Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II provides emergency funding to universities to assist students in need during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, this funding was known as the CARES Act Funding. 

Per guidance from the federal government, these grants will be distributed to our students with exceptional need, which will be identified by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  

UNI has received HEERF II funding and established an award called “Federal Relief Grant II” to distribute grants ranging from $1,000-$1,200 to eligible students to help cover expenses related to the cost of attendance (e.g., food, housing and utilities, health insurance, including mental health care, transportation, or child care) or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus. 

  • Funds from the HEERF II CRRSAA Emergency Relief Fund are not considered financial aid and do not affect a student's current or future financial aid eligibility. 

Eligibility and Awarding

Eligible students will meet the following requirements: 

  • You must be an enrolled graduate or undergraduate student for spring 2021.

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.

  • You must demonstrate need, which is measured by the 2020-2021 FAFSA. 

    • $1,200 awarded to Pell Grant eligible students.

    • $1,000 awarded to undergraduate students that have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) outside the Pell Grant parameters, but below a 15000 EFC (or until funds are exhausted).

    • $1,000 awarded to graduate students that have a 0 EFC. 

    • 2020-2021 FAFSA’s completed by February 22, 2021 will be fully considered.   

  • These funds will be added in addition to your existing financial aid award by March 12.  No changes will be made to your existing financial aid.

  • To cover existing charges (posted after December 27, 2020) on the U-Bill, students would need to grant permissions for these funds by March 10.

Granting Permission to Use HEERF II Funds Toward the U-Bill

Students will have the opportunity to direct these funds towards payment of their university bill by following these instructions on granting this permission: Granting Permissions for Federal Aid or HEERF II.

If students choose not to grant permission to use these funds toward their U-Bill, students would receive the entire balance in the form of a refund.  Any overpayment of the U-Bill would be refunded normal.  It is highly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit for timely receipt of any overpayment.  The refund would need to be used for educational expenses such as tuition, food, books, housing, health care, child care, or other expenses related to the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency. 

Students not eligible for HEERF II funding and in need of financial support can reach out to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to determine what additional financing resources exist for them. 

FAQ's 

Are HEERF II funds taxable income?

No, HEERF II funds are not considered taxable income (as of 2/22/21), however with regard to student emergency grants, the notice states that there is no requirement to report those amounts on the Form 1099-MISC; however, it states that “the waiver does not apply to the requirement to file and furnish Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, with respect to any payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses, including qualified tuition and related expenses paid with grants described in this notice.”  Information provided by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.  Full news release.