DOE Announces Changes to HEERF Guidance

With the passing of new relief, funding comes additional questions and the need for further guidance.  Finally, on March 19, 2021, the Department of Education (DOE) released guidance on the timing of expenses allowable under the various relief grants, as well as further defining and calculating lost revenue.

Previously, funds received under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) were only to be used for costs incurred on or after December 27, 2020, which is the date the CRRSAA was signed into law.  On March 19, 2021, the DOE announced that, “Grantees will now have the flexibility to charge costs back to March 13, 2020, the date of declaration of the national emergency.”  Furthermore, the DOE clarified that this guidance applies to all Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, including unspent from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), CRRSAA, and American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).

In addition to this announcement, the DOE has released the following:

  • HEERF Lost Revenue FAQs – Discusses how institutions may calculate and account for the amount of lost revenue they incurred as a result of COVID-19.  Specifically, lost revenue was defined to include tuition, fees, room and board, enrollment losses, canceled events, food and dormitory service expenses, bookstore revenues, parking fees, and others.
  • Updated FAQs for CRRSAA (a)(1) – Provides guidance on whether HEERF funds may be used to support non-degree seeking, non-credit, dual enrollment, and continuing education students, among others.

Click here to access the DOE’s official announcement.

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