Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

HEERF l Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES)  
HEERF ll Coronavirus Response and Relif Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA)  
HEERF lll American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARP) 

 

Dear Saint Martin's students, faculty, staff and abbey members, 
 
We wanted to provide an update on our continued efforts to help our students who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.   
 
As we shared at our community updates, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) provided nearly $2.5 million to Saint Martin's University in higher education emergency relief. By law, half of the funds received by institutions must be distributed directly to students in the form of grants to cover expenses related to unexpected financial needs due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means that our students received approximately $1.26 million in CARES and CRRSAA funding.   
 
We disbursed grants to students under the CARES program during the spring semester of the 2019-20 academic year for a total of $626,099 to 406 students. An equal amount of CARES funding went towards operational costs incurred by the university during this time.  The university received an equal amount of funding under the CRRSAA program during the spring semester of the 2021 academic year along with a small grant addition for students of $7,791.  This resulted in disbursements to our students totaling $633,890 to 681 students for spring semester 2021.  To date, 1,089 students have received $1,259,989 in combined funding from these programs and the university has received an amount nearly equal to this for operational costs.  

While the CARES funding required students to apply directly for funds covering expenses related to the COVID-19 campus disruption. The CRRSAA program allowed students to apply the funds directly to their billed cost of attendance expenses or to receive the funds directly as a refund.  The Department of Education changes the rules requiring students to be FAFSA eligible for all HEERF funding in May of 2021.  At this time, any student is eligible to receive funding through the HEERF programs.  Saint Martin's University will notify all students of funding availability for HEERF lll, American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) funding during the fall semester of the 2122 academic year.  A statement regarding HEERF III ARP funding was sent to all students on June 23, 2021.  

If you or any student you know has questions regarding any of the HEERF grant programs, please feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@stmartin.edu.   

HEERF reporting information

Saint Martin's University Federal CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund
30-Day Reporting Information

Acknowledgement of signed and certified CARES Act agreement form and intention to use the funds. Saint Martin's University signed the agreement on 4/10/2020 with an amended agreement signed on 4/23/2020 and received acknowledgement that the funds were available on 5/5/2020. We contacted eligible students via email on 5/13/2020 and accepted requests until the funds were fully expended.
Total student portion of CARES funding Saint Martin’s University received:$626,099 (50% of total received) will be awarded to students who have expenses related to the spring 2020 campus disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Total Federal CARES funding distributed to date:$626,099 to date with all funds disbursed to eligible students.
Estimated total number of students at Saint Martin's University who were enrolled for spring semester 2020 and eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and therefore eligible to apply for and receive an emergency financial aid grant:1,084 students were enrolled for spring semester 2020 who met the requirements for Title IV aid eligibility.
Total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant through the Federal CARES funds:406 students awarded.
How Saint Martin's University determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.Saint Martin's University sent emails to every student who attended spring semester 2020 and filed a FAFSA proving their eligibility for Title IV Aid. The email provided each student with a link to the online Federal CARES Act Emergency Funding Request Form. This form categorized the types of expenses a student may have experienced due to the campus disruption and it provided student’s the opportunity to describe other expenses that the categories might not cover. Each form returned is reviewed by a financial aid staff member, and an award is made based on the expenses the student lists. Students received the amount of funding they asked for unless their listed expenses exceeded $3,000. In these cases, a maximum award amount of $3,000 was set to all the funding to reach as many students as possible.  
Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.  Students were provided with a link to the University COVID-19 web site: https://www.stmartin.edu/coronavirus and a PDF version of the Federal CARES Act Emergency Funding FAQs with the link to this information: https://www.stmartin.edu/coronavirus/federal-cares-act.  Students were instructed to complete the online request form and to contact the Student Financial Service Center staff if they had questions at finaid@stmartin.edu. The email notice with the link to the online form informed students that the funds would not go towards any balance due, the funding will be paid directly to the student through their online refund option or via check, depending on how the student’s refund options were set-up. Students were also informed that request to replace lost wages were not considered expenses due to the campus disruption nor were refunds of tuition, fees, housing or meals. Students who contacted our office or contact our office after the JotForm was taken down will be instructed to email the finaid@stmartin.edu email with a detailed list of the expenses they incurred due to the spring 2020 disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These requests will be reviewed on an on-going basis until the funds are depleted.  

 

Saint Martin's University Federal HEERF II CRRSAA Act Emergency Relief Fund Fund Reporting 6/1/2021

Acknowledgement of signed and certified HEERF II CRRSAA Act agreement form and intention to use the funds. Saint Martin's University singed the agreement for HEERF I CARES on 4/10/202 with an amended agreement signed on 4/23/2020. We received acknowledgement that the funds for HEERF I CARES were available on 5/5/2020 and we notified students on 5/13/2020 about HEERF I CARES. HEERF II CRRSAA funds did not require a signature agreement. We received acknowledgement of these funds on 1/19/2021 and we began disbursing funds to students for spring semester 2021 on 4/13/2021.
Date of first awards:4/1/2021
Date of first disbursement:4/13/2021
Total student portion of HEERF II CRRSAA funding Saint Martin’s University received:$633,890.00
Total Federal CARES funding distributed to date:$633,890.00
Estimated total number of students at Saint Martin's University who were enrolled for spring semester 2021 and eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and therefore eligible to apply for and receive an emergency financial aid grant:1115
Total number of students who received HEERF II CRRSAA funds after final rules were released on 5/11/2021 allowing for DACA, non fafsa filers and international students to receive the awards.681
Total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant through the Federal CARES funds:HEERF l = 408 students, HEERF ll = 681 students = 1,089 total
How Saint Martin's University determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.The Department of Education required all schools to prioritize funding to their students with the highest amount of need. All undergraduates who are Pell eligible and enrolled for spring semester received $1,000 through these funds and all graduate students with a zero EFC received $1,000. Undergraduates and graduates with EFCs outside of Pell Grant range up to 20,000 received a JOT Form application asking them to apply for funding up to a maximum of $750. Any funds remaining after all forms were returned resulted in award made to students with EFCs above 20000. A total of 2 students with EFC above 20000 received funding.
Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants. 

Students were emailed information about the awards that provided a link to a JOT Form depending on the grant pool. Students who received the base award of $1,000 received a Refund Preferance JOT Form asking them to choose whether they wanted to receive the funds directly or have the funds applied towards their cost of attendance balance due.

Students who did not meet the EFC/Pell criteria for the base award of $1,000 received a JOT Form that allowed them to fill in costs, choose to receive the full amount (maximum of $750) towards their balance due or to have the funds sent directly to them via their preferred refund preference.

 

Saint Martin's University Federal HEERF III ARP Emergency Relief Fund Fund Reporting 10/14/2021

Acknowledgement of signed and certified HEERF II CRRSAA Act agreement form and intention to use the funds. Saint Martin's University signed the agreement for HEERF I CARES on 4/10/2020 with an amended agreement signed on 4/23/2020. HEERF III ARP funds did not require a signature agreement in order to receive the funds.  We received acknowledgement of these funds on 5/24/2021 and we began disbursing funds to students in a limited fashion for summer semester 2021. The larger portion of these funds was awarded on 10/2/2021 to fall semester students. The first round of disbursements for HEERF III ARP funding will be on 10/12/2021. 
Date of first awards:6/15/2021
Date of first disbursement:7/14/2021
Total student portion of HEERF III ARP funding Saint Martin’s University received:$1,897,416.00
Total Federal ARP funding awarded to date:$1,836,250.00
Estimated total number of students at Saint Martin's University who were notified about HEERF III ARP funding to date:  1248 - disbursements began on 10/12/2021 and total $1,190,500 as of 10/14/2021. Disbursements are ongoing until all funding is exhausted.
Total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant through the Federal HEERF funds:HEERF l = 408 students, HEERF ll = 681 students, HEERF III = 1248 to date.

How Saint Martin's University determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.

The Department of Education required all schools to prioritize funding to their students with the highest amount of need.  All undergraduates who are Pell eligible and enrolled for fall semester will receive $2,500 through these funds and all graduate students with a zero EFC received $1,250. Undergraduates and graduates with EFCs outside of Pell Grant received $750. Awarding for the HEERF III funds will continue until the funds are exhausted.
Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants. 

Students were emailed information about the awards that provided a link to a refund preference JOT Form. Link to the HEERF III ARP JOT Form: https://form.jotform.com/212696054265964

FAQs

Congress has passed three emergency relief funds to aid with economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  They are the CARES Act (2020), CRRSAA Act (2021) and the ARP Act (2021). 

Students who are eligible to file a FAFSA and receive Title IV Financial Aid are eligible to receive these funds. The Office of Financial Aid will use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine eligibility. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for these funds.

Unfortunately, the Department of Education did not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students (DACA), students who were enrolled in 100% online classes during spring semester or students who were non-degree seeking during spring semester 2020.

The Department of Education rescinded this decision in May of 2021.  Saint Martin's University had already disbursed all CARES and CRRSAA funding to FAFSA eligible students however, the American Rescue Plan Act funding will be available to all students, including undocumented and international students. 

The CARES funding was disbursed to students during the spring semester of 2020.  The CRRSAA funding was disbursed to students during the spring semester of 2021.  The HEERF lll ARP funding will be disbursed during the fall semester of the 2122 academic year

Students will receive an email during the week of September 20, 2021 with a link to an online form where they can choose if they want the funds sent directly to them or if they would like the funds applied towards their cost of attendance balance due.  Students will receive an email once the funds have been awarded.

Yes, you need to complete a form called a FAFSA Waiver Form.  This informs the Student Financial Services staff that you do not wish to complete a FAFSA but you would like to be considered for any institutional funding and HEERF lll ARP funding. Link to FAFSA Waiver  

No it is not too late.  Please renew your FAFSA as soon as possible at studentaid.gov