COVID-19 Information

CRRSA Act

CRRSA Act Student Aid

Program Overview

Under the CRRSA Act, Christopher Newport University received federal grant for the purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students to cover any component of their cost of attendance or emergency costs related to coronavirus (such as tuition, food, housing, health care, and child care).

Institutions may pay emergency grants to a student’s outstanding institutional charges, if they receive written or electronic affirmative consent to do so. Agreeing to apply the grant to institutional charges cannot be a condition of receiving the award. If a student does not wish to apply the funds to their institutional charges, grants must be provided directly to students.

Emergency grants will not be considered as estimated financial assistance (EFA), and will have no effect on a student’s current aid package. They also will not be considered taxable or untaxed income for the FAFSA in upcoming aid years.

Eligibility Requirements

The CRRSA Act stipulates that institutions must prioritize students with “exceptional need” when awarding their emergency grants. Christopher Newport has defined “exceptional need” as those students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in the Pell Grant-eligible range. This method allows Christopher Newport to ensure grants are awarded with priority to those with the highest financial need, as demonstrated by the FAFSA and federal needs analysis.

Awarding Procedures

To determine award amounts, Christopher Newport considered students who had an EFC (had submitted a complete FAFSA) and were enrolled during the spring 2021 semester. Students meeting these criteria have been categorized into one of five tiers, based on their EFC. A percentage of the available funding has been allocated for each tier and that funding divided among those students.

All emergency funds from the CRRSA Act have been awarded and paid to students.

CRRSA Reports

Reported on July 7, 2021


Introduction

On December 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, which provided emergency relief funds to organizations and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II), found in Section 314(a)(1) of the CRRSA Act, provides funding to institutions of higher education “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” As a result of receiving this funding, Christopher Newport is required by the U.S. Department of Education to update the information listed below no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, December 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter, unless the Secretary specifies an alternative method of reporting. As official guidance was not released on HEERF II reporting requirements until May 11, 2021, the deadline for the first quarter reporting was extended to 10 days after the end of the second quarter of 2021 (June 30, 2021).

Acknowledgement of Funding and Certification

Christopher Newport was not required to submit a new application or certification to the U.S. Department of Education to use these funds, and we received the allocation for the student emergency grants on January 17, 2021. In keeping with the terms of the certification, Christopher Newport will used no less than the amount used under CARES Act funding ($1,446,968) received under Section 314(a)(1) of the CRRSA Act to provide emergency financial aid grants directly to students.

Total Emergency Grant Funding

Christopher Newport University used $1,446,968 in HEERF II federal grant funds for the purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students “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.”

Funds Distributed to Date

At this time, Christopher Newport has distributed all $1,446,968 to students. Under CRRSA Act provision, any remaining HEERF I funds allocated by the CARES Act could be provided to students under the CRRSA Act rules. Christopher Newport distributed a remaining $47,758 from CARES Act funding to students who demonstrated eligibility under the CRRSA Act. In total, under HEERF II and CRRSA Act provisions, Christopher Newport distributed $1,494,726 to 2,954 students. As all HEERF II funds have been distributed at this time, this will be the final quarterly report for these funds.

Student Eligibility

The CRRSA Act requires institutions to prioritize students with “exceptional need.” In order to meet this requirement, Christopher Newport used the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility. Students were considered if they had submitted a FAFSA, had a valid EFC, and were enrolled in the spring 2021 semester at the time of review. There were 2,954 students who met this criteria. All eligible students received an emergency grant from the HEERF II funds.

Methods Used to Determine Which Students Receive Emergency Grants and How Much

The determination of student eligibility for emergency grants at Christopher Newport, funded by HEERF II was based on EFC as reported by the FAFSA. Institutions were required to prioritize students with “exceptional need” in the awarding process. In order to meet this requirement, students were placed into one of five tiers based on their EFC. The first tier contained all students with EFCs in the Pell Grant eligibility range. Students who had an EFC out of this range were then divided evenly amongst the remaining four. Portions of the grant funding were then allocated to each tier and divided amongst all students in that tier.

Grant funds were given as block awards to students. HEERF II funds could be given for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs related to the coronavirus, and Christopher Newport elected to provide funds to as many enrolled students as possible. Institutions were not required to receive confirmation from students that they had emergency costs related to coronavirus, so awards were able to be made directly to students without additional student outreach.

Emergency Relief Grant Guidance to Students

Students have received email notifications informing them of their emergency relief grant, which included a description of the award and the amount awarded, in addition to information related to the distribution of the award. These emails were sent to students via their Christopher Newport campus email account.

Students who had an outstanding institutional bill were sent a separate email including the amount they would be receiving and giving them the option to apply their emergency relief grant to their bill. Students were not required to submit a response or apply the grant to their bill. Of 679 students contacted with this option, 206 responded and 161 elected to apply the grant to their charges. Those who did not respond or declined to apply their grant to their charges had their grant paid to them directly without any being applied to their outstanding bill.

Reported on July 7, 2021


Introduction

On December 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, which provided emergency relief funds to organizations and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II), found in Section 314(a)(1) of the CRRSA Act, provides funding to institutions of higher education “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” As a result of receiving this funding, Christopher Newport is required by the U.S. Department of Education to update the information listed below no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, December 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter, unless the Secretary specifies an alternative method of reporting. As official guidance was not released on HEERF II reporting requirements until May 11, 2021, the deadline for the first quarter reporting was extended to 10 days after the end of the second quarter of 2021 (June 30, 2021).

Acknowledgement of Funding and Certification

Christopher Newport was not required to submit a new application or certification to the U.S. Department of Education to use these funds, and we received the allocation for the student emergency grants on January 17, 2021. In keeping with the terms of the certification, Christopher Newport will use no less than the amount used under CARES Act funding ($1,446,968) received under Section 314(a)(1) of the CRRSA Act to provide emergency financial aid grants directly to students.

Total Emergency Grant Funding

Christopher Newport University used $1,446,968 in HEERF II federal grant funds for the purpose of providing emergency financial aid grants to students “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.”

Funds Distributed to Date

On March 31, 2021, Christopher Newport had not yet begun distributing grants to students. Awarding procedures were under development, and awarding began in the first week of April 2021. Under CRRSA Act provision, any remaining HEERF I funds allocated by the CARES Act could be provided to students under the CRRSA Act rules. Christopher Newport distributed a remaining $47,758 from CARES Act funding to students who demonstrated eligibility under the CRRSA Act. In total, under HEERF II and CRRSA Act provisions, Christopher Newport distributed $1,494,726 to 2,954 students.

Student Eligibility

The CRRSA Act requires institutions to prioritize students with “exceptional need.” In order to meet this requirement, Christopher Newport used the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility. Students were considered if they had submitted a FAFSA, had a valid EFC, and were enrolled in the spring 2021 semester at the time of review. There were 2,954 students who met this criteria. All eligible students received an emergency grant from the HEERF II funds.

Methods Used to Determine Which Students Receive Emergency Grants and How Much

The determination of student eligibility for emergency grants at Christopher Newport, funded by HEERF II was based on EFC as reported by the FAFSA. Institutions were required to prioritize students with “exceptional need” in the awarding process. In order to meet this requirement, students were placed into one of five tiers based on their EFC. The first tier contained all students with EFCs in the Pell Grant eligibility range. Students who had an EFC out of this range were then divided evenly amongst the remaining four. Portions of the grant funding were then allocated to each tier and divided amongst all students in that tier.

Grant funds were given as block awards to students. HEERF II funds could be given for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs related to the coronavirus, and Christopher Newport elected to provide funds to as many enrolled students as possible. Institutions were not required to receive confirmation from students that they had emergency costs related to coronavirus, so awards were able to be made directly to students without additional student outreach.

Emergency Relief Grant Guidance to Students

Students have received email notifications informing them of their emergency relief grant, which included a description of the award and the amount awarded, in addition to information related to the distribution of the award. These emails were sent to students via their Christopher Newport campus email account.

Students who had an outstanding institutional bill were sent a separate email including the amount they would be receiving and giving them the option to apply their emergency relief grant to their bill. Students were not required to submit a response or apply the grant to their bill. Of 679 students contacted with this option, 206 responded and 161 elected to apply the grant to their charges. Those who did not respond or declined to apply their grant to their charges had their grant paid to them directly without any being applied to their outstanding bill.

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