VSU is set to continue distributing the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) throughout summer and fall 2021 semesters.
VSU began distributing the second round of the CARES Act, also known as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) on April 1. Students that were eligible received an immediate $100. Afterwards, students were able to apply for any additional financial help that they need.
Students were able to apply for these funds through the VSU website and MyVSU by filling out a short survey asking for basic identification information, how they have been financially impacted due to COVID-19 and how much they still owe the school.
According to Director of the Financial Aid, Douglas Tanner, the approved plan for VSU’s Higher Education HEERF includes a $200 Need Based Grant payment for summer 2021 to students have a Pell Eligible EFC (Expected Family Contribution) determined from their FAFSA for this year, received the Need Based Grant for spring 2021 and are enrolled for summer 2021.
“Additional funds have also been set aside for Emergency Assistance grants for students with specific financial needs for summer semester 2021,” Tanner said. “This may include assistance to students with balances due for the semester who have exhausted all of their other financial aid for the year.”
The remaining funds that are available after summer will be awarded to students for fall semester.
“No specific award amounts have been determined for fall semester 2021 since the award amount depends on the amount of funds remaining,” Tanner said.
Students look forward to receiving additional funds to help with their upcoming semesters this year.
“The HEERF grant helped me a lot this spring semester with my books and I’m looking for it again in the fall, so I can be worry and stress-free from my books,” Howard Banks, a freshman environmental geoscience major said.
Some students are hopeful about the grant but fear VSU may not have enough money left to distribute.
“I think the HEERF grant won’t affect me over the summer because I won’t be here, but it’ll affect me in the fall when it helps me buy some of the books I need for my junior level classes,” Amaia Johnson, a junior interdisciplinary studies major said. “I think I am getting one, that’s what they [VSU] said, but they could run it out.”
The HEERF grant application will continue to be available to VSU students through their MYVSU portal.
“We have no plans at this time to remove the HEERF Grant application from MyVSU,” Tanner said. “However, the Federal funds do expire early next year and must be used by the end of fall semester 2021.”
Written by Kayla Pool, News and Managing editor. Photo courtesy of Bethany Davis, Special to the VSU Spectator.