CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

What is the Higher Education Relief fund?

 Posted October 21st, 2020 – Final Reporting

Sections 3504, 18004, and 18008 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, allow higher education institutions to use certain funds allocated by the Department of Education to support students and higher education institutions with expenses and financial needs related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Section 3504 of the CARES Act allows higher education institutions to use additional supplemental educational opportunity grant funds they receive through the Higher Education Act to award emergency financial aid grants to support graduate and undergraduate students experiencing “unexpected expenses and unmet financial need” as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 18004 of the CARES Act directs the Secretary of Education to allocate funds out of the Higher Education Relief Fund to higher education institutions to directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures.  These funds may be used (1) to defray the institutions’ expenses, including lost revenues and payroll for employees and (2) for “emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”  Recipient higher education institutions must pay no less than 50 percent of these funds to students as emergency financial aid grants.

Unofficial copy of Interim Final Rule on eligibility:

Only students who are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has a high school diploma or equivalent and is a legal residence or citizen of USA, the student has demonstrated eligibility to receive the funds. Students also have to be enrolled in one of  DSI Academy’s eligible programs as of March 13th and be active at the time the award was received.

  1. DSI Academy signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the Institute has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. DSI Academy received the funds on 7/21/20 a total of $34,171 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act and as of 10/21/20 a total of $34,171 has been distributed to 52 students.
  3. The estimated total number of students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant is 52.
  4. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant as of 10/21/20 is 52.
  5. DSI Academy decided to distribute the funds equally among all 52 eligible students who were enrolled and active in one of our eligible programs.
  6. Each student receives a check in the amount of $657.13
  7. The institution has not received the institutional portion as of 10/21/2020.


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