Federal CARES Act Reporting Disclosure - April 15, 2021

Federal CARES Act Reporting Disclosure - April 15, 2021

The federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) was recently signed into law, providing financial resources to colleges and universities. The resources available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief II (HEER II) Fund allow universities to distribute grants to students in need to cover any component of the student’s cost of attendance or any emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus.  

On January 17, 2021, Virginia State University received $3,427,905 through the CARES HEER II Fund to support students who have experienced financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. These funds may be used for tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental), and child care. The funds will be disseminated to currently enrolled students on April 15, 2021.  

The amount given to designated students from the HEER II Fund is based on eligibility for need-based federal financial aid and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) generated from the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For the spring 2021 semester, there are 3,732 enrolled students and 3,319 who qualify.  Grants will range from $573 - $1,130. Students will be notified via VSU email. The funds will be disbursed automatically in a refund as direct deposit or check to eligible students.     

While the CARES Act does not specify students must complete a 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the only way to determine if a student meets the Section 484 requirements is for a FAFSA to be filed. Students who have not filed a FAFSA and would like to be considered for CARES Act funds, should immediately file a 2020-21 FAFSA. The FAFSA must be processed no later than June 30, 2021.  Funds are limited and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis.  The following students are ineligible for emergency assistance:  DACA, undocumented, international, inter-institutional, exchange and visiting.  If a student has questions about their eligibility to receive HEER II Fund, please email finaid-covid19@vsu.edu. 

Awarding Philosphy 

  • Priority 1: Pell Eligible (Students with Exceptional Financial Need) All Pell grant recipients will receive $1,130.  No application is required. 
  • Priority 2:  Non-Pell Eligible (undergraduate, graduate and doctoral) will receive $573.  No application is required.  
  • Priority 3: The University will set aside 10% of the HEER II Fund for students not selected in priority 1 or 2 groups or students with additional emergencies.  Student must complete a CARES Emergency Grant Application.    Funding is limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis.  Shared Governance: The University will  use a committee led by the Director of Financial Aid and comprising representation from faculty, staff, Financial Aid Office, Student Accounts Office, Registrar’s Office and ACE (Academic Center for Excellence) to evaluate applications. 
  • For questions about CARES Grant, please email finaid-covid19@vsu.edu . 

The University anticipates disbursing these funds no later than April 15th.   Students are encouraged to set-up direct deposit at https://www.vsu.edu/student-accounts/refunds.phpFor questions about refunds, please contact the Student Accounts Office at bursar@vsu.edu .  

To learn more about the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), please follow the link to theU.S. Department of Education.