The CARES Act designates funds under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to provide, among other things, direct grant assistance to students to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Illinois Institute of Technology (“Illinois Tech”) submitted the Certification and Agreement form to participate in this funding program on April 9, 2020, and Illinois Tech received its allocation under this funding program on April 28, 2020.
In accordance with the guidance, posted on May 06, 2020, by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, relating to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Reporting - Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students (the “Guidance”), each HEERF participating institution must post the information listed below on its website. Accordingly, this posting is being made pursuant to and in accordance with the Guidance.
The Certification and Agreement that Illinois Tech entered into to receive these HEERF funds directs it to submit an initial report (the “30-day Fund Report”) to the Secretary 30 days from the date of its Certification and Agreement.
In the Guidance, the Department indicates that it would like to receive the most current information from the date when the institution received its allocation for emergency financial aid grants to students. Accordingly, the Department indicates therein that said information must be posted 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under of these funds under the CARES Act and updated every 45 days thereafter through August 31 and quarterly thereafter; posted no later than 10 days after the calendar quarter (i.e., October 10, January 10, April 10, July 10). The same updates and timelines are required for any additional funds received under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Once the information is marked final no further quarterly reporting is required.
Consistent with its Certification and Agreement, Illinois Tech elected to first post publicly the required information regarding the student portion as of May 9, 2020, 30 days after the date of its Certification and Agreement. Information was then also updated on May 28, 2020, 30 days after it received its allocation. Updates thereafter have followed the above required timelines.
Quarterly reporting must also be posted on institutional websites for the institutional portion of funds received through HEERF. Required posting of this form corresponds to the above calendar quarter dates with the exception of the first form, which must be posted by July 10, 2021. Once the form is marked final, further reporting is not required. A copy of the first form from October 2020 can be found here (marked final as all HEERF funds received at that time had been expended). A copy of the 2021 first quarter form and the second quarter form can be found below
With this, as required by the Guidance, Illinois Tech reports the following:
- An acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to 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.
Illinois Tech acknowledges that it signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 9, 2020, and Illinois Tech acknowledges its assurance that it intends to use no less than 50% of the funds so received to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
Through the CARES Act, Illinois Tech was awarded $1,865,000 for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students and $1,865,000 for Institutional Support. The CRRSA also provided $1,865,000 for both Emergency Financial Grants to Students as well as Institutional Support. The ARP allocation awards $4,868,565 for emergency Financial Aid Grants to students and $4,857,999 for Institutional Support.
- The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days through August 31 and quarterly thereafter, posted no later than 10 days after the calendar quarter (i.e., October 10, January 10, April 20, July 10)).
Illinois Tech began accepting applications from students for awards from these funds as of May 6, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, the full value of $1,865,000 awarded through the CARES Act was distributed to students. As of July 1, 2021, the full value of $1,865,000 awarded through the CRRSA Act has been distributed to students. As of October 1, 2021, $1,119,904 of the student portion awarded through the ARP has been distributed to students.
- The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to receive HEERF Grants.
Initially, Illinois Tech estimated that approximately 2,800 students were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and were therefore eligible to be considered to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants based on initial guidance under the CARES Act. The CRRSA was distributed with the same understanding. The ARP will be distributed under the most recent guidance that expands eligibility to additional students, regardless of eligibility to participate in Title IV programs. This increases the total number of eligible students to approximately 6,000.
- The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant.
Illinois Tech began accepting applications from students for awards from these funds as of May 6, 2020. As of October 1, 2021, 2,150 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant.
- The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
Consistent with applicable regulations and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, Illinois Tech established a process to distribute HEERF I, HEERF II, and HEERF III funds, which can be found below.
- Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
All students initially eligible to apply for awards in accordance with Illinois Tech’s process (see answer to question 6 above) were encouraged to apply on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. A copy of the communication can be found here. Additional email, call, and text communications were sent in June, July, and September. Similarly, the application details were shared within the university student announcements (TechToday) as well as on Blackboard, Upshow, and Facebook.
Communication to students who received an initial distribution of HEERF II was sent on March 3, 2021 and can be found below. Further information was sent to eligible students regarding how to apply for funds on March 8, 2021 and can be found below and similar information sent when eligible graduate students were able to apply on April 13, 2021 can be found below. Additional email reminders regarding the availability of remaining funds were sent in May. Communication regarding HEERF III is ongoing. See below for the communication sent on August 17, 2021 to students with past due balances. Additional communications are forthcoming as Illinois Tech continues the HEERF III distribution. Students are able to learn more and apply here.
Original Posting: May 9, 2020; DOE Required Updates: May 28, 2020, July 12, 2020, August 26, 2020, October 10, 2020, January 10, 2021, July 10, 2021, & October 10, 2021. The information set for above was last updated on October 8, 2021.