The Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF II and HEERF III) are authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020 and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Public Law 117- 2, signed into law on March 11, 2021. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion, and ARP authorizes $39.6 billion in support for education in addition to the $30.75 billion expeditiously provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.
Talmudical Seminary Oholei Torah has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement and assures that the institution has used or intends to use the applicable amount of funds designated under the CRRSAA and ARP programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA and ARP require that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. However, students do not need to be Pell recipients nor do they need to be eligible for Pell grants to be eligible to receive HEERF grants.
Talmudical Seminary Oholei Torah has been allocated $269,075 under CRRSAA and $715,528 under ARP to be used as Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Talmudical Seminary Oholei Torah has disbursed $267,720 from the Student Portion of CRRSAA as grants to 256 eligible students as of June 30, 2021.
The method used by Talmudical Seminary Oholei Torah to prioritize students with exceptional need was based on the following criteria:
Pell Grant recipients were prioritized and were the first students to receive CRRSAA Grants. After Pell recipients were awarded, CRRSAA Grants were awarded to non-Pell recipient students. Students received grants in the amount of $1,045. CARES checks from pervious disbursements that had not cleared were voided. That funding, along with $200 from CRRSAA was redistributed to students that were previously ineligible and had not yet received CARES grants.
Students were instructed that their Emergency Financial Aid Grants are non-taxable and may be used for any component of their 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.