CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Administered by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act) HEERF funding is government aid to help ensure learning continues for students who have been affected by the COVID-19 global outbreak. Universities received a designated amount, decided by the government, with a specific amount to allocate for student use and a specific amount for institutional use in support of student learning. For more information on CARES Act Relief, visit: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html.

SFAI CARES Act Reporting

The law requires institutions to report certain information related to the use of these funds. The following information is reported for the period up to December 31, 2020.

  1. SFAI has signed and returned to the DOE the required Certification and Agreement for the CARES Act funding. Additionally, fifty percent of the funds received from the CARES Act are being awarded to students as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. 
  2. As of December 31, 2020, SFAI received $500,000 from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for Student Aid, the Institutional Portion, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) under the CARES Act. 
  3. As of December 31, 2020, SFAI has distributed to students, in the form of Emergency Financial Aid Grants, $141,583.
  4. The estimated total number of students at SFAI eligible to participate in the programs under Section 484 in the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants during the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters was 221 students.
  5. As of December 31, 2020, 58 students had received Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
  6. SFAI considered eligible students to be students who met the following qualifications:
    1. Have completed a valid FAFSA for current year;
    2. Were enrolled at least half time for Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 semester in a residential program;
    3. Submitted a Financial Aid Appeal with current mailing address explaining how COVID-19 has financially affected them and provide an itemized budget for immediate basic needs (housing, food, technology, medical expenses, supplies.) 
    4. Submitted the Financial Aid Appeal by deadline of June 1, 2020.
    5. Incomplete FA Appeals are not eligible for awards.
  7. Students were notified of the above qualifications and application instructions through email and Zoom meetings scheduled by the SFAI Student Alliance.

Initially, Spring 2020 students were approved for up to $1,500 of CARES Act Emergency Relief funds. After June 15, 2020 all previously eligible recipients during the Spring 2020 semester were given a 2nd distribution of CARES Act Emergency Relief funds for a total of $2,442 per student.  All remaining CARES Act Emergency Relief funds were distributed equally to students who filed Financial Appeals for the Summer 2020 semester of $2,415.50 per student.

As of June 30, 2020, all funds for student Emergency Financial Aid grants had been fully spent.

As of September 30, 2020, SFAI had used the full $141,583 of the Institutional portion to transition to online learning by providing training to faculty, staff and students and purchasing software and equipment to facilitate the transition to online learning. SFAI also used $54,209 of the FIPSE portion for faculty and staff costs associated with teaching and serving students in an online learning environment.

As of December 31, 2020, SFAI had used another $162,625 of the FIPSE portion for faculty and staff costs associated with teaching and serving students in an online learning environment, for a total of $216,834 FIPSE funds.

Updated: December 31, 2020

Click here for SFAI’s Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report the quarter ending 09/30/20.

Click here for SFAI’s Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report the quarter ending 12/31/20.