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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Federal funds provided to institutions for emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CARES Reports & Disclosures

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provides emergency financial aid grants for college students who are experiencing expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus. Students who are affected by the pandemic should submit the UTSA Emergency Aid Application and indicate the request is related to COVID-19.


Eligibility

Federal guidance stipulates students must meet the following eligibility to receive these funds:

  1. Enrolled at UTSA for the Spring 2021 semester
  2. Have a valid 2020-2021 FAFSA on file
  3. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen*
  4. Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  5. Not in default for any default loans or have financial aid holds
  6. Students cannot be solely in an Online Program

*International students and undocumented students are still encouraged to apply for Emergency Aid at UTSA. Funding for these students will be provided through institutional grants based on funding availability.


Expenses

These funds are intended to help students cover expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic such as:

Food Food-related expenses include paying for groceries due to loss of income related to COVID-19.
Housing Housing-related expenses include covering the costs of housing displacement or relocation due to COVID-19.
Course Course-related expenses include paying for additional materials or software needed due to courses moving to an online/virtual modality. This does not include prior balances owed to the university or grant aid to pay for tuition and fees currently outstanding.
Technology Technology-related expenses include paying for internet, a computer, wifi, web-camera, equipment due to courses moving to an online/virtual modality.
Healthcare Healthcare-related expenses include doctor visits, prescriptions or test/lab results due to COVID-19 symptoms.
Child-care Child care-related expenses include finding alternate childcare due to loss of income related to COVID-19 or loss of childcare support due to COVID-19.

Impacted by COVID-19?

Submit a UTSA Emergency Aid application and select “yes” to the question “Is your request Related to COVID-19?”

Submit Emergency Aid Application

Please note: federal funds are limited, applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. When these funds are exhausted, institutional funding will be used. Unlike federal funds where students could receive a direct refund check, if institutional funding is used, awards will be applied directly to student accounts.

Frequently Asked Quesetions

The CARES Act funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. The federal government has limited eligibility to students who were enrolled in on-campus programs on March 13,2020. These grants are available for specific financial expenses resulting from campus disruption associated with COVID-19 and do not need to be repaid.

The CARES Act is federal legislation that provides a variety of financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency financial aid grants for college students. The University of Texas at San Antonio was allocated $14 million to distribute to students who are experiencing expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus. The federal government has limited eligibility to students who were enrolled in on-campus programs on March 13,2020.

GEER is the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund is a fund separate from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Also funded through the CARES Act, this fund allows state governors flexible discretionary funds to support local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other education-related entities considered essential during the pandemic.

The State of Texas provided some funds through the GEER Emergency Educational Grant for Texas undergraduate students impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic to support them in remaining enrolled in college and on track to attaining their postsecondary education.

The grant was a one-time allocation for the Fall 2020 semester only.

The eligibility requirement for the GEER Emergency Educational Grant was:

  • Be a Texas resident
  • Have filed a 2020-21 FAFSA
  • Be eligible for Title IV federal student financial aid
  • Show financial need as determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Have suffered a financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Be an undergraduate
  • Have either:
    • graduated from high school between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020, or
    • have been enrolled in coursework at an eligible institution during the 2019-2020 academic year

UTSA has received an unprecedented amount of requests for emergency aid. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Applications for Fall 2020 will be reviewed after census date to confirm enrollment.

You will receive an email to your preferred email account that is on file on ASAP of the outcome of your application.

No, it’s not. You can file a FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. Review our tips for filing the FAFSA or reach out to one of our One Stop counselors if you encounter difficulties.

If your financial situation has changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, please reach out to One Stop so we can see if you would qualify for a loss of income. You can review these types of Special Circumstances on our webpage. This could result in a reevaluation of your eligibility for federal or institutional aid.

We encourage all students in need to fill out an emergency aid application describing the resources and/or funding needed to successfully pursue their studies. If you do not meet the funding requirements for CARES Act funding, UTSA will evaluate your application to determine whether other forms of assistance may apply.

Copies of lease agreements, mortgage statements, utility bills, car repair estimates, receipts for purchase of lab equipment, or school supplies are some examples of documentation.

Award amounts vary by student and is unique to each student’s expenses incurred. We cannot guarantee to fund all your expenses.

In addition to emergency aid funding, be sure to check out the additional resources available to you. If you need assistance navigating university resources or policies, contact the UTSA Student Ombudsperson.

Report and Disclosure

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting

Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Report and Disclosure
As of February 1, 2021

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) acknowledges it signed and returned to the U.S. Department of education the Certification and Agreement on April 13, 2020, and gives the assurance that UTSA has used more than 50% of funds received under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds UTSA received on May 1, 2020, from the U.S. Department of Education for distribution to students is $14,828,444. 
  2. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of February 1, 2021 is $14,828,444.
  3. The estimated total number of students at UTSA 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 under section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act is 21,486*. 
    *The number of eligible students excludes those ineligible for Title IV aid (e.g., non-degree seeking students, non U.S. citizens, not meeting satisfactory academic progress, not in default for any federal student loans) as well as those enrolled exclusively in online programs prior to March 13, 2020, which the U.S. Department of Education deemed ineligible to receive CARES Act funds
  4. The total number of students who received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 15,304
  5. The methods used to determine which and how much students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants are as follows.  UTSA created an online grant application in which each student indicated: 1) whether they had been impacted financially by the Coronavirus, 2) whether they submitted a FAFSA or completed the attestation certification on the online emergency aid application and 3) what specific financial needs they have in each area (food related expenses, housing related expensescourse related expenses, technology related expenses, health/child care related expenses).  The Financial Aid & Scholarships office evaluated the applications based on the information provided, and they awarded funds based on each student’s identified needs and the availability of funding. Provided that the students were eligible to receive funds and identified legitimate needs, grants of up to $1,500 were automatically approved for the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters. To ensure the availability of funds for as many needy students as possible, mid-level managers and senior administrators reviewed requests exceeding $1,500 to determine the necessity for and feasibility of providing larger awards. For Fall 2020 students who had not previously received CARES funding in Spring or Summer 2020 will receive a maximum of $600. Students who previously received CARES in Spring or Summer 2020 and who request additional funding in Fall will receive a maximum of $300.   To assist students who are still experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic, we increased the grant amount for Spring 2021 up to $3620 based on students’ identified needs and the availability of funding, provided that the students were eligible to receive the funds. 
  6. The instructions, directions, or guidance provided by UTSA to all students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants are: 

 

HEERF CARES Institutional Reporting

Here is our HEERF CARES Institutional Reporting from inception through September 30, 2020.

Here is our HEERF CARES Institutional Reporting from October 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Here is our HEERF CARES Institutional Reporting from January 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021.