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FAQs: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) at W&M

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act allocated federal money to colleges and universities for emergency grants to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. William & Mary was allocated $1.97 million for disbursement to students.


What is the CRRSA/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II)?

When will HEERF II funding be available?

Am I eligible to receive HEERF II funds? How can I check if I am eligible?

How was the disbursement plan formulated?

What do "Title IV eligible" and "have financial need" mean?

Why didn't I receive HEERF II funds?

Who should I contact about my eligibility for HEERF II funds?

If I did not qualify to receive HEERF II funds, are there other emergency relief funds available?

Will HEERF II funds be applied to students' outstanding balances?

How will I receive HEERF II funds?

How do I sign up for direct deposit?

Can my HEERF II funds roll over to future semesters?

Are HEERF II funds taxable?


What is the CRRSA/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II)?

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law on DEC. 27, 2020. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion expeditiously provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.

When will HEERF II funding be available?

HEERF II funds were distributed to students in May of 2021.

Am I eligible to receive HEERF II funds? How can I check if I am eligible?

The CARES Act requires that recipients of this federal aid meet all of the eligibility requirements for federal Title IV funds as an undergraduate or as a graduate or professional student. In accordance with the guidance provided by the U.S. Secretary of Education, William & Mary has elected to prioritize Pell Grant recipients and students with documented financial need.

How was the disbursement plan formulated?

In an effort to distribute emergency grants following federal guidance, William & Mary has allocated its federal dollars for tiered payments of $900 to students who are federal Pell Grant recipients and $485 to students who have already demonstrated financial need through the financial aid process. 

William & Mary recognizes that the novel coronavirus pandemic may have created financial distress for students who did not have demonstrated financial need in the current school year. Students who did not have financial need in the 2020-2021 academic year may become eligible for aid this fall as a result of changes to their financial circumstances.

What do "Title IV eligible" and "have financial need" mean?

Please visit the financial aid office website for guidelines on eligibility requirements for federal Title IV funds as an undergraduate or as a graduate or professional student.

For purposes of eligibility for a CARES payment, having financial need means having qualified for financial aid in the 2020-2021 school year.

Why didn't I receive HEERF II funds?

Only Pell grant recipients and other students (both undergraduate and graduate or professional students) who qualified for Title IV funding and had documented financial need for the 2020-2021 school year were eligible for immediate payment. Students enrolled in online programs are not eligible, per federal guidelines. 

Who should I contact about my eligibility for HEERF II funds?

Questions may be directed to Financial Aid

If I did not qualify to receive HEERF II funds, are there other emergency relief funds available?

Students who did not meet the criteria for HEERF II Funds may be eligible for support via private dollars raised for that purpose. Students may appeal to the Dean of Student's office from the Health Emergency and Resources for the Tribe (HEART) Fund. Eligible categories for funding from the HEART Fund are food, transportation, lodging, healthcare and medications, and educational expenses.

Will HEERF II funds be applied to students' outstanding balances?

No. The federal funding is intended to provide emergency direct payments to students with financial need who incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

How will I receive HEERF II funds?

The payment was made in May of 2021 by direct deposit or check. William & Mary elected to keep this process as simple as possible to make resources available to eligible students with the greatest need as quickly as possible.

How do I sign up for direct deposit?

Visit the refunds page in Financial Operations for instructions.

Can my HEERF II funds roll over to future semesters?

No.

Are HEERF II funds taxable?

According to IRS guidelines, emergency payments to students are not taxable. Under current guidance, however, they are reportable on the 1098-T.