What federal funds are available for students with exceptional financial needs due to the pandemic?
Santa Clara University has been allocated $1,771,339 in federal funds to disburse directly to students who have exceptional financial needs due to the pandemic. These funds are made available through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II). These funds will be disbursed to students in the form of financial aid grants.
Which students are eligible to receive funds under CRRSAA?
SCU’s CRRSAA Fund program is intended to meet the needs of students who have experienced financial hardships due to health or economic impacts of the pandemic. As required by the Act, the funds will be prioritized for students who have “exceptional need” due to the coronavirus, such as those who qualify for federal Pell Grants. Other students are eligible as well, as described below.
To be eligible for a CRRSAA grant, students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate program at SCU during the winter and spring 2021 terms. Students who are exclusively enrolled in distance education are eligible. Students must also be U.S. citizens or non-citizens otherwise eligible to receive federal public benefits.
How can students apply for CRRSAA funds?
SCU will distribute funds to students in two ways:
Group 1: Eligible students who are known to have exceptional need based on information available to the Office of Financial Aid will receive grants of $1,500 each without needing to apply. The funds will be prioritized for students who qualify for federal Pell Grants or state Cal Grants.
These students will receive an email notification with additional information about their grant, and instructions about how to enroll in direct deposit. Once students have enrolled in direct deposit through eCampus, students will receive their grants in approximately two weeks. Otherwise no further action is required.
We expect approximately 75% of CRRSAA funding will be disbursed to Group 1 students.
Group 2: Students who are not Pell Grant or Cal Grant recipients can apply for funding if they have a self-identified hardship need due to the coronavirus. Beginning March 29, 2021, students who have costs or expenses due to COVID-19 may submit a request form for a CRRSAA grant through eCampus. SCU will accept request forms beginning Monday, March 29 at 9 a.m. PST, until Friday, April 16 at 5 p.m. PST. After the submission deadline, all requests will be reviewed, and SCU will divide the remaining amount of CRRSAA funds equally among eligible students who have submitted a valid application.
Students will receive an email notification by April 30 with additional information about their application and grant, and instructions about how to enroll in direct deposit in eCampus. Students will receive grants by direct deposit approximately two weeks after providing their direct deposit information through eCampus.
How does SCU determine the distribution of funds under CRRSAA?
Under CRRSAA, institutions are required to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as Pell Grant recipients. Accordingly, SCU is distributing CRRSAA funds in two groups, first issuing grants automatically to students with pre-identified exceptional need, and then making available any remaining funds to students with self-identified needs due to COVID-19, who submit a request form for their costs or expenses due to the coronavirus.
If I qualify for a grant under CRRSAA, how much money will I receive?
If you are a student with exceptional need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid (Group 1), you will receive a grant of $1,500.
If you are in Group 2 and submit a valid request form through eCampus during the application window (Monday, March 29, at 9 a.m. PST, through Friday, April 16, at 5 p.m. PST), your grant amount will depend on the amount of funds remaining and the number of valid student applications SCU received for the funds. We are unable to provide a specific or definite amount at this time. All students in Group 2 who receive a CRRSAA grant will receive an identical grant amount.
What can CRRSAA funds be used for?
CRRSAA funds may be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, and health care including mental health care.
How will SCU determine if I have exceptional need?
For Group 1 students, the Office of Financial Aid will determine which students qualify for exceptional need under CRRSAA, based on whether a student currently receives Pell Grants or Cal Grants. Group 2 students will be considered qualified if they are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Please keep in mind these funds are finite and intended for those in true hardship situations.
What exactly is the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II)?
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) is a law which provides financial relief from the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus. Under CRRSAA, the Department of Education is distributing funds to institutes of higher education from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, similar to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the High Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act and HEERF) enacted in 2020.
Is this the same as the CARES Act funds, which were offered to students last year?
They are similar, but CRRSAA is a different law and has important differences from the CARES Act. The CRSSAA Fund distribution to students reflects the changes enacted under the law.
I received a grant from the SCU CARES Act Relief Fund in 2020. Will this prevent me from receiving funds from CRRSAA?
No. If you received CARES Act funds, you may still receive funds under CRRSAA if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Will any grant I receive from CRRSAA affect my other financial aid?
No. Any amount you receive from CRRSAA will not have any impact on other financial aid you may be eligible to receive.
If I receive assistance from the CRRSAA, is it considered financial aid?
No, grant funds from the CRRSAA Fund are not considered financial aid awarded to you and will not affect your financial aid cost of attendance.
Is any grant I receive from CRRSAA taxable?
No. Amounts disbursed to students through CRRSAA are not considered taxable income.
Who is not eligible to receive assistance from the CRRSAA Fund?
Students who are ineligible to receive federal public benefits, such as international students and students enrolled in the DACA program, are not eligible to receive these funds.
Is other aid available to students who are not eligible for assistance from the CRRSAA Fund?
SCU undergraduate and graduate students experiencing immediate financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to reach out to the Office of Financial Aid. Assistance may be available from the SCU Emergency Assistance Fund, or from other sources. Please read our COVID-19 Information for Students for details.
Students may also contact the Office of Financial Aid and submit an SCU Appeal Request Form if there are special circumstances that affect their ability to pay college costs. Both applications and additional information are available at SCU’s Financial Aid site.
If you do not have reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food, you can request the “Food Insecurity” form from the Bronco pantry.
I did not receive a notice from the Office of Financial Aid that I am receiving a CRRSAA grant. How do I apply for a grant from the CRRSAA fund?
Applications will be available through eCampus (SCU login required) from Monday, March 29, 2021 at 9 a.m. PST to Friday, April 16, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST.
What is the deadline to apply for assistance from the CRRSAA Fund?
Applications must be submitted by Friday, April 16, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST. Once the application deadline has passed, no further applications can be accepted or reviewed.
I submitted my request for assistance from the CRRSAA Fund. When can I expect to hear about my application?
Once the application window has closed on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST applications will take approximately two weeks to process. You will receive an email message with additional information and instructions about how to enroll in direct deposit in eCampus.
Is this a loan that I will have to pay back?
No, these funds are not a loan and you will not be asked to pay them back.
How will I receive these funds?
If your CRRSAA Fund request is approved, the grant will be posted to your student account and a refund issued through direct deposit into the bank account listed in eCampus. In order to process your refund, valid banking information and a current address in eCampus is required. To enroll in Direct Deposit, please log into eCampus, select the “Financial Account” tile, and under “Refund” choose the “Enroll in Dir Dep'' option.
I am a student employee paid by direct deposit. Do I need to sign up for direct deposit in eCampus to receive my refund from the CRRSAA Fund?
Yes, you still need to sign up for direct deposit in eCampus. The student payroll is processed in a different operating system. In order to receive the refund, you must sign up for direct deposit through eCampus and have a current address in that system. Read directions on how to enroll in direct deposit (PDF).
If I pay my student account bill online through the SCUPay site, can I receive funds from the CRRSAA Fund through that site?
No, the SCUPay site is unable to process student account refunds. In order to receive assistance through the CRRSAA Fund, you must sign up for direct deposit through eCampus and have a current address in that system. Read directions on how to enroll in direct deposit (PDF).
Can you send the funds to me in a paper check?
No, we require direct deposit to issue funds from the CRRSAA Fund. You must sign in to eCampus and enter valid banking information and confirm you have a current address in that system. Read directions on how to enroll in direct deposit (PDF).
Is there any other way I can get funds from the CRRSAA Fund?
No, the University will post the funds to your student account and issue your refund for the full amount through direct deposit into your bank account. Sign up for direct deposit through eCampus and ensure you have a current address in the system. Read directions on how to enroll in direct deposit (PDF).
Can I apply funds I received from the CRRSAA Fund directly to outstanding charges on my student account?
No, these funds will not apply towards any student account charges. The full amount of the grant you receive from the CRRSAA Fund will be refunded to you. In order to receive your refund from the CRRSAA Fund, you must sign up for direct deposit through eCampus and have a current address in that system. Read directions on how to enroll in direct deposit (PDF).
If my request for funding has been granted, do I then need to request a refund through eCampus in order to receive the funds from my student account?
No, the University will automatically issue your refund for the full amount you receive from the CRRSAA Fund. However, in order to receive your refund, you must sign up for direct deposit through eCampus and have a current address in that system. Read directions on how to enroll in direct deposit (PDF).
What is the CARES Act?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed by Congress in March 2020 to help provide financial relief from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Part of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to distribute funds to institutions of higher education nationwide. Half of the funds provided to institutions were provided directly to students to assist students with unanticipated expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. SCU distributed CARES funds totaling $1,771,339 (the full amount received by SCU) to students in 2020.
Is SCU still distributing CARES Act funds to students?
No, SCU is no longer distributing CARES Act funds to students. All student grants from the CARES Act were disbursed to 1,742 students between May and December 2020.