Federal Emergency Grants FAQs Spring 2021

What are HEERF II Funds?
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/crrsaa.htmlCoronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020.  In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion expeditiously provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.

One part of this federal program allocates money to the University of Florida, and a portion of that allocation can be awarded to students who are experiencing expenses due to the coronavirus.

Who is eligible for HEERF II Emergency Grants?
Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have the greatest financial need can be considered for these funds.

Unfortunately, the HEERF II does not allow these funds to be used for international students or DACA students.

How do I apply for a  Federal Emergency Grant?
Information about applying for these funds will be emailed to eligible students when funding becomes available.

International and DACA students are not eligible to receive funds from HEERF II; however, emergency funds are available for these UF students through the https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/aidagator/UF Aid-a-Gator program.

What constitutes eligible expenses to qualify for emergency funding?
This could apply to a variety of financial costs directly tied to the effects of an emergency situation that is straining UF students. This could include money spent for unanticipated travel, replacement of medications, emergency child care due to extended school closures, additional technology requirements, etc.

What kinds of expenses are allowable?
Funds can be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, tuition, fees, or child care.

Do I have to repay a Federal Emergency Aid Grant?
Typically, you would not have to repay the amount awarded to you. The Federal Emergency Grant funds are designed to be a grant, not a loan.

Where are the funds coming from? Is there some sort of disaster relief fund?
The University of Florida has been awarded and has received funds from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), which provides funding for emergency grants for eligible college students impacted by the coronavirus.

How will SFA disburse the money?
For students who have signed up for direct deposit with the https://www.fa.ufl.edu/directives/financial-aid-refunds/UF Bursar’s Office, funding will be sent to the student’s financial institution via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).  For students not enrolled in direct deposit, checks will be mailed.

Would this funding reduce my financial aid?
No, this fund does not negate nor replace financial aid, and it is a one-time grant.

How much money is available for each applicant?
Amounts vary, but students must complete an on-line application and provide a signed statement describing their circumstances along with supporting documentation to substantiate their funding request. Maximum awards are $500.

What documentation is required to be submitted with the application?
This will depend on the individual claim. However, you should provide any documentation that is relevant to the specific financial need and hardship you experienced. Consider submitting copies of bills/paid invoices/receipts or official notifications from childcare or healthcare providers. If you are unsure about documentation, contact an SFA financial aid adviser for assistance at (352) 392-1275 or via email at mailto:sfa-help@mail.ufl.edusfa-help@mail.ufl.edu.

How can students obtain more information about Federal Emergency Grants?
Continue to check this website for the most up-do-date information.  As soon as we obtain final guidance on this program, we will publish more information on the https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/federal-cares-act/2021 Spring Federal Emergency Grant webpage.

What additional resources are available if I need access to food?
UF students in the Gainesville area  should check the https://pantry.fieldandfork.ufl.edu/UF Field & Fork Pantry website for information. https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/alachua_county_and_newberry_as.htmlAdditional Resources are available for food, clothing, utilities, and emergency financial services.