The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is a national scheme that was created during the COVID-19 disease outbreak to offer educational establishments emergency funds.

The above aid is intended to provide monetary assistance to education systems during the disease outbreak, but schools are needed to distribute the funds to students. From its beginning in 2020, the scheme has gone through three funding phases: HEERF I, HEERF II, and HEERF III.

On July 13, 2022, the very last payment of $1.98 million under HEERF III was dispersed, officially ending financial support under the program.

The above grants will span somewhere from around $150 and $900 for summer 2022, fall 2022, and spring 2023 terms, depending on a student’s financial requirement as well as the number of courses they were able to enroll in that semester. Participants who maintain their enrollment might well be able to qualify for a second, matching grant.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grants have indeed been granted to education systems with unfulfilled financial requirements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to federal regulations, academic institutions are expected to utilize the entirety of the grants to meet students’ basic needs.

Students receiving financial assistance via the program can utilize it for essentials such as accommodation and food, along with educational expenditures such as tuition.

The majority of HEERF funding went to minority-serving institutions (MSIs), historically Black universities as well as universities (HBCUs), community colleges, rural colleges, and establishments that served a significant number of low-income students.

If your institution has previously won HEERF funding, there may be a high possibility there is still support available to disperse, irrespective of if you have previously obtained an emergency grant via the program. You should first verify with your school’s financial assistance office, as several academic institutions have already depleted their HEERF funds.

HEERF grants are available to U.S. citizens, legal residents, foreign students, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, as well as other undocumented students in comparable positions. Even though the precise criteria differ by school, students with the biggest economic need as well as those who experienced unforeseen economic difficulties as a result of the coronavirus are some of those able to qualify.

Eligibility Requirements for HEERF Grant

The overall entry requirements for these funds are as follows:

  • Students should be signed up in classes during the term for which financial resources are available.
  • Students should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (FAFSA)
  • Students “expected family contribution” (EFC) should be less than $6,207.
  • Expected to meet federal standards for acceptable student achievement.

How to Apply for HEERF Grant

The application process for HEERF cash assistance is determined by the school. Several schools mandate you to have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which enables them to determine students that have financial requirements.

You might also be expected to send a student emergency fund request — or a comparable application — to your institution’s financial assistance office in certain instances.

If you are confirmed, you will be alerted via your school email or student portal, however, the method might vary depending on the school. Consult your financial assistance office or visit your online student gateway to verify the standing of your application.


In December 2020, Congress approved and President Trump finalized the Consolidated Appropriations Act. One provision of the decree was the progression of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF funds education systems so that they can offer emergency grants to students whose livelihoods have been impeded by the COVID-19 outbreak.