Higher Education Funding FAQ

Which students are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants?
A student has been defined by the Department of Education as being any individual who is or was enrolled at an eligible institution on or after March 13, 2020. A student does not have to qualify for Federal Student Aid in order to receive financial assistance. 

May undocumented students and international students receive funding?
Yes, the eligibility rule now states that all students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency grants.

Can students who are studying abroad receive HEERF emergency financial aid grants?
Yes, students studying abroad may receive HEERF grants from the recipient (home) institution where they are enrolled. 

How are the award amounts determined?
The CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional needs, such as students who receive Pell Grants or are undergraduate students with extraordinary financial circumstances. Final award amounts may differ from the amount request because funds will be based on the total number of applications received and financial needs. 

How can the emergency financial aid grant be used by the student?
Emergency financial aid grants may be used by the students for any component of their cost of attendance or for any emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.  

Are emergency financial aid grants to students under the HEERF program considered taxable income?
No. Emergency financial aid grants made by a federal agency, State, Indian tribe, higher education institution or scholarship-granting organization to a student because of an event related to the COVID-19 national emergency are not included in the student’s gross income.