Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II)

MTSA is eager to announce that it has received additional CARES Act funding under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) signed into law on December 27, 2020, gave the U.S. Department of Education funds to distribute to institutions of higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II).

These one-time emergency grants are to help students with exceptional need meet current urgent expenses that occurred from the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

The main criterion for a HEERF grant is the demonstration of a genuine need and expense that the capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship. Students must apply and provide documentation supporting the expense.  Loss of wages does not constitute a reason for CARES Act funding. MTSA will begin reviewing applications on February 15, 2021 and they will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Read the FAQ’s carefully and access the HEERF II grant application below.

FAQ’s

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Student must be currently enrolled
  • Student must be degree seeking
  • Student must be Title IV (federal aid) eligible. A 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be on file in the Financial Aid Office
  • Student in exclusively online programs are eligible
  • Student must have incurred an emergency expense due to COVID-19, subsequent to December 27, 2020

If I did not file a FAFSA, may I still do so?
If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for the 2020-2021 academic year you may do so at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.  The last date to file your 2020-2021 FAFSA is June 30, 2020. However, based on the limited funds available we recommend filing as soon as possible. You must have a FAFSA on file before your application will be reviewed.

What are eligible expenses?
Eligible expenses are those expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to Covid-19 including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as tuition, housing, food, technology, healthcare, and child-care expenses.  Applicants are required to confirm that they incurred eligible expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Normal expenses are not eligible.

What documentation is required to be submitted with the application?
This will depend on the individual request. You should provide any documentation that is relevant to the specific financial need and hardship you experienced. Consider submitting copies of bills/paid invoices/receipts or official notifications.

Will receiving this emergency grant reduce my financial aid?
No, this fund does not negate nor replace financial aid, and it is a one-time grant.

How will students be notified if they are approved for funding?
Students will be sent an email notifying them they are approved for funding. These funds are limited, are not guaranteed, and requests may not be granted. MTSA will process the applications in the order in which they are received.

How will the grant be disbursed?
For students who have signed up for direct deposit with the Financial Aid Office, awards will be sent to the student’s financial institution via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). For students not enrolled in direct deposit, paper checks will be mailed.

Do I need to report HEERF grants on my federal tax return?
The IRS has issued the following guidance FAQs on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act that clarifies that CARES Act aid should be treated as a “qualified disaster relief payment” and not be treated as taxable income.

What is the Application Process?
Read the application carefully and submit it with supporting documentation securely, as described on the application. Do not email the completed application. Instructions on securely uploading your application is provided on the application.

For more information you may email the Financial Aid Office finaid@mtsa.edu.

Application for HEERF II Grant  (Application date beginning February 2021)