In a Department of Education press release dated January 21st, 2021, it was announced that an additional $21.2 billion is now available to schools from Pre-K to College. This is in addition to the $30.75 billion allocated earlier this year in the initial CARES act in 2020.
There are a bunch of acronyms involved:
- CARES – Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security.
- CRRSAA – Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, a bill signed into law December 2020
- HEERF I – Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I– also known as CARES
- HEERF II – Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II– also known as CRRSAA
- IHE’s – Institutions of Higher Education
So how long do you have to get your proposals through committee and spend the money?
- For both CARES and CRRSAA, 1 year from the award date
- Unless you get a no-cost extension, available via Dept of Ed
- For CARES, you can use funds for pre-award costs 3/13/20 and after
- For CRRSAA, you can use funds for pre award costs 12/27/20 and after
Here’s the financial breakdown:
- $20.5 billion go to public and non-profit institutions, etc)
- $681 million goes to proprietary schools (private schools, etc)
How the money can be used is a little different as per school type:
- Public and Nonprofit Schools
- Use for technology costs, mental health care, body health care, financial aid grants, student support activities broadly, lost revenue, reimbursement for pandemic related expenses, faculty and staff training and payroll.
- Proprietary Schools
- Financial aid grants to students– no other use is approved for this funding for proprietary schools
The biggest difference between CARES and CRRSAA is MENTAL HEALTH CARE funding!
- Many schools are hiring some school counselors, psychologists, social workers and the administrative staff needed to support them
- Progressive schools taking a strategic approach are also implementing systems for school counselor, psychologist, SRO and administration communication with students. Tools like FightSong and Emoticheck help streamline the communication and keep all information centralized across all platforms
Since the parent company of FightSong (Twotrees Technologies) is also an EdTech company, we’ve seen firsthand how schools are using the CARES and CRRSAA funds for technology costs, one of the many critical needs schools have to continue functioning.
- Apps / Software to facilitate distance learning– social emotional support systems like FightSong (fightsong.com), internet security from Sophos, Cisco and others (https://www.twotrees.com/Home/internet-security)
- Chromebooks– whether getting them for the first time or replacing aging ones, making sure students have the technology to learn from home is essential (https://www.twotrees.com/Home/classroom-tech)
- Making internet access available for all students
The funding is allocated by:
- A formula of Pell Grant recipients, non-pell grant recipients and number of non-pell grant recipients enrolled in distance learning prior to the pandemic
- Whether or not there was an excise tax on endowments in 2019 to pay off (unusual for most schools)
The application process for CRRSAA couldn’t be simpler:
- If you already had CARES Act HEERF funding, you don’t need to reapply– your school is good to go to receive funding
- Repeat: you will automatically receive your funding through the same channels the previous came through
- Every school has a different process for receiving funds
- If you do need to apply for CRRSAA because your IHE didn’t apply for CARES can do so via grants.gov.
- Here’s a handy dandy chart from DOE with info you’ll need to apply for HEERF II
- New applications for CRRSAA MUST be submitted no later than 4/21/2021
|Programs||CFDA||CRRSAA||Eligibility||Certification and Agreement||Deadlines||Grants.gov Funding Opportunity Number|
|Student Aid Portion for Public and Nonprofit Institutions||84.425E||Section 314(a)(1)||Public and Nonprofit Title IV participating institutions Note: Students cannot apply for assistance directly from the U.S. Department of Education but should contact their institutions for further information and guidance. Allocation Table Here||Certification and Agreement (Gold)||April 15, 2021 for new awards Note: Institutions do not need to apply if previously received CARES Act HEERF Institutional Portion.||ED-GRANTS-041020-003|
|Institutional Portion for Public and Nonprofit Institutions||84.425F||Section 314(a)(1)||Public and Nonprofit Title IV participating institutions Allocation Table Here||Certification and Agreement (Blue)||April 15, 2021 for new awards Note: Institutions do not need to apply if previously received CARES Act HEERF Institutional Portion.||ED-GRANTS-042120-004|
|Proprietary Institutions Grant Funds for Students||84.425Q||Section 314(a)(4)||Title IV participating proprietary institutions Allocation Table Here||Certification and Agreement (Red)||April 15, 2021 for new awards||ED-GRANTS-011521-005|
For more information on CRRSAA, please check out the Department of Education site on the subject. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/crrsaa.html
For more information on CARES, here’s that page of the Department of Education site https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html