Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF I)

Sections 3504, 18004, and 18008 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, allow higher education institutions to use certain funds allocated by the Department of Education to support students and higher education institutions with expenses and financial needs related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MTSA is eager to announce that it has received a limited amount of CARES Act funding, designated under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), to assist students with emergency grants. These one-time emergency grants are to help students 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 expense and that the capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship. Applicants must be able to provide documentation supporting the expense.

September 14, 2020 – The student portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund has been distributed.




Eligibility Criteria:
• Student must be currently enrolled as an in-resident student, whose coursework is not exclusively online.
• Student must be Title IV (federal aid) eligible. MTSA students must have a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file in the Financial Aid Office.
• Student must have experienced a hardship caused by campus disruption created by COVID-19.
• Expenses must have occured subsequent to March 13, 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 2019-2020 academic year you may do so at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.  The last date to file your 2019-2020 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 housing, 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. However, 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.

What if I anticipate an expense due to a change in my clinical time and or an
extension in the program?
For future expenses that may occur this year because of a disruption in campus operations, you may submit the application at a later date, when expenses are incurred.

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, funding will be sent to the student’s financial institution via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). For students not enrolled in direct deposit, 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. Only applications submitted securely will be accepted.

Application for HEERF Grant>> (May 2020 – September 2020. The student portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund has been distributed).

For more information, you may email finaid@mtsa.edu

CARES Act Funding Reports>>