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HEERF CRRSSA Emergency Student Aid Funds Information

From Office of Finance & Administration
February 25, 2021


Doane University has received funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), enacted on December 27, 2020. The new law has some similarities and important differences from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (P.L. 116–136) enacted on March 27, 2020. We will use the student portion of the funds and some of the institution portion of the funds to provide direct emergency aid to Doane students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires institutions to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, to award financial aid grants. However, students do not need to be only Pell recipients or eligible for Pell grants. Also, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education. Many Doane students above the Pell-eligibility threshold have exceptional financial need. Therefore, Doane prioritized full-time and part-time undergraduate, graduate, and online students with an Estimated Family Contribution of up to $12,000 for financial aid grants to students.

Financial aid grants to students provide emergency aid directly to Doane students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Students may use financial aid grants for any component of a student's cost of attendance or emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care. A grant aid recipient is welcome to apply their grant to their student account balance with Doane, but they are not required to do so.

The intent of the CRRSAA, in particular, the student funds, is for institutions of higher education to distribute the funds as quickly as possible. A committee at Doane, including vice presidents, directors, and staff from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Financial Aid; Student Experience; and Grants and Foundations Relations, has reviewed all legislation's guidelines and requirements. We realize these are unprecedented and challenging times for everyone. Many of our students and families are dealing with issues they could not have imagined. We also recognize that the CRRSAA awards for students may not cover all the qualifying expenses you have incurred related to the disruption in your education caused by the coronavirus outbreak. We are aware of the pressures you face currently. We do not wish to place an additional burden upon students and families by requiring an application process requiring individual review of applications and determination of award amounts. Therefore, the Committee established a process where emergency aid will be distributed efficiently while considering all our students' financial needs.


Doane University received a total of $1,713,856 through the CRRSAA as emergency financial aid for the institution. Doane also received $769,461 through the CRRSAA for emergency financial aid grants to students. The CRRSAA requires the University to spend all of its funds in one calendar year and report to the federal government on the method of use of institution funds, the distribution of student funds, and information shared with students about distributing funds.


Group 1: Current students who have a FAFSA on file

  • Doane will distribute 100% of available student aid funds ($769,461) and a small portion of institutional funds ($13,039) immediately to students who have already completed the FAFSA AND are determined to be eligible according to federal guidelines. (see eligibility guidelines below)
  • No action is required to receive these funds. Doane University will not require students who have already completed the FAFSA to complete an application to receive CRRSAA emergency aid funds. Using the information we have on file, we have determined eligibility for funds and the amount of funds students will receive.
  • Following guidance from the federal government, Doane will distribute aid to eligible students with exceptional need based on a formula that considers financial need based on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). See the distribution summary below.
  • No action is required to receive these funds. The Business Office will disburse the funds as soon as possible. If a student is set up for direct deposit, the funds will be deposited into the student's bank account. If not, the Business Office will mail a check to the address listed in the student's account.

Group 2: Current students who DO NOT have a FAFSA on file

Once we have determined the amount of CRRSAA institutional funds available for additional emergency aid for students, we may open an application process for eligible students who did not receive a student emergency financial aid award in Group 1. Group 2 students will be required to complete the FAFSA to allow the committee to determine if an applicant has exceptional financial need as described below. We will continue to inform students of the opportunity to apply for student emergency financial aid grants funded by the CRRSAA institutional portion of funds.


To be eligible for CRRSAA funds* current students must meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolled in a degree or certificate program. Students identified as online-only ARE eligible for CRRSAA funds.
  • Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen.

Using the information on file with the University, we have determined individual eligibility for CRRSAA emergency aid for students.

*Student eligibility for emergency aid to students under the CRRSAA has fewer requirements than the CARES Act. Please see the CARES Act Student Funds Information page for the CARES Act eligibility criteria.


To determine CARES Act funding levels, Doane examined five tiers of Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Doane uses these tiers within our financial aid practices for the University. The following table includes the five EFC tiers.

Tier 5 Equal to or more than $30,001
Tier 4 $15,001-$30,000
Tier 3 $6,001-$15,000
Tier 2 $1-$6,000*
Tier 1 Less than $1*

*Includes Pell-eligible students with an EFC of $5,711

Students in Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are typically those with the highest financial need. Students in Tier 3 are sometimes particularly in need, as they are not eligible for Pell grants. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires institutions to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. In reviewing the data of eligible students, the committee determined that students in the EFC range between less than $1 to $12,000 would be prioritized as having exceptional need.

Doane will distribute student CRRSAA funds among this group of students according to the following table. The committee elected not to differentiate award amounts based on the EFC Tiers, as was done to distribute CARES Act funds. Instead, the committee chose to differentiate funds based on enrollment as a full-time or part-time student and enrollment as an undergraduate or graduate student.

Full-time Undergraduates* 50% of funds ($391,500, 261 students) 24% of funds ($182,000, 130 students) $1,500
Part-time Undergraduates 2% of funds ($13,500, 18 students) 1% of funds ($5,600, 8 students) $750
Full-time Graduates** 12% of funds ($93,000, 93 students) 5% of funds ($42,000, 42 students) $1,000
Part-time Graduates 3% of funds ($26,000, 52 students) 2% of funds ($15,500, 31 students) $500
Total Awarded $782,500 $524,000 (424 students) $258,500 (211 students) $769,461 in CRRSAA emergency student aid funds      


$13,039 in CRRSAA emergency institutional aid fund

A Committee, including the following individuals, developed this process:

Jake Elswick, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience
Heather Kester, Associate Director of Financial Aid
Nancy Murphy, Financial Aid Counselor, Financial Aid Office
Julie Schmidt, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Luis Sotelo, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Sarah Zulkoski, Director of Grants and Foundations Relations