Starting this week, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II money will roll into students bank accounts. Every student will receive something, except for international students.
The HEERF II money was passed as a federal emergency grant under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations Act back in December 2020. Payments, which will rollout as early as March 25, are divided up into three tier systems and range anywhere from $200-$1,000.
This grant money stems from nearly $7.8 million the University was awarded through the CRRSA Act. A minimum of $2,396,395 had to be used toward emergency financial aid grants to students. The Northwest Board of Regents unanimously approved the plan for distributing these funds at its recent March 18 meeting.
“International students are excluded by law. That’s not a decision we made,” Vice President of Finance and Administration Stacy Carrick said at the Board of Regents meeting March 18.
The top tier was given to Pell Grant-eligible students who will receive $1,000. The second tier is for students who have a family contribution of $30,000 or less and will receive $450. The third tier is for every other student and comes in at $200.
Last year, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act HEERF I gave the University nearly $2.4 million and was distributed last May to around 3,900 students. Financial Assistance Director Charles Mayfield said the University allocated around $2.5 million of the $2.4 million granted.
The HEERF II fund also gave the University $2.4 million, but this time the University is able allocate money to nearly 4,400 students because of a few changes in the qualifications.
“We wanted to stay focused on the exceptional need,” Carrick said at the March 18 meeting.
There is also an option to opt out of the HEERF II fund money if students don’t want to receive it. If students choose to opt out, their payments will be used to award more money to other students or to more students. But, the University has until next December to use all of the $2.4 million.
Money will be distributed through direct deposit if the student has set that up through CatPaws. If not, it will be mailed to them in the form of a check.
With the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed in March, the University believes there will be more relief provided to students in the coming time as a HEERF III fund, but the information is still limited, and the University does not have access to that money yet.
Madeline Mapes contributed to this report.