The Coronovirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Section 18004 of the CARES Act directs the Secretary of Education to allocate funds out of the Higher Education Relief Fund to higher education institutions to directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures. These funds may be used (1) to defray the institutions’ expenses, including lost revenues and payroll for employees and (2) for “emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).” Recipient higher education institutions must pay no less than 50 percent of these funds to students as emergency financial aid grants.
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Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act
Section 314(a)(4) of the CRRSAA Act requires that proprietary institutions use all of their second allocation of emergency relief funds to provide financial aid grants to students. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA Act requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students.