Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (HEERF II)

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (HEERF II) allocated $12,582,067 million to Harper in March 2021 to provide support to students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to reimburse institutional costs associated with coronavirus.

The CRRSAA funding is provided to higher education institutions to look forward and focus on how best to provide student support to keep students enrolled and academically engaged throughout the pandemic. The student portion of Harper’s funding provides financial aid grants which may be used for any component of the students’ 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.

New: Student Emergency Aid Grant Awards

As of May 14, 2021, there is no longer a citizenship requirement to receive HEERF funding. All students enrolled at Harper in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 are now eligible to apply for CRRSAA Student Emergency Aid funding. The CRRSAA Student Emergency Aid Application will be available beginning on May 17, 2021.

Students who previously received grants from CRRSAA (HEERF II) or CARES Act (HEERF I) funding are eligible to apply for emergency aid. Students who receive other sources of financial assistance, such as Pell grants, scholarships, or Hawks Care support, are eligible to apply. We encourage all students with financial need to apply.

Current Status: Disbursements for students with exceptional need were completed in May 2021.

Background: The CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. Students do not need to be only Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants. Harper students with exceptional need were awarded the first disbursements from the CRRSAA funds Harper received. Harper carefully documented how students with exceptional need were prioritized in the distribution of these funds. 

Harper's process included prioritizing students with exceptional need and processed CRRSAA financial aid grants using a tiered disbursement approach starting with Tier 1a. Harper defined exceptional need as students who were:

  • low-income* and first-generation;

or

  • low-income* and at least one of the following – student of color, student with disability, veteran student, Women’s Program student, One Million Degrees student, enrolled in developmental class, or enrolled in Adult Education ICAPS program;

or

  • first-generation and at least one of the following – student of color, student with disability, veteran student, Women’s Program student, One Million Degrees student, enrolled in developmental class, or enrolled in Adult Education ICAPS program.

*Low-income was based on any one of the following: an EFC of $10,000 or less, Pell-Eligible, MAP-eligible, or Hawks Care user.

The exceptional need criteria was based on information that was available in Harper’s Student Information System. If a student chose not to disclose this information, then they were not eligible for funding in Tier 1a.

This first round of funding for students with exceptional need was completed in May 2021. Harper provided disbursements for students with exceptional need who met the Tier 1a and Tier 1b criteria described below. At the time Tier 1 disbursements were processed, the CRRSAA required that students were U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens as verified through the FAFSA (Tier 1a) or a self-certification of citizenship (Tier 1b).

Tier 1a was designed for students who completed the FAFSA; and were enrolled in one course that is part of an industry-recognized credential, or certificate, or degree program at any point during the Spring 2021 term; and met the exceptional need criteria defined above. They received a disbursement of $800. Processing of disbursements began on April 14, 2021. Due to the large volume of grants processed, it took approximately three weeks to complete all Tier 1a disbursements. Eligible students were notified via email to expect their grant award between April 16, 2021 - April 30, 2021No action was needed for students meeting the criteria for Tier 1a. Tier 1b was designed for students who had not completed the FAFSA, but who met the current term enrollment and exceptional need criteria. Since the FAFSA was used to verify citizenship and citizenship was a requirement for receiving CRRSAA funding, Harper created a process allowing students to self-certify their citizenship. Students who met the exceptional need criteria defined above and were enrolled in one course that was part of an industry-recognized credential, or certificate, or degree program at any point during the Spring 2021 term could apply for a financial aid grant. A link to the self-certification of citizenship form was sent to potentially eligible students who met the disbursement criteria. Once Harper received and processed the self-certification forms, eligible students were sent a disbursement of $800. 

CRRSAA Citizenship Requirements

In the original Act, to be eligible for financial aid grants through CRRSAA funding, students were required to be a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen. Eligible non-citizens are those that hold a Permanent Resident Card (I-551), a Conditional Green Card (I-551C), or hold  an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Parolee”, T-Visa holder, or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant". Eligible non-citizens are also those that hold a valid certification or eligibility letter from the Department of Health and Human Services showing a designation of “Victim of Human Trafficking"Previously, Harper used data collected through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process to verify citizenship status. For students who did not completed a FAFSA, a self-certification of citizenship was required and documented.

Effective May 11, 2021, all students who are enrolled in classes at an eligible Institution of Higher Education, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are eligible to receive CRRSAA funding.

Future CRRSAA Financial Aid Grants

Harper understands that many students are experiencing significant financial hardship that extend beyond the current academic semester and is excited to be able to offer these financial aid grants to all Harper students. Please check back regularly for updates regarding upcoming grant funding availability, including funding expected through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 signed into law on March 11, 2021.

Questions about CRRSAA funding? Please see our FAQ. For further assistance, please contact the One Stop at onestop@harpercollege.edu or call the HEERF hotline at 847-925-6484.