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Coronavirus Information for Students Division of Student Affairs

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HEERF Emergency Grants

Last Updated: 4/7/2021

Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide some relief from the economic fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One element of CARES Act funding is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

We are excited to announce that Sacramento State has received our second round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF) money, authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA). Sacramento State has been received $17.8 million in CRRSAA funds to provide financial aid grants for students.

Every student has been affected by the pandemic. We have worked to ensure that all students will receive relief while acknowledging that students who currently receive high-need federal financial aid in the form of a Pell grant might continue to have increased need. For full information on how HEERF II funds will be allocated and who is eligible, view the HEERF II FAQs below.

Sacramento State intends to use the nearly $18 million received under HEERF II to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The purpose of this funding is to provide financial relief to students who have experienced loss of income or added expenses as a result of the pandemic. The amount of HEERF II funding that institutions received is primarily based on the number of high-need students enrolled.

If you want to learn more about this update, please read the HEERF II Email Communication to Students - Spring 2021 (Sent 2/18/2021).

HEERF II Email Communication to Students - Spring 2021

HEERF II Emergency Grants FAQs - Spring 2021

You can find more information on the HEERF Emergency Grants for Spring 2020 by reading the HEERF Emergency Grants FAQs - Spring 2020.

HEERF II Emergency Grants Video

COVID-19 Student Relief Aid & Student Emergency Fund

The purpose of this funding is to provide financial relief to students who have experienced loss of income or added expenses because of the pandemic or are experiencing a one-time crisis that is financially affecting their education. For information on allowable expenses, please refer to the instructions tab of the emergency fund application. The Office of Student Affairs in accordance with applicable University rules and policies administers this program. Funding for the Student Emergency Grant (SEG) comes from a combination of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, fundraising by fellow students through the Student Alumni Association and generous donations from alumni and friends of Sacramento State. These awards are not a loan and do not need to be paid back, however, this grant may be considered taxable income. Individuals should contact their tax professional to make a determination on whether or not this grant is taxable

If you or an undocumented student (Dreamer, DACA student, non-DACA student, AB-540 student) please apply for non-federal emergency funds via the Dreamer COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund information and application on this page.

Apply For Student COVID-19 Aid

Changes to the grant are coming soon; students may be eligible to apply COVID relief aid to their spring 2021 debt. Contact caresgrant@csus.edu if you need additional information on this. For all other requests, proceed to the application.

Note: Due to a high volume of applicants, applications may take up to 3 weeks to process.

Dreamer COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund

The purpose of this fund is to provide financial relief to undocumented students (Dreamers, DACA students, non-DACA students, AB-540 students) who have experienced a loss of income, added expenses, or financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is administered by the Dreamer Resource Center, in accordance with applicable University rules and policies. Funding comes from university lottery funds (state funds) and is not tied to federal money in any way. These awards are not a loan and do not need to be repaid; however, this grant may be considered taxable income. Individuals should contact their tax professional to determine if this grant is taxable.

Dreamer COVID-19 Aid Application

Changes to the grant are coming soon; students may be eligible to apply COVID relief aid to their spring 2021 debt. Contact caresgrant@csus.edu if you need additional information on this. For all other requests, proceed to the application.

Note: Due to a high volume of applicants, applications may take up to 3 weeks to process.

Prevent Fraud & Stolen Funds

With the rising number of phishing scams related to financial aid, COVID-19 federal stimulus payments, and HEERF funding, we strongly advise all students to prevent fraud and stolen funds by enrolling in Two-Step Verification with Duo. This free and easy-to-use security tool requires two factors (your SacLink password and a mobile app that sends a push notification to you) to verify your identity and prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. You can enroll at csus.edu/duo or direct any questions or concerns to the IRT Service Desk Team at servicedesk@csus.edu.

HEERF II: How Funds Are Distributed for Spring 2021

While we waited for guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, we worked to determine how best to allocate the grants in alignment with guidance from Congress to prioritize grants for students with the most need. The current information we have on file for financial need (FAFSA) is based upon tax returns from 2019, which may not accurately demonstrate the financial challenges our students have faced since March 2020.

Obviously, every student has been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Therefore, we have worked to ensure that all students will receive relief while acknowledging that students who currently receive high-need federal financial aid in the form of a Pell grant might continue to have increased need. Therefore, the CRRSAA funds will be allocated to all students in the manner shown in the table below.

Pell Type Enroll in 7 or more units Enroll in 6 or less units
Pell Eligible EFC $850 $700
Not Pell Eligible EFC or No FAFSA $750 $600

HEERF II: Receiving Funds in Spring 2021

All students will automatically receive their grant via eRefund or a mailed check. Our goal is to have eRefund grants disbursed at the end of next week, with checks going out the full week after. It is extremely important that students have updated their directory information in their Student Center because checks will be sent to the address listed there. The quickest way for students to receive their grant is via eRefund. Students should strongly consider signing up for eRefund if they have not already done so. Students should also double-check that their eRefund bank account is still active. Students can find eRefund in their Student Center. Information on how to access eRefund can be found on the Campus Bursar's Office web page. Students who have a balance due or a hold on their account will still receive a full grant. They can, but are not required to, use their grant to pay down their balance or resolve any holds.

For more specific information view the HEERF II Emergency Grants FAQs - Spring 2021.

Total HEERF/CARES Grant disbursed to date

HEERF/CARES Grant Funds As of date
$35,731,752 April 1, 2021
$17,867,181.00 February 14, 2021
$17,865,452.13  January 5, 2021
$17,865,252.13 October 5, 2020
$17,830,907.30 August 20, 2020
$17,706,732.30 July 10, 2020
$17,385,586.50 May 27, 2020

HEERF Institutional Support

Sacramento State acknowledges that, on April 28, 2020, the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement for the HEERF CARES ACT in the amount of $35,734,362 and that Sacramento State intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds, or $17,867,181, received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The other 50%, or $17,867,181, under Section 18004(a)(1) will be used to offset costs incurred in transition to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

Additionally, the University received a total of $2,705,232 in additional CARES Act monies under Section 18004(a)(2) for Minority Serving Institutions. These monies can be used in essentially the same way Section 18004(a)(1) - Institutional monies are utilized.

All institutional support monies are provided as a reimbursement to previously incurred expenses as defined by the CARES Act sections noted above. Therefore, the report(s) provided below will only identify monies requested and received from the Department of Education. The University will continue to identify qualifying expenses and request the monies throughout the eligibility period.

The reports below indicate the uses of the monies as of the dates listed in the report. The reports also fulfill the HEERF CARES Act quarterly reporting requirement.

Quarterly Report 3-31-2021

Quarterly Report 12-31-2020

Quarterly Report 12-31-2020 - Revised

Quarterly Report 9-30-2020

Quarterly Report 9-30-2020 - Revised

HEERF: How Funds Were Distributed in Spring 2020

Specific award amounts and disbursement strategies differed across CSUs, the priority was to provide the most HEERF funding to student populations who had exhibited the highest financial need through financial aid application processes.

After Sacramento State received its HEERF funds, emergency grants were disbursed to students very quickly. The award amounts below were designed to spread the HEERF allocation across the eligible student body. The estimated total number of students at the institution who were or could have been eligible to participate in the Federal student financial aid programs under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended was 28,913, and thus were eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The highest grant amounts were provided to eligible students who exhibited the highest financial need as determined from their financial aid applications.
  2. The next group exhibited some financial need through their financial aid applications.
  3. The third group of students did not file an application for financial aid. Emergency grant award amounts for students who were enrolled less than full-time (11 or fewer units for undergraduates and 7 or fewer units for graduate students) were half the amount for full-time students.
Student Group Full-Time Less Than FT Total
1. Highest Financial Need $850 $425 16,470
2. Some Financial Need $400 $200 7,434
3. Did Not File FAFSA $200 $100 5,009

HEERF: Funds Received in Spring 2020

Funds were disbursed automatically to eligible students through the Bursar’s Office. Students who signed up for eRefund had funds disbursed directly to their bank account. All other students had a check sent to the current address listed in their Student Center. The full award was disbursed to students regardless of whether they owe any money to the University. Students signed up for eRefund or updated their current address through their Student Center.

Students who were not eligible to file a federal financial aid application (FAFSA), but who were eligible to file a California Dream Act financial aid application received funding from institutional money. Those disbursements followed the same amounts as shown in the table above.

For more specific information view the HEERF Emergency Grants FAQs - Spring 2020.