CARES (HEERF I) Funding
Sam Houston State University applied for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act known as CARES funding on April 13, 2020. The university received $17.4 million, with $8.7 million used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants. As of January 13, 2021, 7,862 SHSU students were issued $8,700,000 in CARES funding.
Eligibility and Application Process
Approximately 12,000 students were eligible to receive funding through the CARES act. CARES funding was awarded based on eligibility requirements established by the Department of Education including conditions such as enrollment status and financial aid eligibility.
An online application was provided to the students through the SHSU website. A committee was designated to review all applications for COVID-related needs for eligible students with enrollment status and Title IV criteria. Financial Aid staff used a variety of reports to determine Title IV eligibility (SAP, Disbursement reports, Residency Reports from Admissions and Registrar's Office). The committee reviewed technology needs, housing/food insecurities, and general needs.
SHSU provided three application periods for students to apply. The average award for the students was $1,000 per disbursement. Award amounts for each funding cycle/round of awards:
- Spring 2020 students – (Application dates 3/22 – 3/31): * Round 1 Max Award of $2,000: Technology - $800, Rent - $500, Food - $250, Unspecific - $250, Academic Assistance(books/supplies) - $500
- Spring and Summer 2020 students – (Application dates 4/13 – 4/18) :* Round 2 Max Award of $3,000: Technology - $500, Rent - $2000, Food - $2000, Unspecific - $750, Academic Assistance(books/supplies) - $500
- Summer 2020 students – (Application dates 6/1 – 6/8) * Round 2 Max Award of $3,000: Technology - $500, Rent - $2000, Food - $2000, Unspecific - $500, Academic Assistance(books/supplies) - $500
SHSU used the university's COVID FAQ page and social media to share application timeframes and eligibility requirements.
- Students who submitted applications received confirmation emails with expected award dates
- Students who were denied were sent notification
- Approval emails included details on when to expect their refunded funds
CRRSA (HEERF II) Funding
As a result of SHSU applying for and receiving the CARES (HEERF I) assistance, the university was awarded $17.4 million from the Department of Education, with $8.7 million to be used for student emergency aid awards. 10,792 duplicated students at SHSU have received $7,354,000 in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds known as Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act.
Eligibility and Application Process
Potentially eligible students were identified using residency reports, disbursement reports, SAP reports from Financial Aid, Admissions and Registrar’s Office. Eligible students were invited to apply through a Qualtrics application. Approximately 4,091 students applied for assistance. The application opened March 1, 2021 and ended March 5, 2021. Criteria for awarding were to be enrolled in spring 2021 at SHSU and be eligible and receiving Title IV assistance for the spring 2021 semester. Eligibility was still based on guidance from the Department of Education that students had to be Title IV eligible (degree seeking, enrolled and meeting SAP).
Again, a committee was established to review applications and assess the needs to make award offers.
The average award amount for unduplicated students was $1,700. There were three funding cycles/rounds of awards to better assist students with meeting their monthly needs. Funding amounts were: Rent $1,500, Food $750, Technology $500 and Medical $500 with a maximum award amount of $2,500.
- Round 1: 3,757 students received $3,097,750
- Round 2: 3,655 students received $2,311,250
- Round 3: 3,380 students received $1,945,000
- 141 students were also referred and awarded $401,585 to assist with specific needs
The committee noted the needs expressed by students for tuition assistance and presented a proposal to Cabinet to utilize HEERF II funding to pay spring balances with student approval.
- 576 students had their balances paid with institutional funds for a total of $505,926.92
- 421 students had their balances paid with HEERF II funds for a total of $343,697.76
Students were notified to apply through email invitation. Award notifications were sent following awards made with instructions on what to expect with their refund. Denied students were also sent notification of the committee's decision.
ARP (HEERF III)
After receiving HEERF I and II funds, Sam Houston State University was awarded $25,110,000.00 from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) for students from the Department of Education.
Eligibility and Application Process
The Department of Education revised the eligibility for awarding emergency aid to include DACA, International and Undocumented students. With this news, the committee worked to assist these students who have previously not been provided the opportunity. Students who had been continuously enrolled since the start of the pandemic, March 13, 2020 were considered if they met the University’s SAP Policy. Priority was given to students who had not previously been awarded at least $3,000 in prior emergency assistance (HEERF I and II, including balance payments).
The first awards were made in summer 2021 through block grants. There were no applications, eligible students were identified and awarded. Upon being awarded, students had to complete an educational video on Blackboard and quiz before their funds would disburse. This was in an effort to spread financial education among students and help create a more financially sustainable environment.
Students who were eligible to apply or had applied for Federal Aid through the FAFSA were awarded $1,500. Those not eligible to complete a FAFSA were awarded $2,500. As of August 31, 2021, 1,528 students were awarded a total of $2,788,000 through the Summer Block Grant.
Institutional aid was also utilized to pay past due balances for students. 5,770 students received a total of $5,735,191.58 in HEERF III assistance that paid their past due balances in full.
Students were notified through Financial Aid and Scholarships award notifications.
Future Application Period
Fall applications will be accepted between September 15, 2021 and October 1, 2021. The application link will be sent to your SHSU inbox as well as posted on SHSU social media outlets beginning 9/15.
Students will soon see their SHSU financial aid disbursements for fall, which will start on August 9. To learn how to better manage budgets and expenses during this challenging time, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Student Money Management Center for assistance.
Quarterly Expenditure report for Institutional Funds as of June 30, 2022: 00360600_HEERF_Q22022_07112022
Quarterly Expenditure report for Institutional Funds as of April 8, 2022: 00360600_HEERF_Q12022_04082022
Quarterly Expenditure report for Institutional Funds as of January 10, 2022: 00360600_HEERF_Q42021_01102022
Quarterly Expenditure report for Institutional Funds as of September 30, 2021: 00360600_HEERF_Q32021_100521