1. What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II? 


The 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was passed December 27, 2020 and provides funding for students in higher education.  These awards are similar to the CARES awards made during the summer of 2020 (also referred to as HEERF I). 


2. What is the difference between HEERF II awards and HEERF I (CARES) awards? 


CARES/HEERF I funding was specific to students’ expenses resulting from the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 emergency. 


Expenses applicable for HEERF II funding are defined as: 

  • Any component of the student’s cost of attendance (COA), or 
  • Emergency costs that arise due to Coronavirus, such as but not limited to tuition, food, housing, healthcare, mental healthcare, or child care. 
  • Satisfaction of student’s account balance if student provides consent.  

Expenses must be incurred on December 27, 2020 or later. 

Also, the CRRSAA requires institutions to prioritize students with exceptional need and authorizes students exclusively enrolled in distance education (WP Online) to receive awards. 

CARES awards were limited to students eligible to participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs, whereas HEERF II awards do not require Title IV eligibility. 


3. How do I request a HEERF II award? 


Applicants for the HEERF II awards must complete an online application form.  


Students who meet eligibility requirements will receive a notification with a link to the application form. 


Applicants must identify the type and amount of expenses that are relevant to this funding source in the application. If no expenses are indicated, no award will be made. 


4. Which students are eligible to receive the HEERF II awards? 


These are requirements for eligibility:

  • Student must be matriculated (enrolled in a degree-seeking program)
  • Must be enrolled in the spring 2021 semester, registered as of 2/18/21
  • Full time and part time students are eligible (however, different award amounts will apply)
  • Must have a completed 2020-2021 FAFSA and it must have been received by WPU by 2/18/21. Information from the FAFSA is used for determination of students who qualify for the “excetional need” award category.

Further, these students are not eligible for HEERF II awards:

  • International, undocumented, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are not eligible for HEERF II awards
  • WPUNJ employees (not including student workers) are not eligible for the award

5. What is the deadline to file the application? 


To be considered for this award, the application must be completed and submitted no later than midnight, Friday, March 12, 2021. 


6. How will I know if I’ve been approved for a HEERF II award? 


Notifications will go out during the week of March 15th letting all applicants know if they will be receiving an award. 


7. If approved, when will I receive funding? 

Recipients will receive their awards no later than Wednesday, March 24, 2021. 

Awards can be credited to your student account or paid to you through the normal student refund process. You must make this selection when you complete the application form. 


8. What expenses qualify? 

Students’ cost of attendance and emergency costs arising from the coronavirus pandemic are eligible expenses, providing they were incurred on or after December 27, 2020. Examples of these costs include: 

  • Tuition and fees for spring 2021 
  • Satisfaction of student account balance 
  • On-campus room and board 
  • Other housing and food costs 
  • Technology expenses to support remote learning (hardware/software) 
  • Internet service costs necessary to support remote learning 
  • Purchase of additional educational materials, including books, tutoring or course materials to improve experience and performance of remote coursework 
  • Unexpected healthcare costs, including mental healthcare, resulting from circumstances of the pandemic 
  • Unexpected childcare expenses due to circumstances of the pandemic 


9. How much funding can I receive? 

The total pool of funds to be awarded is $4,881,678. The individual award amounts will depend on several factors: 

  • How many students apply 
  • Each applicant’s category* of calculated award: award amounts will vary for those with exceptional need and full time vs. part time  
  • The amount of actual expenses indicated on the application form:  

* The four categories of calculated award amounts  (full time/exceptional need; full time/non-exceptional need;  part time/exceptional need; part time/non-exceptional need) will be calculated based on the total pool of funds and the number of applicants in each category. 

If the total actual expense you show on your application form is less than the calculated award, your award will be limited to your actual expense. 

If you do not list any actual expense on your application, you will not receive any award. 


10. Do I have to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive HEERF II funds? 


Yes. HEERF II requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, and William Paterson University fulfills this requirement by using the financial aid criteria that determines federal Pell grant eligibility. Such criteria can only be obtained from the FAFSA. This is an acceptable methodology for determination of “exceptional need” under the CRRSAA.  


11. If I have changes to make to my application after I already submitted it, how do I make those changes? 


You can make changes to your application up to 11:59 pm, Friday, March 12. To access your form, click here 


12. Can I appeal the decision outcome? 

No, there is no appeal process regarding the decision or the grant amount. 


13. My family had a loss of income, what can I do? 

If your family has experienced a loss of full- time wages for more than ten weeks, we encourage you to appeal for a review of your special circumstances – this process is called Special Conditions. With this process, your Financial Aid Counselor will be able to review documentation related to unemployment or other factors that led to a change in the household income and with this information, make changes to your FAFSA to reflect the current income. This important process may qualify you to receive additional funding for the 2020-2021 aid year. The link to the Special Conditions form is: https://www.wpunj.edu/financial-aid/assets/SPCON21.pdf.