CRRSA Act (HEERF II) Washington and Lee University

On December 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act was signed in to law. Similar to the CARES Act passed in March 2020, this act included funding to institutions of higher education to make financial aid grants to students, which can be used for any component of the student's cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing health care or child care. The amount allocated by the Department of Education to educational institutions specific to student financial aid grants is the same amount awarded for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CARES Act. For Washington and Lee University this amount is $522,522.

More than 90% of the University's allocated CRRSA Act student aid funds were distributed in the form of fixed stipends to eligible undergraduate students who were identified as having exceptional financial need. The University used the following method to identify these students and determine the amount of CRRSA Act emergency grant funds they would receive:

  1. First, the University identified the population of students who met the following preliminary set of criteria: (i) had submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2020-2021 academic year, (ii) was determined to have a total family contribution less than the 2020-2021 university cost of attendance and (iii) received scholarship or grant aid in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  2. Students meeting all criteria set forth above were grouped into five categories based on their financial need and family income in order to distribute the highest amount of aid to the highest need students, including students with Pell grant eligibility. Those students in the four highest-need categories were awarded stipends of $1,400, $1,000, $500 or $300.

The remaining funds were reserved for law students with financial need having been demonstrated through an application process.

Quarterly Report Ended March 31, 2021

Washington and Lee University received notification of the new CRRSA Act funds via a supplemental CARES Act Grant Award Notification from the U.S. Department of Education on January 29, 2021 which indicated that by acceptance of the award the University agrees to distribute at least the same amount of funding in financial aid grants to students as was required to be provided under the CARES Act.

The total amount allocated to the University from the Department of Education for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSA Act program was $522,522. The University was granted access to these funds upon receipt of the award notification.

The total estimated number of students who are eligible to receive CRRSA Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants is 2,088.

As of March 31, 2021, $498,200 has been disbursed to 545 undergraduate students in amounts ranging from $300 to $1,400 according to the allocation method described above.

Letter to Students

Please see below for a copy of the letter sent to students receiving financial aid grants.

Dear [[student name]],

We hope this email finds you well. Congress recently authorized additional educational support through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II). HEERF II provides funding to colleges and universities for the purpose of assisting students with expenses associated with the cost of attendance, or for emergency expenses that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

Washington and Lee University is distributing these funds in the form of a fixed stipend to students who meet the Federal eligibility requirements and have demonstrated exceptional financial need. We have determined that you meet this set of criteria and, as such, you will be receiving a payment of $[[]]. As mentioned above, this stipend can be used to assist with expenses associated with the cost of attendance, or for emergency expenses that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care. The IRS has indicated that these payments are not taxable to recipients, but, as always please consult with your tax advisor with any questions or concerns.

If you have previously enrolled in direct deposit for Accounts Payable payments such as a Room and Board refund, this payment will be directly deposited to your account on or about March 12th, 2021. If you have enrolled in direct deposit then this payment will be deposited directly to your account. Otherwise a check will be issued and sent to your home address. Please contact the Business Office at businessoffice@wlu.edu with any questions on payment.

Sincerely,

Megan Hobbs
Associate Dean of Students

James Kaster
Director of Financial Aid

Celia Kovac
Associate Treasurer & Controller

Quarterly Report Ended June 30, 2021

Between March 31, 2021 (the date of the last report update) and June 30, 2021, the University disbursed $24,322 of student aid funds to 29 students, all of which was paid based on approved applications for aid received from eligible graduate students. Students approved for aid grants received the same letter posted above.

As of June 30, 2021, a total of $522,522 of CRRSA Act funds has been disbursed to 573 students, all of which was paid from the fixed stipends to undergraduate students and applied-for grants to graduate students. All CRRSA Act HEERF II student aid funds have now been disbursed.

Quarterly Report Ended September 30, 2021

On April 15, 2021, the University was awarded $186,487 of Institutional Funds under section 314 of the CRRSA Act, which funds were to be used for sanitation, personal protective equipment, or other expenses with the general health and safety of the campus environment related to the coronavirus emergency. In July 2021, the University drew down these funds as reimbursement for a portion of its costs incurred to provide preventative COVID-19 screening services to students and employees.