August 31, 2020

Revised Higher Education Reporting Requirements for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

On August 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) published a Federal Register notice revising its May 6, 2020, electronic announcement requiring higher education institutions to publish on their websites certain disclosures regarding the emergency student grants portion of their Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) allocation under Section 18004(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The revised requirements maintain the previous seven reporting elements, which must appear on the institution’s website in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public, but adds a definition for "total number of eligible students," and decreases the frequency of reporting after the initial 30-day period from every 45 days thereafter to no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, December 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter.

For reference, the updated seven reporting elements are as follows:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to ED the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from ED pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for emergency financial aid grants to students.
  3. The total amount of emergency financial aid grants to students distributed under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the initial report and no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter thereafter).
  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. For the purposes of this report, institutions may determine the number of eligible students based on the number of students for whom the institution has received an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) plus the number of students who completed an alternative application form developed by the institution for this purpose. The institution may then apply this number to its own methodological framework for disbursal of funds to produce a final total of eligible students at the institution. The institution is not asked to make assumptions about the potential eligibility of students for whom the institution has not received an ISIR or an alternative application.
  5. The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  6. 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.
  7. Any instructions, directions or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.

We are continuing to closely monitor developments from ED and other education regulatory authorities related to the coronavirus pandemic. Should you have questions regarding this matter, or other educational regulatory matters, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our Education team, or your usual contact at Faegre Drinker.

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