Loyola is set to receive more than $10 million of emergency funding as part of the federal government’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to help combat the economic hardships caused by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
HEERF is just one part of the larger Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by the U.S. Congress March 27. The fund provides more than $14 billion to colleges and universities across the country with the aim to give college students the financial support they otherwise wouldn’t get.
Most college students won’t receive the $1,200 check from the government’s stimulus package since their parents claim them as dependents, The Phoenix reported. But, over half the money provided to the school through HEERF is supposed to go directly to undergraduate and graduate students, according to guidelines set by the Department of Education.
In order to qualify for this emergency financial aid, students must meet Title IV eligibility — meaning they’re already eligible for certain types of federal financial aid, such as federal student loans or grants — according to Anna Rozenich, a Loyola spokesperson.
Because the money comes from a federal program, international and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are excluded from receiving the funds, according to an email sent to the Loyola community from Financial Aid Office Director Tobyn Friar.
The money is meant to help students cover expenses related to the disruption of campus life, such as moving off campus and going home. Funding is also supposed to go directly to students and is not allowed to go toward any outstanding charges.
Loyola will use students’ FAFSA — a federal financial aid application — in order to determine which students are eligible for the HEERF funding, according to Rozenich. She said students who don’t already have one on file are encouraged to submit one by May 2.
Rozenich also said Loyola has not yet received the HEERF grant money for students and is still considering how many individual grants they will give and how the university will distribute the funds in an “equitable and efficient manner.”