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HEERF II CRRSAA - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Holy Cross CRRSAA Distribution to Students Expected Week of March 1st

Last year, Holy Cross was awarded $959,573 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to provide CARES grants to eligible enrolled students who experienced educational disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.   As of December 31, 2020 the College has distributed $874,300 of this award to students.

This year, Holy Cross has been awarded an additional $959,573 through the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) to continue to support students who have an exceptional need due to the coronavirus.  The resources available through CRRSAA will provide grants to qualified students in need to cover any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus.  The College will also add the $85,273 remaining from the CARES Act award to the pool of funds available to support student needs.

Who will receive funds?

Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students.  However, students do not need to be only Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants.   Undocumented, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and international students are not eligible to receive these funds under existing law.  The College will continue to monitor guidance on this point.  Students who do not have eligibility and who are in need of assistance are encouraged to discuss available options with the Student Emergency Aid Committee.

What are the permitted uses of the grant?

The CRRSAA allows for more expansive uses of funds than the CARES Act including authorization of grants to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.   While the CARES Act required that student grants could only be made for student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations, student grants made under CRRSAA can be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care including mental health care. 

What are the eligibility criteria?

Institutions are required to prioritize grants to students with exceptional financial need, such as those who receive Federal Pell Grants.   However, students do not need to be only Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants.  The College will use the following criteria to prioritize eligible students:

  • Must be eligible to receive federal financial aid (Title IV aid). 
  • Must, as of February 26, 2021, be enrolled for the spring 2021 semester.  The award is not conditioned on any continued or future enrollment or completion of the spring semester. 
  • Must be a degree-seeking student.

How is the award amount determined?

The College will offer a one-time grant to full-time students who meet the eligibility requirements.  The amount of the grant will be determined by considering your spring Pell eligibility, federal expected family contribution (EFC), work study award for the spring, any appeals for financial aid made for the award year 2021 as of February 12th and other financial resources available to the student.   Students with a Pell award will generally receive a sum equal to 50% of the 2021 spring Pell award amount.  Students with an EFC of $37,500 or less will receive a grant between $350 and $500; those with the lowest EFC will generally receive the larger grant.  Students with an EFC less than $37,500 who made an appeal of their financial aid award were also reviewed and considered for an additional grant.  Each criteria will be applied separately and summed to arrive at the total award for each of these students.  Other students with an EFC greater than $37,500 and who were offered spring College Work Study will receive a one-time grant of $300.  

These grants are not loans and do not need to be repaid.  The grant is not subject to income tax and has no impact on a student’s financial award for either 2021 or 2022.

Do eligible students need to sign up for direct deposit to receive their grant?

In order to provide this grant to you in a timely manner, we are asking you to utilize the direct deposit option offered via your TouchNet account.
If you have not created a refund method in TouchNet, please do the following:

  • Go to STAR and click on the TouchNet Bill+Payment link
  • Go to Refunds
  • Enroll in Two-Step Verification
  • Click on Set up a new account under Direct Deposit
  • Enter the Name on the Account, select the account type, and enter the routing number and bank account number. 
  • Finally, in the box that begins “Save payment method as...“, name the account, i.e., Mary’s checking, Dad’s checking, Mum’s savings.  Do not default to or enter “my checking” as we need to know the name of the account holder. 

If you have created a refund method in TouchNet and need to edit either the name of the account or any of the previously entered information, please do the following:

  • Go to Star and click on the TouchNet Bill+Payment link
  • Go to Refunds
  • Go to My Profile
  • Click on Payment Profile
  • Click on the Settings icon (under Action) of the Payment Method you wish to edit/update/change.
  • Click on Edit, this will bring you to the Account Information where you can update the name or other information.

Please note:  These are federal funds that are made available for the student’s use.   If you do not have a bank account or if the identified refund account in TouchNet is not readily identifiable as your account, the grant will be issued to you via paper check.  For students who live on campus or are off campus with access to campus, checks will be sent to their Holy Cross PO Box. For students who are remote with no access to campus, checks will be sent to their home address.

What is the timeframe and process for awarding?

The awards will be posted in the student billing portal, the first week in March 2021.  Once awards are posted, students will be sent an email directing them to view the offered award by selecting the TouchNet Billing+Payment link.   

  • Students will have the opportunity to accept or decline the grant award. 
  • The offer will remain available until April 18, 2021. Awards not accepted by the deadline will be canceled.
  • By accepting the offer, each student is certifying that the grant award will be used for a component or components of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care including mental health care.
  • If a student believes the amount of the grant awarded is greater than their expenses outlined in the previous bullet, they should email the Bursar indicating the lower level of support that is needed so we may adjust the offer.

HEERF II CRRSAA Reporting – Institutional Portion

HEERF II CRRSAA Reporting – Student Portion