Institutional Portion of Section 18004(a)(1) and Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP)
Initial Institutional Portion of CARES Act (HEERF I) Section 18004(a)(1) – August 13, 2020
On May 13, 2020, MTSU signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education for the institutional portion of funds under Section 18004(a)(1). The University will receive $17,299,411 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, one-half ($8,649,705) of which will be designated for institutional expenses.
The institutional portion of the CARES funding stipulated that the funds be spent on costs with a clear connection to significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. Specific allowable reimbursements include refunds made to students for housing, food, or other services that could no longer be provided, or for hardware, software, or internet connectivity which was purchased on behalf of students or provided to students.
As of August 13, 2020, MTSU has disbursed $2,947,403 allowed for institutional expenses under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act. The breakdown of these expenses is as follows:
- Issued refunds to students for housing totaling $1,269,730
- Issued refunds to students for meals totaling $631,667
- Continued paying student workers who were no longer able to come onto the campus to work for the months of April and May. The students were paid a total of $776,088 for those two months based on their average earnings from January 1, 2020 to March 15, 2020.
- Technology purchases totaling $269,918, which included the following items used for the transition to remote learning: (1) Zoom license, (2) VPN license, (3) headsets, (4) webcams, (5) computers for use by students.
Beginning in September 2020, quarterly reports are prepared and listed below this section.
Initial Strengthening Institutions Program – August 14, 2020
On May 14, 2020, MTSU signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education for the allocation of funds under Section 18004(a)(2). The University will receive $845,908 pursuant to this Section of the CARES Act.
Funding received under this Section of the CARES Act may be used to defray expenses incurred including lost revenue, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll.
As of August 14, 2020, MTSU has not disbursed any funds from the Strengthening Institutions Program. The amount dispersed will be updated quarterly.
On November 13, 2020, MTSU received an additional distribution of $9,884, bringing the total received to $855,792.
As of December 31, 2020 all of the funds were disbursed to cover the lost revenue from Summer 2020 as shown on the Quarterly Report – December 31, 2020 below.
Institutional Portion of CRRSA Act (HEERF II)
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), also known as HEERF II funds, was signed into law on December 27, 2020, and provided $21.2 billion in support of higher education. Allocations to institutions were based on the relative shares of Federal Pell Grant recipients, the relative shares of non-Pell Grant recipients, and the relative shares of Federal Pell and non-Pell Grant recipients exclusively enrolled in distance education prior to the coronavirus emergency. The addition of distance education students is a change from the CARES allocations.
Unlike the CARES funds, institutions are not required to use 50% of the funds for financial aid grants to students. Instead, institutions are required to issue financial aid grants to students equal to the amount issued under CARES. Unlike with CARES, the student grants may be issued to students taking only online classes. More information about the student portion is listed under the Emergency Financial Aid Grants section.
The CRRSAA Institutional portion may be used to defray expenses associated with coronavirus including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, and technology costs associated with the transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll. These restrictions are slightly less stringent than the restrictions on CARES institutional funding and any unspent CARES funds may be used consistent with the provisions of CRRSAA.
MTSU received $20,309,575 for the CRRSAA Institutional portion.
Quarterly reports are listed below this section.
Institutional Portion of ARP Act (HEERF III)
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, also known as Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF III) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. MTSU was awarded $25,321,264 for the Institutional portion of the fund.
Under the ARP Act, similar to the CRRSA Act, allowable uses under the HEERF III Institutional portion awards include:
- Defraying expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll)
- and making additional emergency financial aid grants to students.
Two new required uses of HEERF III Institutional funds are included in the ARP Act:
- Implement evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordance with public health guidelines.
- Conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants about the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or other circumstances, described in section 479A of the HEA.
MTSU is currently reviewing the guidelines and anticipates using the funds beginning in the Fall 2021.
Once spending begins, the amounts will be included in the quarterly reports below.
Strengthening Institutions Programs (SIP) CRRSA Act
On March 5, 2021, MTSU was awarded $1,225,246 for the CRRSAA Strengthening Institutions Program.
The CRRSAA SIP award may be used to (1) defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll); (2) carry out student support activities authorized by the HEA that address needs related to coronavirus; and (3) provide financial aid grants to students (including students exclusively enrolled in distance education), which 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. In making financial aid grants to students, an institution must prioritize grants to students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants.
Spending is reported in the Quarterly reports in the section below.