Explained: Higher Education Emergency Refund Relief Fund II

Julia Balli, Executive Editor

On Feb. 23 at 10:13 a.m. the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students and faculty were sent an email by Provost Betsy Morgan. The email states details about a recently approved grant for COVID-19 relief for students, the Higher Education Emergency Refund Relief Fund II (HEERF II).

HEERF II is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Dec. 27, 2020.” As of Jan. 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced an additional $21.2 billion is available to higher education institutions to ensure learning continues for students during the COVID-19 pandemic under the CRRSAA as HEERF II.

UWL was awarded a total of approximately $10.3 million under the HEERF II, with a minimum amount of approximately $3.4 million for the student aid portion.

The HEERF II grant is to help UWL students with financial needs brought on by COVID-19, including tuition, housing, educational and living expenses, etc.

All UWL degree-seeking students, currently enrolled for the spring 2021 semester, in at least six credits for undergraduate students and five for graduate students, are eligible to apply. UWL students must also demonstrate eligibility for Federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Provost Morgan said in the email, “Students who received the Federal Pell Grant this spring have automatically been awarded this emergency grant to ensure assistance to those most in need. This award is already in WINGS and you do not need to apply.”

For UWL students who did not receive the Pell Grant, students can fill out the HEERF II application for a one-time $800 grant.

When the application is submitted, a decision will be by the Financial Aid Team made based on the funding available and the eligibility criteria. A member of the Financial Aid Office team will reach out to applicants within a few business days of submitting the application.

“All eligible applications will be considered, and the grants will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis until the funding is exhausted,” said Provost Morgan.

To apply for the HEERF II grant, click here. For more information or questions, contact the UWL Financial Aid Office at [email protected] or (608) 785-8604.