Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or, CARES Act, was passed on March 27th, 2020. This bill allotted $2.2 trillion to provide economic aid to people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that money, approximately $14 billion was given to the Office of Postsecondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, or HEERF.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grant (HEERF II) provides one-time funding to institutions to provide emergency relief grants to students who incur emergency expenses due to the coronavirus such as health care, mental health care, child care, and any component of your cost of attendance. The availability of this award is not continuous.
To fulfill the Department of Education’s guidance, USC Upstate will be issuing grants to students across all levels as determined by the FAFSA, with amounts ranging from $300 to $1050. Pell Grant recipients will receive $700 - $1050, dependent upon hours enrolled, and all other eligible students will receive $300 - $700, dependent upon hours enrolled and expected family contribution. Different from previous guidance with the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 allows students who are enrolled exclusively in online programs to receive assistance.
The grants were awarded to students that met the following criteria:
- USC Upstate has received an official 2020-2021 FAFSA of April 1, 2021
- Enrolled degree seeking for spring 2021 term as of April 15, 2021
- U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
HEERF II Grants will be refunded to the student regardless of any outstanding balance on the student’s account.
HEERF II Grants do not have to be repaid, and will not affect eligibility for aid for Fall 2021 or Spring 2022.
You must accept the grant in your SSC account under the financial aid tab for the 20-21 school year.
Previous CARES Act Reporting
All documents are in PDF format.