The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act contains a section that allows for distribution of funds to higher education institutions through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II. These funds are to be used by colleges and universities to provide aid to students. This is separate from the CARES Act funding distributed in 2020 and whether a student received CARES Act funds does not impact the ability to claim these funds.
Consistent with Department of Education (DOE) policy and guidance, these funds will be distributed based on a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is derived from information submitted by students on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2020-2021 with the largest amount of funds going to those students with the highest level of need as determined by their previously-filed FAFSA.
Funds will be made available to undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students who are half time or above in Spring 2021 semester and who are eligible for Title IV funds (see description below). Students enrolled in distance learning programs that meet the other eligibility criteria are eligible for these funds.
Student Financial Aid will use EFC data garnered from the 2020-2021 FAFSA to create a tiered system for students with an EFC of zero up to $5,711. Students will receive the entire amount for which they are eligible. Students may also decline funds, which will then be repurposed for other students in need who meet all eligibility criteria.
All students must certify they meet all eligibility criteria including enrollment of at least half time status for Spring 2021. HEERF II funding is allowed for any component of the institutional cost of attendance to include: tuition, food, housing, transportation, course materials, technology, health care or childcare costs or for any emergency expenses associated with coronavirus incurred after December 27, 2020.
Students who do not receive funds on the initial distribution and who complete or finalize a FAFSA by June 30, 2021 may be eligible for funding on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are exhausted.
U.S. Department of Education Eligibility Requirements for HEERF II funding:
- These requirements will be verified by the University of Alabama through submitted FAFSA documents.
- U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
- Valid Social Security number
- Registered with Selective Service if the student is a male
- Earned a high school diploma, GED or completed high school in an approved homeschool setting
- Student is not in default on a Title IV loan
- Certification of a statement of educational purpose
- Student does not owe a refund on grants previously received at any college
- Maintaining the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards
- Student has not been convicted of a crime involving fraud in obtaining Federal financial aid
- Student has not been convicted of a drug offense while receiving Federal financial aid
Once a student has read and submitted their Attestation of Eligibility through their MyBama account, the pre-determined funds identified below and based on the student’s EFC will be placed on the student’s account. Student’s with an outstanding student bill for Spring 2021 may elect to have these funds applied to the bill before any remaining funds are distributed to them.
Students will be able to claim any HEERF II funds for which they may be eligible until all funds are exhausted on a first-come, first-served basis. The amounts available to eligible students is allocated as follows: