You may be receiving a relief grant funded by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA). This new law gives the U.S. Department of Education (Department) approximately $22.7 billion to distribute to institutions of higher education in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus through the HEERF, known as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF2”).

Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. However, students do not need to be Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants in order to qualify for a grant. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.

The funds are to be used to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Patrick Henry Community College received $741,862 for this fund. Financial aid grants for students may 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 (including mental health care) or child care.

Who is eligible to receive a grant?
If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), has qualified under the REV program, or eligible for FANTIC, then the student is likely eligible, depending upon income level. Students who have not filed a FAFSA, are not qualified under the REV program, or ineligible for FANTIC, also may receive emergency financial aid grants. Those students will be required to complete the online application by April 9, 2021. We are distributing funds in accordance with guidance from the United State Department of Education to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolled during Spring 2021 term as of January 25, 2021.
  • Enrolled half-time or greater (6 or more credits – irrespective of FACA)
  • Have demonstrated exceptional need:
    • Students who qualify for FANTIC
    • Financial aid recipients who are enrolled in 6+ financial aid eligible credits as a dependent with an EFC less than $13,810 or an independent with an EFC less than $18,696.

Who is not eligible to receive a grant?
The following students are not eligible to receive a grant award:

  • Dual Enrollment students
  • Non-U.S. citizens
  • Third party payers such as employers

When will the grants be distributed?

  • One hundred percent (100%) or $741,862 will be paid to eligible students enrolled during spring semester as soon as practicable after April 9, 2021.

How will the college determine who is eligible to receive a grant award?
The college has queried the Student Information System (SIS) to determine student eligibility through the Primary EFC portion of those students who completed a FAFSA. For those who did not complete a FAFSA, they will be required to complete an application and eligibility for grants will be manually determined.

How many students are eligible for financial aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965?
Approximately 799 students will be eligible. Eligibility of those who do not have a FAFSA on file is ongoing. The final number of eligible students will not be known until after the April 9, deadline.

How much will I receive?
The amounts received will depend upon the number of eligible students.

How will I receive my grant?
Nelnet/TMS is processing the payments. They will be processed in the same manner as other student refunds. There are currently two refund methods: 1) ACH direct deposit for students who have bank accounts setup to receive them or 2) paper checks will be sent to the rest.

Is this grant includable in my gross income for tax purposes?
No. This grant is not includible in your gross income. Also, because the emergency financial aid grant is not includible in your gross income, you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit.
For more information, see:

Who do I contact for more information?