Funds provided through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) are authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), 2021, Public Law 116-260, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Dec. 27, 2020. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I (HEERF I) was initially established by the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.
Of the HEERF II funds that Texas A&M is set to receive, approximately $20 million has been made available for Emergency Aid to assist students with unexpected expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students who have completed a 2020-2021 FAFSA will not need to complete a separate application to apply for HEERF II funds.
Students who have not completed a 2020-2021 FAFSA and are determined to meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the next section will be sent a unique link that will direct them to a HEERF II Application. The information provided will allow Scholarships & Financial Aid to determine whether these students demonstrate exceptional need.
Unlike the CARES Act, students do not need to have a FAFSA completed or been determined to qualify for federal financial aid in order to receive funds through the CRRSA Act. However, the following conditions must still be met:
Student is enrolled for the term in which funding is being offered;
Student is a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e. permanent resident); and
Student demonstrates exceptional need, such as being eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.
DACA, undocumented, and international students do not qualify for funding under the CRRSA Act.
The CRRSA Act requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, as related to components of the student’s cost of attendance. While students are not required to have a FAFSA on file, the information provided via the FAFSA will be the primary way to qualify those with exceptional need.
Students who have not filed a FAFSA and meet the listed eligibility criteria will receive a unique link to complete a HEERF II Application. The information provided will allow Scholarships & Financial Aid to determine whether these students demonstrate exceptional need.
Students will receive an email notifying them if they qualify for Emergency Aid from HEERF II funds. The email will explain how the aid will appear on the student’s billing statement and when they can expect to receive the funds.
Yes. The funds are for students to use however they see fit, but are intended for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations resulting from the coronavirus. These include expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care (including mental health care), or childcare. Texas A&M is choosing to put the money directly into the hands of its students so that they may choose how to best use these funds. It is intended that the students use the aid to cover expenses incurred on or after December 27, 2020, the date the CRRSA Act was enacted.
No. Distribution of HEERF II funds is made directly to students and not applied by Texas A&M toward any outstanding balances that may still be owed by the student. As such, receipt of these funds does not indicate the recipient has satisfied their financial obligations to Texas A&M for any charges incurred during the Spring 2021 term or any terms prior. Please check your current student account balance in the Howdy Portal.
No. Grants received from HEERF II funds are not treated as taxable income or untaxed income. However, we are awaiting further clarification from the IRS as to whether these funds will be reported on 2021 1098-T forms. This section will be updated once more information has been received.