Susquehanna University distributed all CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds – Student Aid on May 12, 2020. All disbursements were made following the guidelines, FAQs, and regulatory requirements outlines in the CARES Act and U.S. Department of Education communications as of May 12, 2020.

Susquehanna University’s Report on funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. (Final Report)

Susquehanna University is required to provide regular reporting to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on the use of funds authorized by the CARES Act. Funds received by Susquehanna University under the CARES Act were authorized by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020.  The information noted below is intended to not only meet the reporting requirements of the CARES Act but also provide information to our university community regarding Susquehanna’s use of the student grant portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”)), Pub. L. No. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (March 27, 2020), directs institutions receiving funds under Section 18004 of the Act to submit (in a time and manner required by the Secretary) a report to the Secretary describing the use of funds distributed from the HEERF. Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare). On April 9, 2020, the ED published documents related to the Emergency Financial Aid Grants, including a  letter from Secretary Betsy DeVos, a form  Certification and Agreement for signing and returning by institutions to access the funds, and a list of  institutional allocations under 18004(a)(1).

The Certification and Agreement directs each institution applying for HEERF funds to comply with Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act and submit an initial report (the “30-day Fund Report”) to the Secretary thirty (30) days from the date of the institution’s Certification and Agreement to ED. Each HEERF participating institution must post the information listed below on the institution’s primary website. The following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
    • Susquehanna University signed and submitted the U.S. Department of Education Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on April 13, 2020. The U.S. DOE provided Susquehanna University with an electronically signed Grant Award Notification (GAN) on April 24, 2020.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
    • Susquehanna University will receive $1,095,606 for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).
    • $1,095,658 (Susquehanna awarded slightly more ($52) CARE grants than our allocation of $1,095,606)
  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    • 1,950 Title IV Eligible Susquehanna Students
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    • Grant processing for the 1,950 eligible students noted above began on 5/12/20.
  6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    • Susquehanna University identified all currently enrolled, full-time, undergraduate students within the university’s financial aid system with an eligible Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. Student Financial Services validated enrollment statuses and federal aid eligibility prior to disbursement of emergency funds as outlined in the CARES Act and additional guidance from ED.
    • Student Financial Services identified the eligible students’ corresponding Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) that is created by the FAFSA and/or the lack of a FAFSA. Staff stratified the population by EFC and up to no FAFSA on file. The chart below shows the EFC Strata summary, Susquehanna University’s CARES grant award amount for each strata (based on national average expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare) associated with the disruption of on-campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is an overview of the distribution of CARES HEERF grants:

      CARES Grant HEERF - Student Portion
      Federal Allocation: $1,095,606

      EFC Cohort

      CARES Grant Amount

      Eligible Students

      Grand Total CARES Grant

      % of Total Allocation

      % of Total Eligible Students

      $0 - $1,000

      $1,100

      316

      $347,600

      31.7%

      16.2%

      $1,001 - $5,576

      $950

      284

      $269,800

      24.6%

      14.6%

      $5,577 - $12,000

      $700

      270

      $189,000

      17.2%

      13.8%

      $12,001 - $20,000

      $440

      302

      $132,880

      12.1%

      15.5%

      $20,001 +

      $201

      778

      $156,378

      14.3%

      39.9%

      Grand Total

       

      1950

      $1,095,658

      100%

      100%

  7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Susquehanna University’s Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion. (For the period ending September 30, 2020, Final Report)

Download the full report here.