Discussion Paper

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and Its Impact on Fifth District Community Colleges

Abstract: As part of the various government stimulus programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions of higher education received a total of $77 billion via the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF included funds for a broad array of higher education programs, but most funds were allotted for direct student support and for institutional purposes. The CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan required that at least 50 percent of a college or university's HEERF allotment be given to students in the form of direct grants. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, which made additional HEERF funds available after the CARES Act, required that institutions spend at least as much (in nominal dollars) on students as they were required to spend under the CARES Act. Institutions could choose to spend any remaining funds "... to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus." The only disallowed institutional expenditures were recruitment activities, marketing, endowments, capital improvements to athletic facilities, or religious worship.

Keywords: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund; community colleges; 5th district;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Regional Matters

Publication Date: 2023-08-31