CARES Act

Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF, CARES Act, American Rescue Plan)

Please note, the American Rescue Act, HEERF III or CARES Act III, was signed into law on March 11, 2021 and also contains funding for higher education. Boston College has begun the process of reviewing the regulatory guidance and determining eligibility for the HEERF III program. The awarding process for that program will begin in mid-August and conclude early in the fall semester. Students who are eligible for this award will be notified.

HEERF II (CRRSAA)

On December 27, 2020, federal legislation was signed into law that, among other initiatives, created a second funding program, HEERF II, or CARES Act II. Boston College received its HEERF II Grant award notification on January 17, 2021. In accordance with the requirements of CRRSAA and ARP(a)(1) and (a)(4) programs, no less than $3,224,288 will be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

Boston College had a total of 14,843 students enrolled for the spring 2021 semester. Per CRRSAA rules, Boston College has prioritized the awarding of HEERF II funds to students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants. As of June 10, 2021 from the $3,224,288 of the student portion of the HEERF II funding, Boston College has distributed grants of up to $2,000 to 1,376 undergraduate students with the highest demonstrated financial need as calculated by the FAFSA to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID pandemic for a total of $2,498,800. Specifically, these grants were given to undergraduate students whose family contribution toward educational expenses as calculated by the FAFSA was $10,000 or less during the 2020–2021 academic year. Boston College has also distributed grants of $500 to 641 graduate and law students with the highest demonstrated financial need, as calculated by the FAFSA, to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID pandemic for a total of $320,500. Specifically, these grants were given to those graduate students whose family contribution toward educational expenses, as calculated by the FAFSA, was $0 during the 2020–2021 academic year. The awarding process for this program began in mid-April and will conclude by the end of July. Students who are eligible for this award will be notified.

As of July 9, 2021, from the student portion of the HEERF II funding, Boston College has distributed $2,819,300 in HEERF II grants to 2,027 students.

CARES Act I, or HEERF I

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established an approximately $14b Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which allocated 75% of the funding to institutions of higher education based on the number of each institution's Pell Grant recipients and the remaining 25% based upon each institution's remaining total student's Full-Time Enrollment. Under this metric, Boston College was allocated approximately $6.4m. Pursuant to the CARES Act, institutions are obligated to use at least half of their allocated funding for emergency student financial aid grants. The remaining portion of an institution's CARES Act funding may be used for certain other expenses relating to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. The Department of Education has made the student portion of this CARES Act funding available first. 

As a condition to receiving the emergency student financial aid portion of its CARES Act funding, the University signed and returned to the Department of Education a Certification and Agreement affirming that Boston College will, in accordance with the requirements of the CARES Act, use no less than 50% of its total CARES Act funding to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. That Certification was signed by Boston College on June 5, 2020. On August 6, Boston College received the approval to receive the funding from the Department of Education and the funds will be received by the institution in late August.

Per the CARES Act, this portion can only be distributed to students who are eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, were enrolled for the full spring semester and were not enrolled in a fully online program. Boston College had 6,680 students who submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the spring 2020 semester, 4,683 of whom were undergraduates. As of late August 2020, from the $3,224,288 of the student portion of the CARES Act funding, Boston College has distributed grants of up to $2,000 to 1,579 undergraduate students with the highest demonstrated financial need as calculated by the FAFSA to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations in the Spring of 2020 due to the COVID pandemic for a total of $2,837,643. As of December 21, 2020, Boston College has distributed a total of $3,223,493 in CARES Act funding. Specifically, these grants were given to undergraduate students whose family contribution toward educational expenses as calculated by the FAFSA, was $10,000 or less during the 2019–2020 academic year. Boston College has also distributed grants of $350 to 703 graduate and law students with the highest demonstrated financial need, as calculated by the FAFSA, to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID pandemic for a total of $246,050. As of December 2020, an additional $200 in CARES Act funding has been given to the majority of the eligible graduate and law students totaling $139,800. Specifically, these grants were given to those graduate students whose family contribution toward educational expenses, as calculated by the FAFSA, was $0 during the 2019–2020 academic year.

As of April 29, 2021, the final $795 of the CARES Act student funding has been disbursed. Boston College’s total allocation of the student portion has now been fully expended.

First Published: 8/24/2020
Second Update:
 10/27/2020
Third Update: 12/22/2020
Fourth Update: 4/10/2021
Fifth Update: 5/12/2021 FINAL Cares Act I, HEERF I 
Sixth Update:
6/11/2021
Seventh Update: 7/9/2021

Quarterly Reports

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Covid Relief Programs

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