App State delivers second round of HEERF money to students

Students learned of surprise direct payments Wednesday afternoon, thanks to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Xanayra Marin-Lopez

Students will get a direct payment of $525 if they are receiving the Pell Grant for the 2020-21 academic year and $400 if not. They should’ve received an email and see activity in their student account. 

App State has roughly $8 million to distribute in direct payments. Payments will be distributed by March 31.

To be eligible for this $525 or $400 direct payment, an individual must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident enrolled in spring 2021 classes at App State. Eligible students receive an email and can see activity in their student account. 

This money comes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund under the CARES Act. This is the second round of HEERF grants. 

An extra disbursement of $186 was granted to qualifying students in January through HEERF. In January, Cindy Barr, associate vice chancellor, said the university sought guidance from the U.S. Department of Education for the second round of CARES HEERF grants. 

Barr said this is because regulations in allowable expenses and eligibility differ from the first. 

The Department of Education provided additional HEERF guidance March 19. The guidance includes support for students with exceptional needs, using the grant to pardon student debts, to support student services, and expand flexibilities for needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students do not need to apply. Eligible students will receive the money by mail or direct deposit. This money is separate from financial aid packages and does not need to be paid back.