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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Page last updated Mar. 1, 2022

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is a federally funded grant that provides financial assistance to eligible college students to help with unexpected expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal guidelines require universities to give priority to students with high financial need and distribute the funds directly to students.

HEERF funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).

Students eligible to receive funding as part of HEERF will receive direct notification from TCU. Students with questions about the distribution process, please contact Financial Services:

finserv@tcu.edu
817-257-7836

Students and families experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic—regardless of whether or not they qualified for HEERF funding—should contact the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid as there may be additional sources of funding available.

financialaid@tcu.edu
817-257-7858

Frequently Asked Questions

HEERF is an acronym for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

HEERF II funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA): Public Law 116-260, signed into law on December 27, 2020.  HEERF III funding was authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021.

In accordance with federal guidelines, TCU gives priority to students with high financial need. 

In addition, for Round 1 (Spring 2021), TCU selected students who met the following criteria:

  • were enrolled on the last day of class for the Spring 2021 term.
  • had filed an official 2020-2021 FAFSA or TASFA.
  • demonstrated an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) between $0 - $10,000 and an Annual Gross Income of $65,000 or less.
  • completed the federal verification process, if selected.

In addition, for Round 2 (Fall 2021), TCU selected students who:

  • were currently enrolled for the Fall 2021 term at the time the funds were offered
  • had filed an official 2021-2022 FAFSA or TASFA; or were international and qualified for need-based aid
  • demonstrated an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) between $0 - $35,000 and an Annual Gross Income of $175,000 or less

In addition, for Round 3 (Spring 2022), TCU selected students who:

  • submitted the HEERF Emergency Grant Application
  • were currently enrolled for the Spring 2022 term at the time the funds were offered

Yes, all students currently enrolled in Spring 2022 were eligible to apply. The HEERF Emergency Grant application is now closed. 

Round 1 (Spring 2021): Amounts are based on results of the FAFSA or TASFA, enrollment classification, and hours enrolled. Priority funding is given to undergraduate students with high financial need and who have completed federal verification, if selected.

Undergraduate Students

$0 - $5,711 EFC – (Pell Eligible)

Full-time $2,000

Part-time $1,000

$0 - 10,000 EFC – (Non-Pell Eligible or TASFA EFC)

Full-time $1,500

Part-time $750

Graduate Students

$0 - $10,000 EFC $750

Round 2 (Fall 2021): Amounts are based on results of the FAFSA or TASFA, enrollment classification, and hours enrolled. Priority funding is given to undergraduate students with high financial need and who have completed federal verification, if selected.

Undergraduate Students

Pell Eligible ($0 - $5,846 EFC for 2021-2022 Aid Year)

Full-Time $2,000

Part-Time $1,000

Non-Pell Eligible ($0 - $35,000 EFC for 2021-2022 Aid Year) 

Full-Time $1,500

Part-Time $750

$0 - $35,000 EFC – (Incomplete Federal Verification) 

Full-Time $500

Part-Time $250

International Students 

Full-Time $1,500

Part-Time $750

Graduate Students 

$0 - $35,000 EFC $1,000

Round 3 (Spring 2022): Amounts are based on the HEERF Emergency Grant Application. Priority funding is given to students with EFC under 71,925. 
 
$0 - $71,924 Official EFC for 2021-2022 Aid Year $1,600

$71,925 and higher EFC for 2021-2022 Aid Year $1,000
 
Students who submitted formal requests for special circumstances review, with documented hardship and EFC change Up to $2,500

The EFC is calculated as part of the FAFSA/TASFA process and is based on a family’s financial situation and household information, and is normally used to determine eligibility for need-based federal and state aid programs. The federal EFC is visible upon completion of the FAFSA and can be found on the Student Aid Report (SAR) received by students. To view the 2021-2022 federal EFC and full Student Aid Report, go to the FAFSA website.

Funds will be distributed directly to students using Chase Bank’s QuickPay® system, a free and secure way to transfer money. Funds will not be disbursed to TCU student accounts. Students who do not currently use Chase QuickPay® will need to set up an account in order to receive funding. However, you are not required to have a checking or savings account with Chase Bank to use the QuickPay® service. Anyone with a U.S. bank account can receive money through Chase QuickPay®. When funds become available for disbursement, students will receive an email from Chase Bank with instructions on how to complete the transfer.

No, the bank account number is not the same as a credit/debit card number. You can obtain your account information from your bank statement, mobile banking app, or from a paper check.

All funds will be paid directly to students. Once received, students may use the money to make a payment to their TCU student account through TCU student payments.

QuickPay® is the easiest and fastest way to receive your money. However, if you don’t have a U.S. bank account, or encounter a setup problem, please contact Financial Services at finserv@tcu.edu or 817-257-7836.

No. All funds will be paid directly to students. Once received, students may use the money to make a payment to their TCU student account through TCU student payments.

Students who received funding in the initial round were notified of their eligibility in June 2021.  Students who received funding in the second round were notified of their eligibility in October 2021, or at the time of award, if later.  Students who received funding in the third round will be notified of their eligibility in March 2022, or at the time of award, if later. 

Once the Chase QuickPay® account has been set up and funds accepted, the transfer of dollars from TCU to the student bank account will usually take only minutes. However, we do ask that you allow three business days before contacting the Financial Services Office.  

Our understanding is that these funds are not taxable. However, students should always refer to irs.gov for guidance and the latest information.

Special Circumstance Consideration  

If any of the following circumstances apply to you or a member of your family, and you have completed a 2021-2022 FAFSA, you might qualify for additional federal aid (federal Pell grant or federal Direct subsidized loans).

  • Job loss
  • Reduction of pay
  • Medical expenses
  • Other expenses related to the pandemic

If you have additional questions regarding a special circumstance, please email financialaid@tcu.edu

A Special Circumstance is NOT required to receive HEERF Emergency Grant funds.

Additional Questions?

Students and families who have questions about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) not addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid.