Emergency Funds Related to COVID-19
COVID-19 has resulted in unexpected challenges and unplanned financial hardship for our students. Westminster received funds through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) Act. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) portion of that money has been fully allocated to students as emergency grants.
Westminster has now received additional funds through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA). HEERF II funds will again be provided to students as emergency grants. HEERF II funds may be used for any component of a 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 childcare. Students may submit an emergency grant application. Domestic students must complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA to be eligible for HEERF II funding. Those ineligible to complete the FAFSA may submit this application for institutional funding from Westminster. Students may authorize Westminster to apply these funds directly toward a tuition balance by selecting the option to do so in the emergency grant application. Otherwise, funds will be provided to students in the form of a check.
Updates and Reports
Westminster has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement for funding through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) Act. Westminster has committed to providing no less than 50 percent of the CARES Act funds to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. These grants are meant for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
Total Amount of Funding
The total amount of funding received by Westminster through the CARES Act was $1,897,239. $948,620 of those funds were received through HEERF (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund). HEERF funds will be distributed as grants directly to students. We estimate as many as 1,444 Westminster students may be eligible for funding through the CARES Act.
Allocation of Funds
There are a few different methods used to allocate these funds to student. Residential students who completed the move-out process in advance of March 30 were issued grants towards housing and food services. The housing grant was $1,000 for the spring term. In accordance with individual meal plan usage as of March 30, students were granted up to $600 for the Purple Plan or up to $800 for the Gold Plan once the 2020 Spring Semester was completed for those students not living on campus and not using their meal plans. Additional emergency grants have been provided to students through an online application. The dollar amount of individual emergency grants provided through the online application varies based on the student’s request.
During the Fall 2020 semester, all eligible federal aid recipients who submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA received a $300 emergency grant. These funds are meant to assist with expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions of campus operations this fall. These disruptions include the move to online/remote instruction, additional purchases required for online course materials, and student services/resources moving online or no longer being available. Additional emergency grant requests through the online application were reviewed for fall expenses until all funds had been spent.
- As of May 26, 2020, Westminster allocated $503,354.12 of CARES funding as emergency grants directly to 397 students.
- As of July 7, 2020, Westminster allocated $526,818.12 of CARES funding as emergency grants directly to 422 students.
- As of Aug. 10, 2020, Westminster allocated $536,218.12 of CARES funding as emergency grants directly to 431 students.
- As of Oct. 5, 2020, Westminster allocated $948,620.00 of CARES funding as emergency grants directly to 1,381 students.
Access quarterly reporting on how Westminster has used the institutional portion of CARES Act funding:
- Quarter 1: Budget and Expediture Reporting Under CARES Act (as of Sept. 30, 2020)
- Quarter 2: Budget and Expediture Reporting Under CARES Act (as of Dec. 31, 2020)
- Quarter 3: Budget and Expediture Reporting Under CARES Act (as of March 31, 2021)