CARES, CRRSAA, and HEERF Grants
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) has created new financial challenges for many college students. In response, the federal government has set aside funds to provide direct support to students to help offset their expenses related to the outbreak. This fund is called the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) Fund, though you may also hear it referred to as CARES or CRRSAA Grants.
Students are encouraged to apply for CARES funding through our Emergency Grant Application.
For additional financial resources available to help you during this time, visit our Financial Wellness page.
What is the difference between CARES, CRRSAA, and HEERF?
There is not a major difference between these terms. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020. It provided federal funding to support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That funding was largely exhausted by the end of 2020. In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was passed by Congress and signed into law to extend that support.
Both CARES and CRRSAA provided federal funds specifically designated for higher education, disbursed through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
The biggest difference between CARES and CRRSAA is in timing: CARES provided funding mostly during 2020 and CRRSAA provides funding for 2021. However, there are other differences as well. Some of these changes affect who is and is not eligible for funding. This may mean that, while you were eligible for CARES funding, you might not receive CRRSAA funding; it might also mean that if you weren’t eligible for CARES funding, you are eligible for CRRSAA. In either case, if you are experiencing a financial crisis the best course of action is to fill out the Emergency Grant Application to see if you are eligible for funds.
Who is eligible for HEERF funds?
The following criteria must be met:
- Student must be currently enrolled at Clark College
What kind of emergency can the fund be used toward?
Students can use HEERF funding for:
- Health care (including mental health care)
- Other educational costs
Will the fund be available for future term(s)?
How do students apply for HEERF funding?
Clark College has created one centralized application process for all our emergency grants, including the CARES Act.
The Emergency Grant application process for each term begins two weeks before the first day of the term and ends on the last day of classes. View our academic calendar to find the beginning and end of each term.
What is the awarding process?
Once an application is submitted, a committee will review your request and may reach out to you if additional information is needed.
If your request is approved, the funds will be disbursed to you either by check or electronic transfer through BankMobile. You also have the option to apply your funds directly to any outstanding balance on your student account.
HEERF emergency grants will not be counted toward your Estimated Financial Aid, nor do you have to count the money as taxable income on your tax return.
How much can students receive?
- Students may receive up to $2,500 per term.
- Students attending Clark for three terms or fewer are limited to $6,000 total from HEERF funding in one academic year.
- Students attending Clark for four terms in one academic year are limited to $8,000 total in HEERF funding during one academic year.
- Running Start students have different funding limits:
- $1,000 per term
- $4,000 per academic year
The total amount and delivery method(s) of funding will depend on a student’s expense(s) related to emergency costs due to Coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or childcare.
When students complete and submit the Clark College Universal Grant Application, a committee will verify the student’s eligibility, completeness of the application, and determine the student’s emergency need based on what is indicated on the application.
If you need additional funds beyond the HEERF III maximum of $2,500, other funding sources through donations made through Clark College Foundation and from community organizations or funds may be available. You will have an opportunity to make your request for additional funds during the application process. These funds can affect financial aid packages and may require expense documentation from the applicant, such as a rental agreement or utility statement. Some funds may send their payments directly to the vendor (such as your property manager, landlord, or health care provider).
Why was my application denied this time, when I’ve received funding in the past or a classmate had their application accepted?
There are a few reasons why this might occur. These include:
- Changes in eligibility rules: There are differences between the CARES and CRRSAA laws that change who can receive funding and how colleges should prioritize funding.
- No funds available: Only a certain amount of funding is released each term. If funding has run out for the current term, you are encouraged to re-apply the following term, when new funding is released.
- Funding limits: If you have already received funding, it’s possible you have already received the maximum amount of emergency funding allowed for this term and/or academic year.
Even if you do not receive an emergency grant this term, you can still make use of the many Student Supports available to Clark College students.
Who can answer questions about HEERF funding?
Public Disclosure Information - CRRSAA/HEERF II ( as of July 1, 2021)
Total HEERF funds approved for Clark College: $10,339,712
Total HEERF funds to be distributed to students as emergency grants: $2,602,707
Estimated number of Clark College students eligible for HEERF grants for spring term*: 8,083
Number of students awarded HEERF II funding to date: 1,046
Total funds awarded to date: $2,048,844.00
- CARES II -HEERF Refund Only - $1,891,749.34
- CARES II - Tuition & Fees Only - $155,389.10
- CARES II Not 1098T & Refund - $1,705.56
Public Disclosure Information -- CARES Act (as of March 31, 2021)
Clark College has signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) the Certification and Agreement that assured the institution 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.
- Total HEERF funds approved for Clark College: $5,205,414
- Total HEERF funds to be distributed to students as emergency grants: $2,602,707
- Estimated number of Clark College students eligible for CARES grants for winter term*: 2,721
- Number of students awarded CARES funding to date: 923
- Total funds awarded to date: $2,602,707
This information was updated on a quarterly basis. Information was last updated on April 5, 2021.
*Based on 2019-2020 data from the Individual Student Information Report (ISIR-Financial Aid Information from the Department). This is an estimated total number of students at the institution 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.
Institutional CARES Quarterly Reports
About the CARES Act
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed which is a $2 trillion assistance package providing $30.75 billion for an Educational Stabilization fund. Within the Educational Stabilization fund, four grants were created:
- Educational Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants
- Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, and
- the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
The HEERF provides $14.25 billion in funds to institutions of higher education. Of the amount allocated to each institution, at least 50 percent of the funds received under Sections 18004(a) (1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act must be reserved to provide direct support in the form of emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare. The other 50 percent of the HEERF can cover an institution’s costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to COVID-19.
This page was last updated July 8, 2021 at 11:03 a.m.