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CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released guidance related to CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) funding to higher education institutions to assist students with unmet expenses as a result of COVID-19. Funds must be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as:

  • course materials
  • technology
  • food
  • housing
  • health care
  • childcare
  • or other cost of attendance related item

Furthermore, USDOE guidelines require emergency grants only be distributed to students who are eligible to participate in federal Title IV aid programs. Students exclusively enrolled in online courses prior to March 13, 2020 are not eligible. In accordance with the HEERF Certification and Agreement signed and returned to the USDOE, the institution will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Payment Methodology

Our institution determined funds would be allocated to the largest number of students possible due to impacts of COVID-19 related events. Following Secretary of Education DeVos’s guidance, Pell eligible students received priority funding. However, based on our institution’s determined criteria, certain non-Pell eligible students were also considered eligible for funding. Criteria for eligibility include:

  • An individual must have been a student as of March 13, 2020
  • Students cannot have been enrolled solely in an online format as of March 13, 2020

Much of the funding is automatically disbursed to eligible students.

Disbursement Process

Any disbursed emergency grant funds will be released to students by either refund check or direct deposit, depending on the method the student has setup with the college. A payment is not necessarily a reflection of a student’s current student account balance, as these funds are disbursed directly to a student no matter if a current balance is owed to the institution.

Students determined eligible for HEERF payments will receive a confirmation email from the institution. A copy of the email template may be reviewed here. Please direct all questions to CARES@ws.edu.

HEERF Payment Allocation Information
Number of eligible students who may qualify for HEERF payments: 3,373
Total amount of HEERF aid available for payments to students: $1,844,059.00
Total amount of HEERF aid paid to eligible students: $1,659,645.00
Total number of eligible students paid: 3,373

Table is initially published no later than 30 days after the institution received HEERF funds and is updated every 45 days after. The table below provides these dates.

Date Institution Submitted HEERF Certification and Agreement to USDOE: 4/14/20
Date Information Originally Published Online: 5/21/20
Website Updated (1st requirement date 7/7/20 requirement): 7/7/20
Website Updated (2nd requirement date 8/21/20):
Website Updated (3rd requirement date 10/6/20):
Website Updated (4th requirement date 11/20/20):
Website Updated (5th requirement date 1/5/21):
Website Updated (6th requirement date 2/19/21):
Website Updated (7th requirement date 4/6/21):