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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, visit the FAQs page, or email caresact@manhattan.edu.

  • 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)

    The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency funds provided by ARP more than double the emergency relief aid available to students and institutions already authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) relief legislation. This funding is provided by the ARP’s Higher Education EmergencyRelief Fund (HEERF III), with a new formula requiring approximately half of the funding to be used by each institution to provide direct relief to students.

    Manhattan College is expecting the Department of Education grant award notice soon along with additional guidance to be issued to help institutions quickly and effectively utilize the ARP funds to support their students and communities. The forthcoming guidance is necessary to detail qualifying guidelines on how institutions can use these funds to, among other things, support vulnerable students, monitor and suppress the coronavirus, and reengage students whose education was disrupted by the pandemic. 

    Please continue to visit this page for updates. Email HEERF@manhattan.edu with any questions.