An institution of higher education receiving funds under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund may use the awarded funds to defray expenses associated with coronavirus, so long as such costs do not include:
- payment to contractors for the provision of pre-enrollment recruitment activities (including marketing and advertising);
- endowments; or
- capital outlays associated with facilities related to athletics, sectarian instruction, or religious worship.
Institutions of higher education shall use no less than 50% of their allocation to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student's cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Funding must be prioritized for students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants.
Of what remains out of the initial amount, institutions may use the funds to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lose revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll). They must also use a portion to:
- implement evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordance with public health guidelines; and
- conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants about the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or other circumstances, described in section 479A of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Proprietary IHEs (the 1% bucket) may only use funds for emergency student financial aid grants. IHEs who only received funds based on distance education students (E and F in the 91% bucket) may only use funds for emergency student financial aid grants.
Unlike the funds available under Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students and for an Institution's Costs (noted above), the funds provided under 7.5% funding bucket and 0.5% funding bucket of the HEERF, are not subject to the same requirements as the 89% funding bucket of the HEERF. This means institutions are not required to use at least 50% of the additional funds for grants to students. Nonetheless, ED encourages institutions to use as much of these funds as possible to give grants to students for any component of the student's cost of attendance, including tuition, course materials, and technology. Institutions may also use these funds to defray institutional expenses, which may include lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with the transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll.
Allocations for each funding bucket are linked from the main program page found at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/arp.html?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
An institution receiving funds under this section shall submit a report to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require, that describes the use of funds provided under this section.