Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

The Federal Government established Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) for students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses due to a temporary hardship related to COVID-19.  

When passed in March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) established the first version HEERF. Subsequent legislation has established continued funding for HEERF with additional requirements and stipulations on how the funding was to be distributed. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Suppliemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act) passed in December of 2020 established HEERF II. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) passed in March 2021 established HEERF III. Due to the fluid and rapidly evolving nature of the response to COVID-19, criteria and covered expenses may be adjusted on a case-by-case basis as Student Financial Assistance seeks to assist students navigating unique hardships related to COVID-19. At this time, funding for both HEERF I and HEERF II has been exhausted. Additional information on the status, requirements and funding can be found below.

HEERF I

Emergency funding made available from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Funding exhuasted as of October 13, 2020.

HEERF II

Emergency funding made available from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act). Funding exhausted as of April 22, 2021. 

HEERF III

Emergency funding made available from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Funding pending.

FAQ

Eligible students are notified to apply for emergency grants via their S&T email account. Awards will be processed within 2 weeks of each application round. After the application is reviewed, the student will receive a message via their S&T email account notifying them of the outcome. Award amount decisions cannot be  appealed. 

Emergency aid funds will be paid directly to the student's account. If the student is eligible for a refund, the Cashier's office will process the refund to be sent to the student. If a student has direct deposit, the funds will be sent directly to the student's bank account. If no direct deposit is established, a check will be issued and may delay when the student receives the funds due to processing. Information on setting up direct deposit can be found on the Cashier's website.

Supporting documentation (receipts) may be requested for certain expenses in order to help approve appropriate funds. Student Financial Assistance will contact the student requesting any necessary documentation and students should not submit documents unless requested.

HEERF funds are one-time grants specific to expenses resulting from COVID-19. The funds cannot be counted as part of your gross income or for tax credits. More information is available on the IRS website.

If you or your parent/legal guardians (or spouse for an independent student) have lost your job or income as a result of COVID-19, we encourage you to reach out to our office regarding a possible Special Circumstance review for the FAFSA. 

Care Management Services is also available for students and offer a number of services:

  • Help managing complex needs
  • Connection to resources and funding options
  • Solution-focused problem solving including concerns with well-being, academic, employment, emergency needs, etc.  
  • Assistance navigating processes or procedures
  • Coordination and follow-up support   

You can connect with Care Management to schedule a specific consultation time by contacting cm@mst.edu

If you are concerned about another student, please refer them to UCARE at https://go.mst.edu/ucare-report