HEERF II – Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA)

SMU Distributes $2.3 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF II) as authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA)

Direct payments will support low-income undergraduate and graduate students

SMU is directing an additional $2.3 million in funds from the Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) to support over 1800 undergraduate and graduate students with high financial need.  This money from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) is the second major financial relief package specifically for high need students facing significant financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similar to the HEERF I disbursements, this one-time payment of either $1,500 or $1,000 will go to students who have the greatest financial need as demonstrated on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The larger grants will go to those students eligible for the federal Pell Grant or with an equivalent Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

These funds are intended to help SMU’s most financially vulnerable students with expenses associated with disruptions from the pandemic, including expenses resulting from a loss of employment, travel restrictions, and unexpected changes in housing as well as remaining tuition and fee charges.  

Eligible students will receive emails from both SMU and Chase Bank with instructions for using Chase QuickPay® to receive funds. All eligible students with a U.S. bank account can access money through Chase QuickPay® regardless of which bank they use. 

Eligible students must be currently enrolled at SMU as of March 29, 2021, and must have received need-based aid or a Federal/State loan for the Spring 2021 term.  This aid could include need-based grants, federal loans or earnings from the federal or state college work study program. 

SMU recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create a financial burden for the families of many students who do not necessarily qualify for federal aid.  Students with additional needs should complete a request for emergency funding through Caring Community Connections (CCC).

Alumni and friends who wish to donate money to support students impacted by hardships surrounding COVID-19 may give to the Presidential Fund for Immediate Needs.

If you have additional questions about the CRRSAA-HEERF II financial relief package, please see HEERF Frequently Asked Questions page or contact the Division of Enrollment Services at enrol_serv@smu.edu or 214-768-3417.

HEERF Frequently Asked Questions

General HEERF FAQ’s

What does HEERF stand for? 

HEERF is an acronym for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. 

How will I receive the HEERF funds?

HEERF Funds will be distributed directly to students through Chase Bank’s QuickPay®.  Funds will not be disbursed to your SMU student account.  You will be required to set up a Chase QuickPay® account if you have not done so already.  However, you are NOT required to have a valid checking or savings account with Chase Bank in order to use the QuickPay®service.  Anyone with a U.S. bank account can receive money through Chase QuickPay® regardless of which bank they use.  When funds are ready, you will receive an email from SMU and a separate email from Chase with instructions on how to accept the funds.

What is a Federal EFC and where can I find mine? 

Your Federal EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, is calculated as part of the FAFSA process and is used to determine eligibility for need-based federal, state, and institutional aid programs.  The EFC can be found on the Student Aid Report (SAR) that the student receives after filing the FAFSA.  To view your Federal EFC or view your full Student Aid Report, go to the FAFSA website, www.FAFSA.gov.  

What if I don’t have a U.S. bank account or can’t complete the QuickPay® setup process? 

QuickPay® is the easiest and by far the fastest way to receive your money.  If you don’t have a U.S. bank account or encounter other problems, contact the Division of Enrollment Services at enrol_serv@smu.edu or 214-768-3417.

Can I have the funds applied to the balance on my SMU student account or toward summer/fall tuition?

You will receive the payment directly through Chase QuickPay®.  If you wish, you may then use that money to make a payment to your SMU student account with SMUpay.

I did not qualify for funds under the HEERF I or HEERF II programs, but I still need help with expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Are there any other funds available to help people like me? 

SMU recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a financial burden for many of our students and their families.  There are additional sources of assistance available to students who did not necessarily qualify for HEERF assistance, but continue to experience financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Student’s with additional needs should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility for emergency assistance from programs that are not funded through HEERF.

In addition, the Office of Student Support is also accepting requests for emergency funds though the Caring Community Connections (CCC) program. 

Are HEERF grants considered to be taxable income?

It is our understanding that HEERF funds are not counted as Estimated Financial Assistance, taxable income, or untaxed income.  However, students should refer to irs.gov for guidance and latest information on emergency relief given through educational institutions. 

Who do I contact with additional questions about the HEERF funding? 

Questions related to HEERF funding should be directed to the Division of Enrollment Services at enrol_serv@smu.edu