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HEERF II (CARES 2)

CRRSA ACT and HEERF II Student Funds

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act (enacted December 27, 2020) provided additional Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF II). A portion of these funds were designated to be spent as emergency funds for students. The HEERF II allocations were in addition to the initial HEERF I funds received as part of the CARES Act in April 2020.  On January 17, 2021, South Dakota State University (SDSU) received the Grant Award Notification (GAN) for the HEERF II Student Funds. SDSU acknowledged receipt of the GAN on January 20, 2021.

SDSU HEERF II Information (as of March 19, 2021)

HEERF II Student Funds: $3,010,084

HEERF II Student Funds disbursed as emergency grants to students: $3,041,584

Number of students who have received HEERF II Student Funds: 2661

CRRSA HEERF II Institutional Funds: $6,980,384

Total CRSAA HEERF II Student and Institutional Funds: $9,990,468

HEERF II Student Emergency Fund Awarding Protocol

SDSU’s HEERF II Student Funds were used to award emergency grants (called CARES 2 Emergency Grants) to students enrolled at SDSU in the Spring 2021 term. The CRRSA Act specified that when making awards out of the HEERF II Student Fund, schools should prioritize students with exceptional financial need such as students who receive Federal Pell Grants. SDSU did not require students to complete an application to receive the funds. Instead, grants were paid to eligible students based on the students meeting the eligibility criteria as of February 24, 2021.

To qualify for the grant, students must have

  • been enrolled in at least 1 credit hour at SDSU for the Spring 2021 semester as an undergraduate student in a Bachelors Degree, Associates Degree, or Teacher Certification program
  • not withdrawn from the Spring 2021 term
  • filed a FAFSA for the 2020-2021 year that was not rejected, was received by SDSU, and included a valid Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number
  • established eligibility to receive a Pell Grant for the Spring 2021 term or have both an EFC from FAFSA between 0 and 12119 and unmet financial need after gift aid of at least $5000
  • met the Title IV eligibility requirements of Section 484 of the Higher Education Act including meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and citizenship requirements

Awards were paid to students between March 1 and March 12, 2021. Award amounts ranged from $250 to $1500 depending on Pell-eligibility, EFC, and enrollment status. The following chart provides the distribution information:

Student Eligibility CriteriaHEERF II Grant Amount *
Pell Recipients$1,500
0 to 5711 EFC (not Pell-Eligible) and unmet need after gift aid >= $5000$1,000
5712 to 12119 EFC and unmet need after gift aid >= $5000$500

*Students enrolled less than half-time received 1/2 the grant amount

Question about eligibility and award amounts should be directed to SDSU CARES Grant sdsu.CARESGrant@sdstate.edu.


Student Notification of Eligibility

Students who qualified for the HEERF II grants were notified by an email sent to their Jacks email address.  A sample of the email follows:

Dear SDSU Student,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been awarded a CARES 2 Emergency Grant in the amount of $1000. You do not need to complete an application to receive this grant. The grant funds were provided through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act recently passed by the United States Congress. Your grant will be disbursed to you this week through Direct Deposit or, if you have not set-up Direct Deposit, by paper check to your Student Refund Address. It may take several days for the funds to show up in your bank account.

You may use the funds to cover any portion of your educational costs and emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus including things like

  • Tuition, fees, books, and school supplies
  • Housing, utilities, and food
  • Health care expenses including mental health
  • Child care costs
  • Transportation expenses

Please note that the grant will disbursed directly to you even if you have outstanding charges on your SDSU account.  If you choose to use your grant funds to cover tuition, room, or meal plan charges that you owe to SDSU, you will need to make a payment to your account by visiting the Cashier’s Office or through SDePay.

If you have additional questions about the CARES 2 Emergency Grant or your financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office at SDSU.finaid@sdstate.edu or 605-688-4695.

We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to let us know if you need assistance!

SDSU Financial Aid Team