each pool proportionately based on the eligible headcount for undergraduates and for graduates and weighted for course enrollment load.
    7. Students received emails notifying them of the award and refund of the award and instructions for updating electronic refunding to expedite refund delivery. This information was also posted on our website, which includes Frequently Asked Questions and an email address where students can send any additional questions.

    Funding Methodology

    Manhattan College has established two operational principles to guide the distribution of these grants:
    • Equity - the Department of Education funding allocation formula allocated 75 percent of the funds based upon Manhattan’s share of all Federal Pell Grant students nationally. Further, while all students have experienced some level of impact due to COVID-19, grant distribution should be proportional to those who have demonstrated high financial need based on the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid).
    • Timeliness and administrative simplicity - ensure access for the greatest number of deserving students possible to receive emergency aid as needed, with minimal administrative processes.

    With these principles as our guide, we developed a two-phase process; an initial phase to distribute all of the CARES Act funding to eligible students as quickly as possible, and a second phase of distributing campus-based funds to students who are experiencing extenuating financial hardships that disrupts their access to education and who lack the financial means to cover these finances, with preference for students who are ineligible for CARES Act Funding.

    CARES Act funding
    Student Type CARES Act grant amout
    Undergraduate, Full-Time Federal Pell recipient (12crs+) $900
    Undergraduate, Part-Time Federal Pell recipient (9-11 crs) $540
    Undergraduate, Part-Time Federal Pell recipient  (6-8 crs) $360
    Undergraduate, Full-Time non-Pell (12crs+) $355
    Undergraduate, Part-Time non-Pell (9-11 crs) $210
    Undergraduate, Part-Time non-Pell (6-8 crs) $140
    Graduate, Full-Time (6crs+) $140
    Graduate, Part-Time (3-5 crs) $70

    Manhattan College COVID-19 Emergency Fund

    The U.S. Department of Education states only degree-seeking students who are Title IV eligible can be awarded CARES Act Emergency funds. This means students must have a FAFSA on file with Manhattan College, or be eligible to file one. Students who are eligible to file a FAFSA but did not file need not file an application at this time. Students who have filed a FAFSA but declined Title IV funds on their award letter are still eligible for the CARES funding.

    Additional recent federal guidance further clarified who may receive CARES Act Emergency funds. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow CARES Act Emergency funds to be used for international, DACA, or undocumented students or for any student who was exclusively taking online courses prior to March 13, 2020. Students who have urgent, unmet financial needs and/or are ineligible for a CARES Act grant may request support by submitting an application for Manhattan’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

    Students who were enrolled during the Spring term and are experiencing extenuating financial hardships that disrupt their access to education and who lack the financial means to cover these finances may be eligible for funding from the College's Emergency Fund. Preference will be given to applicants who are ineligible for CARES Act funding. This will involve completing an application subject to a review process by a designated "CARES Act Team," including administrators from the Departments of the Dean of Students, Financial Aid, and Diversity & Equity. The CARES Act application for emergency funds has closed and no new applications are being accepted, however, please visit the Financial Aid Administration page on Professional Judgment Appeals providing guidance and an application for hardship and review of special circumstances.

    Additional Information

    For more information on the CARES Act expand the accordion below, or email caresact@manhattan.edu.

    • CARES Act FAQs

      CARES Act - HEERF Funding

      What is the CARES Act/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

      The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations and courses moving to a remote learning format due to the pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare expenses. 

      The disbursement, from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, is designed to prioritize students with the greatest demonstrated need and ensure that funds are distributed as widely as possible.

      Who is eligible for the CARES Act funding?

      Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, CARES Act funding may apply to degree-seeking students enrolled at Manhattan College and attending classes on or after March 13, 2020 of the Spring 2020 semester, including graduating seniors. 

      The Department of Education requires that such students meet federal Title IV financial aid eligibility requirements to qualify for the CARES Act assistance. 

      Title IV eligibility includes:

      • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting
      • Must be working on an approved degree or certificate that is at least 24 credits in length 
      • Must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident
      • Must have been enrolled in on-campus classes - students enrolled in all online coursework will not be eligible
      • Must not be in default of a federal student loan or owe a repayment of a federal grant
      • Must register with the Selective Service if a male, and at least 18 years old
      • Must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduate, 3 credits for graduate)
      • Must be in Satisfactory Academic standing (SAP). For more information on SAP guidelines please visit the Financial Aid website

      Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, dual credit students, non-matriculated students, or students enrolled exclusively in online courses. 

      If you are a student from one of these groups, there may be other types of emergency aid available from the institution or private donors. Please see the questions below for details on applying for emergency assistance funding from the College. 

      Do students need to apply?

      Eligible students will be automatically considered and do not need to complete an application since the nature of the disruption affected students broadly. The College is committed to distributing the CARES Act funding to all eligible students that may have been impacted by COVID-19,to the greatest extent possible.

      What constitutes eligible expenses to qualify for CARES Act emergency funding? 

      CARES Act funds are meant to help students pay expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare expenses. Under federal aid guidelines, these expenses are typical components of a student’s cost of attendance (COA), or indirect expenses for the aid period. Note, the CARES Act focuses on expenses related to the Spring semester after the declaration of the COVID-19 emergency and related to a hardship caused by the closure of our residence halls and/or to the needs of students participating in remote coursework. While receipts are not necessary, acceptance of federal funds indicates student consent and agreement to use the funding received as intended.

      What assistance is available for loss of income and other expenses not considered by the CARES Act? 

      Requests for relief funding due to loss of household income, unemployment due to the pandemic, or other change in financial circumstance, cannot be considered under the CARES Act because the hardship was not caused by the closure of residence halls or by courses moving to a remote learning format. However, students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Administration office to review changes in circumstance related to their FAFSA application by sending an email to finaid@manhattan.edu with subject line “Professional Judgement inquiry – {include ID number}” and providing a detailed explanation of the special circumstances, or phone the office at (718) 862-7100 to schedule a consultation with a financial aid counselor. 

      When will CARES Act funds be available?

      We anticipate processing the award transactions the week of May 18th and will then proceed with disbursing the grants thereafter. Recipients will be notified via their Manhattan College email account.

      How much will each student receive under the federal CARES Act?

      The distribution of funding utilizes demonstrated financial need as a prioritizing factor as guided by the allocation method from the Department of Education and an indication that the pandemic has resulted in unforeseen expenses for a broad set of our degree-seeking population.      

      Grants will be awarded in tiered amounts — $70, $140, $210, $355, $360, $540, $900 — based on demonstrated financial need as calculated under existing federal Title IV financial aid guidelines and weighted for course enrollment load.

      Grant amounts are calculated based on the demonstrated financial need of eligible students as reported on FAFSA submissions for the current academic year (Expected Family Contribution/EFC). Of the grant award amounts, the largest grant amounts will be made available to those students who have the greatest demonstrated financial need. See chart for grant distribution:

      How will Manhattan College disburse CARES Act funding?

      A distribution will be posted to the student account as "CARES Act HEERF Grant" and an automated refund will be processed by direct deposit or paper check. 

      For students who have set up eRefund via the Student Account Suite, funding will be sent electronically to the designated bank account 1-2 business days after the refund transaction is posted. Students will receive an email when the refund transaction has been posted and is in process. 

      For students who do not set up eRefund, a prompt to do so will be provided. After the time period indicated, accounts with no bank account designated will be routed for processing of a paper check. The paper check will be mailed to the permanent home address listed in the student record system. Paper checks will be mailed 10 to 14 days from the date of the refund transaction on the student account.   

      In order to provide grant awards to students quickly, it is imperative that all eligible students sign up for electronic refund via the eRefund option under their student tuition account at manhattan.edu/MyAccount under the ‘Refunds’ tab or under ‘My Profile Setup’. 

      Will the CARES Act grant reduce financial aid or affect future aid? 

      No. This is a one-time emergency grant to help students manage unexpected expenses related to coronavirus, and it will not impact other financial aid you are receiving or are eligible to receive in 2020-2021.

  • HEERF II - CRRSAA

    The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is part of the federal government’s Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) that was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide funding for emergency grants to assist students with the costs of attendance, including room and board, where there were unexpected expenses related to the prevention of, preparation for, and response to the coronavirus pandemic, and to students with exceptional need. 

    Status of the CRRSAA Grant

    Manhattan College has completed the process of awarding the $1,638,875.00 in HEERF II funds received from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). As of 5/12/21, all of the funds have been awarded, which means no additional appeals can be accepted at this time. Please continue to access the HEERF III section of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund page for information on upcoming stimulus award distribution to students.

    CRRSAA Grant Award distribution

    The first phase of CRRSAA funding was allocated as an emergency grant distribution to assist students adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for the established room and board expenses for this year’s cost of attendance. For the second phase of CRRSAA funding, consistent with federal guidelines, to distribute the funding as quickly as possible and assist students with exceptional need, the College did not require an application and considered for eligibility all 2020-2021 FAFSA applicants with an official EFC who are U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens and enrolled in Spring 2021 for a qualifying degree program. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants. The U.S. Department of Education reiterated its stance that DACA, undocumented and international students are not eligible for the HEERF II (CRRSAA) Federal emergency grant aid. The forthcoming HEERF III – ARPA grant, however, will consider these student types.

    Crrsaa Grant Award Amounts
    Student Type CRRSAA Act grant amount
    Undergraduate, Full-Time Federal Pell recipient (12crs+) $580
    Undergraduate, Part-Time Federal Pell recipient (9-11 crs) $340
    Undergraduate, Part-Time Federal Pell recipient  (6-8 crs) $225
    Undergraduate, Full-Time non-Pell (12crs+) $120
    Undergraduate, Part-Time non-Pell (9-11 crs) $60
    Undergraduate, Part-Time non-Pell (6-8 crs) $30
    Graduate, Full-Time (10crs+) $60
    Graduate, Part-Time (6-9 crs) $30

    CRRSAA Grant Processing and Refunds

    Award disbursement has been issued under the CRRSAA HEERF II Grant via the student tuition account as a pass-through refund. The method of award distribution was either an eRefund or a paper refund check mailed to the permanent address on record. This information was based on whether the student designated a direct deposit account on the Student Account Suite profile under ‘Electronic Refunds’. To view awards, on the Student Account Suite, click “View Activity”, Spring 2021 term, and note two transactions: one for ‘CRRSAA HEERF II Grant’ which is a positive transaction, and the second transaction representing the refund issue as a corresponding – (negative) amount. The refund transaction will state “eRefund” if it is electronic, otherwise a paper refund check will be or has been processed and mailed within 5 business day of the award issue.

    Acceptance of the HEERF II award refund indicates student consent and acknowledgement that they have a need for these funds to help with educational costs, or that they have incurred emergency costs arising due to Coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care to use the funding received as intended. 

    CRRSAA Grant Impact on Accounts and Aid

    Refunds were automated even if there was a past-due tuition balance; the CRRSAA grant distribution did not affect that balance. Students who wish to apply a payment toward the account balance are required to initiate a payment transaction to their student account, after allowing ample time for the refund to clear. Please reach out to the Student Accounts Office with payment questions. CRRSAA grants issued to students will not have any impact on current financial aid or any future financial aid for which the student may be eligible.

    We are all working through changing and challenging times and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as the College reviews the HEERF III funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). 

    Please email your questions to HEERF@manhattan.edu.

  • HEERF III– American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

    ARPA Grant Award distribution

    This phase of ARPA funding was allocated as an emergency grant distribution to assist students adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consistent with federal guidelines and to distribute the funding as quickly as possible and assist students with exceptional need, the College did not require an application and considered for eligibility Spring 2021 students enrolled in a qualifying degree-seeking program for greater than 5 credits. Institutions were required to ensure that students with exceptional need received priority—including Pell-eligible students and undergraduates with significant financial need. In earlier CARES Act and CRRSSA Act phases of funding, the U.S. Department of Education provided an original stance that DACA, undocumented and international students were not eligible for federal emergency grant aid. Since the Department of Education has updated guidance to retroactively allow undocumented and international students to receive emergency grant aid, in addition to eligible Spring 2021 enrolled students, HEERF III – ARPA grant funding was allocated to provide retroactive awards to the newly eligible students (per the grant award amounts listed in the HEERF I and HEERF II charts). HEERF III – ARPA grant awards were issued to eligible Spring 2021 enrolled students as follows:

     

     ARPA GRANT AWARD AMOUNTS
    Student Type ARP Act grant amount
    Undergraduate, Full-Time Federal Pell recipient (12crs+) $3,090
    Undergraduate, Part-Time Federal Pell recipient (9-11 crs) $1,800
    Undergraduate, Part-Time Federal Pell recipient  (6-8 crs) $1,190
    Undergraduate, Full-Time non-Pell (12crs+) $640
    Undergraduate, Part-Time non-Pell (9-11 crs) $320
    Undergraduate, Part-Time non-Pell (6-8 crs) $160
    Graduate, Full-Time (10crs+) $ 320
    Graduate, Part-Time (6-9 crs) $ 160

     

    ARPA Grant Processing and Refunds

    Award disbursement has been issued under the CRRSAA HEERF III Grant via the student tuition account as a pass-through refund. The method of award distribution was either an eRefund or a paper refund check mailed to the permanent address on record. This information was based on whether the student designated a direct deposit account on the Student Account Suite profile under ‘Electronic Refunds’. To view awards, on the Student Account Suite, click “View Activity”, Spring 2021 term, and note two transactions: one for ‘CRRSAA HEERF II Grant’ which is a positive transaction, and the second transaction representing the refund issue as a corresponding – (negative) amount. The refund transaction will state “eRefund” if it is electronic, otherwise a paper refund check will be or has been processed and mailed within 7 business days of the award issue.

    Acceptance of the HEERF III award refund indicates student consent and acknowledgement that they have a need for these funds to help with educational costs, or that they have incurred emergency costs arising due to Coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care to use the funding received as intended. 

    ARPA Grant Impact on Accounts and Aid

    Refunds were automated even if there was a past-due tuition balance; the ARPA grant distribution did not affect that balance. Students who wish to apply a payment toward the account balance are required to initiate a payment transaction to their student account, after allowing ample time for the issued refund to clear. Please reach out to the Student Accounts Office with payment questions. ARPA grants issued to students will not have any impact on current financial aid or any future financial aid for which the student may be eligible.

    Special Circumstances and Financial Aid reviews under ARPA

    A provision included in the American Rescue Plan, signed into law requires institutions receiving aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) to conduct outreach to financial aid applicants to make them aware of the opportunity to request financial aid adjustments to the FAFSA application due to the recent unemployment of the student or a family member, loss of other income, death of student's spouse or dependent student's parent, or unusual expenses (such as medical costs uncovered by insurance), etc.
     
    We understand that there may be situations when a student's true and current financial situation is not fully reflected by the questions on the FAFSA. These students may be considered on a case-by-case basis for a special circumstances review called 'Professional Judgement' under the guidance of the Department of Education. The Financial Aid Office will review your situation with you and determine what documentation you will need to submit to support your request for this review. Here is the link to their webpage discussing Professional Judgement: 
    https://inside.manhattan.edu/offices/financial-aid/professional-judgment-appeal.phpIf you have any questions about your circumstances, please email finaid@manhattan or call 718-862-7100.

     

    For stimulus grant questions, please email our HEERF team at HEERF@manhattan.edu.