Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting
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 a report to the Secretary describing the use of funds distributed from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“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 child care).
- On April 15, 2020 the Samford University Office of Research submitted a signed Certification and Agreement form through the grants.gov website. By doing so, Samford provided its intent to participate in the CARES Act – HEERF process for awarding emergency funds to currently enrolled Samford students. On April 27, 2020, Samford received $1,190,677 as the first 50% portion of its funding. This funding will be used to make student emergency grants.
- Samford University has applied for and received $1,190,677 in CARES Act HEERF funding for students. These funds will be used to provide emergency grants to students.
- $1,291,822 in CARES Act Emergency Funds were distributed to Samford students on May 26, 2020. This amount is the totality of all funds spent from Samford’s HEERF distribution for students. This amount may change in the future, but until further notice, this constitutes the University’s participation in providing CARES Act/HEERF emergency funds to its students. The amount provided is in excess of Samford’s original allocation for students of $1.19 million.
- As of May 21, 2020, Samford University had approximately 3,400 FAFSA filers enrolled for the spring 2020 term.
- On May 26, 2020, 786 Samford students were awarded and received CARES Act Emergency funding. The funds were placed on student accounts and the full amounts were immediately released as refunds to the students either by direct deposit or mailed physical check.
- An application was created for students to use in expressing their desire to receive emergency funding and to what extent their needs existed. All applications were reviewed by a team from the Office of Student Financial Services. Those that were approved received funding consistent with their requests, but not to exceed maximum Pell Grant levels of $6,195. Not all funding for students was utilized through this application review process. Therefore, the remaining funds were divided evenly among all spring 2020 Pell Grant recipients. Those awards were set at $1,300 each. For all 786 recipients, the average grant was $1,643.54. The range of grants started at $657 and ended at $6,195.
- On May 8, 2020, the Samford Director of Student Financial Services issued an announcement to the student body alerting all students to the availability of an application for Samford’s CARES Act Emergency Assistance Fund. Students had until May 18, 2020 to apply for funding. Once all applications were reviewed, decisions were made and additional expenditures for Pell Grant recipients identified, the students who were to receive a grant were notified by email of the decision. Those who had an application denied were also notified by email concerning the decision.
As of June 1, 2020, information and instructions concerning CARES Act Emergency Assistance Funds is posted on the Samford University website.