The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) made it possible to award students emergency financial aid grants, which can be used for any component of the cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care.
CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. However, students do not need to be Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants to be identified as having exceptional need. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.
Phase 1: Prioritized students who are Pell-eligible with a 5:2 ratio for assistance per credit hour at $50 per credit hour/ $20 per credit hour for students who are not identifiable as Pell-eligible. CRRSAA funds can be applied to a student’s balance due with their consent – students are asked to answer a disbursement authorization on PAWS for this purpose.
The CARES Act allowed institutions to establish COVID-19 emergency programs in order to provide emergency financial aid grants to students enrolled for Spring, Summer or Fall 2020 semesters with extraordinary one-time education-related costs that have arisen as a result of disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The intent of the funding is to support students experiencing a temporary financial hardship for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. The COVID-19 emergency financial aid grants are limited and not intended to provide ongoing relief. EIU has disbursed this funding in phases according to current student needs.
Phase 1: May 20, 2020 - Each eligible student received $30.00 per enrolled Spring semester credit hour as of May 12, 2020. This payment was applied and refunded directly to the student.
Phase 2: Applications were accepted for Spring and Summer 2020 from May 28, 2020 through August 1, 2020. Emergency financial aid grants could be requested for emergency support for expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare as it relates to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus for the remainder of the spring semester, summer semester, and for planning for the upcoming fall semester.
Of our 900 incoming Freshman for Fall 2020, 858 students qualified for CARES funds. Each student received a $400 payment along with a communication to check their PAWS account where there is detailed information about a mobile device to support the student’s online learning. This payment was applied October 26, 2020 and refunded directly to the student.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships provided applications directly to students identified as having a need related to COVID-19 to utilize remaining funds. Students contacted the office with their needs.
Students who are unable to work their Federal Work Study or regular Student Employment position due to a COVID-19 related circumstance may receive 2 weeks scheduled pay. Supervisors will complete a certification form indicating the students scheduled hours which cannot be worked due to COVID.
Emergency financial aid grants are awarded in accordance with federal, state and institutional rules and regulations. Please note that students were asked to provide documentation of their situation if possible. This could include third-party statements, bills, receipts, or other information verifying need. The highest level of sensitivity and privacy was given to all requests.
If approved, the financial aid grant was given to the student as a direct refund, meaning it is disbursed out of the student account. We recommend students have direct deposit information on file with Student Accounts in order to receive the grant quickly once disbursed. Students may contact Student Accounts (217-581-3715) to verify their information or complete the following form to establish direct deposit: https://www.eiu.edu/busofc/bursar_directdeposit.php.
HEERF I Student Eligibility
Students must meet Title IV eligibility requirements in order to receive an emergency financial aid grant. This is determined for Spring or Summer 2020 through submission of a 2019-2020 FAFSA and for Fall 2020 through submission of a 2020-2021 FAFSA.
International and undocumented students are not eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants.
Students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs on March 13, 2020, are not eligible.
The deadline for Spring or Summer 2020 was Aug. 1, 2020. All Spring and Summer applications have been processed. Please check PAWS for messages related to application status.
For Fall 2020, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships provided applications directly to students identified as having a need related to COVID-19 until funds were exhausted. Students contacted the office with their needs. All applications have been processed.