Skip to Office of Student Accounts site navigationSkip to main content

Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) Fund FAQs

What are the HEERF Fund grants?

The federal government provided money to colleges and universities for emergency grants in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The first and second rounds of grants provided funds to students and institutions.  The grants were intended to defray expenses directly related to disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Who was eligible to receive a grant?

In the first round, students must have been:

  • Enrolled in the semester for which the student is requesting aid
  • A degree-seeking student – either undergraduate or graduate
  • Eligible to receive Title IV aid; see the CARES Act Student grants FAQs, question #9
  • Eligible to submit or submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA

In the second round, students must have been:

  • Enrolled at least part-time (6 credits or more)
  • A degree-seeking student – either undergraduate or graduate, including entering freshmen and transfers starting in the fall of 2021
  • Eligible to receive Title IV aid; see the CARES Act Student grants FAQs, question #9
  • Eligible to submit or submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA
Who was not eligible?

In the first round ONLY, international students and undocumented students were ineligible.

What could the grants be used for?

Students could use the grants for expenses that were incurred in direct relation to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically:

  • Living expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, medical insurance, or utility payments; food
  • Technology related expenses such as computer, laptop, tablet, software, accessories (e.g. router, internet booster, webcam, microphone)
  • Course materials such as art supplies, media, or other supplies
  • Healthcare, dependent care, or childcare as a result of losing a job
What was the maximum grant amount?

In the first round the maximum award was $1,200.  In the second round the maximum award amount was $850.

How were grant amounts determined?

The first round of grants (HEERF I – CARES) were made in two phases, one in the spring of 2020 and a second in the fall of 2020.  The Office of Financial Aid took into consideration a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as determined from the 2019-2020 FAFSA, and used a tiered approach to guide award amounts.

EFC Maximum CARES Act Student Grant, Round 1
0 to 7,500 $1,200
7,501 to 15,000 $1,100
15,001 to 30,000 $1,000
30,001 and above $750

 

EFC CARES Act Student Grant Range, Round 2
0  to 7,500 $750 – $1,050
7,501  to 15,000 $650 – $950
15,001  to 30,000 $550 – $850
30,001 and above $500 – $800

The Office of Financial Aid used the following rubric as a guide in calculating awards:

Need Dependent Student / Independent Student (1) Independent Student (2+)
Housing up to $700 up to $900
Food up to $200 up to $300
Tech / Materials up to $350 up to $350
Child Care* $0 up to $500
Health Care up to $200 up to $200

*The student must have dependent(s) listed on FAFSA or provide documentation of dependent(s).

The Office of Financial Aid will took into consideration any special circumstances described on the application form.  Students who were graduating had precedence.  We could not guarantee that all applicants would receive funding.  Funds were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds were depleted.

For the second round (HEERF II – CRRSAA), awarded in the spring of 2021, the Financial Aid Director determined the total number of Title IV (Pell) eligible students — those with exceptional financial need — who were enrolled at least part-time (taking 6 credits or more).  The number was 3,664 and consisted of graduate students and undergraduate students, entering freshmen, and transfers starting in the fall of 2021.  The Financial Aid Director then worked with senior leadership of the College to calculate equitable yet meaningful award amounts, with the final amounts being $850 for each of the 1,333 Title IV eligible students and $502 for each of the 2,331 non Pell eligible students.

How could students apply for a grant?

In the first round students were able to file an electronic application here.  In the second round grants were automatically awarded to eligible students.

What was the deadline to apply?

The deadline for the first round was October 15, 2020.  This was the last round of funding for which students could apply. 

How were students notified if they had been approved for a grant?

Students were notified via their Ramapo email, which included further instructions.

If an application was approved, when did students receive their grants?

Students were refunded via a previously selected refund method within 30 days of approval.

How will grants be disbursed?

In the first round, awards were made on a first-come, first served basis.  Awards were paid directly to students either through an electronic refund or check.  To receive a refund faster, students were strongly encouraged to sign up for an electronic refund at https://www.ramapo.edu/student-accounts/direct-deposit/.

What if a recipient had a balance with Ramapo College?

Recipients were encouraged to check Self Service for up-to-date information on their accounts, and were informed that the HEERF grant would be refunded to them, even if they had a balance.

What if students needed more than what was awarded to them?

Students were advised to contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@ramapo.edu for a possible special circumstance review.  Students were encouraged to apply for emergency relief through the We Care COVID-19 program.

Who can I contact with more questions about the HEERF grants?