Financial Aid COVID-19 FAQs

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) /HEERF II Grant Report
American Rescue Plan Act (ARP)/HEERF III Grant Report
July 8, 2021

On January 14, 2021 the US Department of Education released the details regarding the availability of Emergency Financial Aid Grants provided under Section(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA).  On May 11, 2021 the Department released the details regarding the availability of Emergency Financial Aid Grants provided under Section (a)(1) of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.  These notifications provided information for how Southwestern University could request and utilize these funds.   The information provided below is in accordance with the May 13, 2021 notice regarding the requirements for reporting the activity related to the emergency funding.

  1. Southwestern University signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 11, 2020, in which Southwestern University agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section(a)(1) of the CRRSAA Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants (a.k.a. HEERF Grants) to students.  In addition, Southwestern University signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on June 2, 2021, in which Southwestern University agreed to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section(a)(1) of the ARP Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants (a.k.a. HEERF Grants) to students.

  2. Southwestern University was notified by the Department that it will receive a total amount of $606,725 of funds under Section(a)(1) of the CRRSAA Act and $1,617,561 of fund under Section (a)(1) of the ARP Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants (a.k.a. HEERF Grants) to students. 

  3. As of July 8, 2021, Southwestern University has distributed a total of $606,725 of HEERF Grant funds provided under Section(a)(1) of the CRRSAA Act to students, and a total of $0 of HEERF Grant funds have been distributed from funds provided under Section(a)(1) of the ARP Act to students.

  4. There were an estimated total of 1440 students at Southwestern University that were eligible to receive HEERF Grants under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.  The estimated total of eligible students that are eligible to receive HEERF Grants under the ARP(a)(1) program is pending determination of the eligibility requirements for the funds. 

  5. As of July 8, 2021, a total of 936 Southwestern University students have been awarded HEERF Grants under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program and a total of 0 Southwestern University students have been awarded HEERF Grants under the ARP(a)(1) program.

  6. To determine which students may receive HEERF Grants and the amount of the grants under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program, Southwestern University applied the following methodology below.  For HEERF Grants awarded under the ARP(a)(1) program, the awarding methodology is currently under review.

    1. All students who were enrolled at Southwestern University in the Spring 2021 semester or who were participating in an approved study abroad program in the Spring of 2021 were identified. Students who were not US Citizens or eligible non-citizens were excluded.

    2. Using the students identified in section (a), three tiers of students were identified based on the student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as reported on their 2020-21 FAFSA. Students were assigned to a tier based upon their EFC, and the award amount was determined using the following criteria:

      Group

      Criteria

      Award Amount

      Tier 1

      EFC range:  0 - 5711

      $1,000

      Tier 2

      EFC range:  5712 - 22174

      $750

      Tier 3

      EFC above 22174 or FAFSA not filed

      Variable amounts based upon information provided in an application, number of applicants, and available funds. Individual awards will not exceed $750

      Note: For Tier 1 and Tier 2, the EFC ranges that establish eligibility for a Pell Grant and a Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG), respectively, were utilized to assign students to a tier. Due to restrictions on these grants such as maximum Lifetime Eligibility, number of years a student may receive these funds, fund allocation limits, and (in the case of TEG) Texas residency requirements, some students in Tier 1 and Tier 2 may not have actually received a Pell Grant or TEG in the 20-21 school year.

    3. US Citizenship and eligible noncitizen status was confirmed for Tier 1 and Tier 2 students using the available FAFSA information and student records.  After confirming citizenship status, HEERF grants were automatically awarded to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 students with no action required from the recipients.

    4. For Tier 3 students, awards were available via an online application, with a March 19, 2021 deadline for application submission.  Applications were reviewed after the June 3 deadline and US Citizenship or eligible non-citizen status was confirmed.  Individual award amounts, up to a maximum amount of $750, were determined using information collected on the application.

  7. All Southwestern students were notified of the availability of the HEERF Grants via an email sent to their SU email accounts.  In addition, the HEERF grant announcement to the campus was posted on Southwestern University’s Financial Aid Office webpage.  The announcement contained guidance and instructions to students regarding HEERF Grant eligibility, how to submit their preference for receiving funds using a Payment Preference Form and, in the case of the Tier 3 students, how to submit an application for HEERF funds.

    The links to the announcement, application, and sample emails are below:

    Link to Campus announcement

    SU HEERF Grant Application

    Sample Notification Email to Tier 1 and Tier 2 Students

    Sample Notification Email to Tier 3 Students