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WPI received approximately $1.4 million in emergency financial aid for eligible students.

Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA required that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Federal Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. However, students did not need to be only Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Federal Pell Grants. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.

Learn more below in the FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSAA) Act (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II)? (Updated 2/15/21)

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 included additional COVID-19 relief through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSAA) Act. This new COVID stimulus bill included $23 billion for higher education institutions and students, using the same Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) model established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

    Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA does not require that 50% of an institution's funds be spent on student grants. It does, however, require that institutions spend at least the same dollar amount on student grants as they were required to spend under the CARES Act. 

    WPI has received approximately $1.4 million in emergency financial aid for eligible students. All students who meet the eligibility criteria will have the opportunity to apply for an emergency financial aid grant. 

    The funding is limited; therefore, not every applicant will receive funding. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Federal Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. However, students do not need to be only Pell recipients or students who are eligible for  Federal Pell Grants. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.

  • Which students are eligible to receive HEERF II emergency funds? (Updated 2/15/21)

    Notably, similar to the CARES Act, the CRRSAA includes no student eligibility requirements, however, institutions are required to prioritize grants to students with exceptional financial need, such as those who receive Federal Pell Grants. 

    The HEERF II funds can be awarded to online students as well. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) on June 17, 2020, limiting eligibility for CARES Act emergency financial aid grants to students who met the eligibility criteria for Title IV student aid under Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA). ED has confirmed that the IFR does not apply to HEERF II funds, however they believe the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, which prohibits certain noncitizens from receiving federal benefits, applies to HEERF II funds, making DACA, undocumented, and international students ineligible. 

  • How did WPI distribute the HEERF II funds? (Updated 3/30/21)

    WPI received approximately $1.4 million in emergency financial aid for eligible students

    WPI issued funding in two-phases:

    1.     All undergraduate students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant as of Monday, February 15, 2021, enrolled in C Term Spring 2021 and charged for Spring 2021, received a total of $2,175. There was no application for this funding. This approach meets the spirit of WPI prioritizing students with exceptional need per the CRRSAA guidelines.

    2.     All eligible students, enrolled in C Term Spring 2021 and charged for Spring 2021 as of Monday, February 22nd, undergraduate and graduate students, had the opportunity to apply for funding. 

    Approved funding did not exceed $500 and was a one-time grant.

    The application period was open Wednesday, February 24 through March 10, 2021. The application is now closed, and no further applications will be accepted at this time. Eligible students were notified when the application was opened.

    All applications were reviewed by the Financial Aid Office. The decision whether a student’s application was approved, on a case-by-case basis, determined by demonstrated need and may include a review of any financial-related documents the applicant has on file with the Financial Aid Office (e.g., 2020-2021 FAFSA).

    Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Federal Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. However, students do not need to be only Pell recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants. In addition, the CRRSAA explicitly provides that financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education. Funding was not guaranteed.

    Eligible students, and approved applications, were notified of the funding distribution on Friday, March 26th, 2021 via email. Funds were posted on the same day.

    Questions regarding HEERF II funding can be directed to finaid@wpi.edu.

  • Do eligible students need to sign up for direct deposit to receive the HEERF II emergency financial aid grants? (Updated 2/15/21)

    Yes. In order to provide grants to students as quickly as possible, it is imperative that all eligible students sign up for direct deposit through their CashNet portal (where students view and pay their student account eBills). If students are not able to sign up for direct deposit, or do not do so, they will receive a physical check sent to their home address on file with WPI.

    To set up the direct deposit please use the Banner Self Service Site to login with your password, click the Student Accounts – eBill link, you will be taken to the eBilling system.

    Once in the eBiiling system, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the eRefund enrollment link.

    Enter in all appropriate information and save.

    You must specify a U.S. personal checking or savings account as your direct bank deposit account.

    Please be very careful when entering your bank information as incorrect data may cause a delay in your refund.

    The Bursar's Office has additional information here.

  • How will eligible students know if they have already set up direct deposit? (Updated 2/15/21)

    Students may check their direct deposit status in CashNet, where they log in and pay their tuition accounts.  They may also check by logging into Banner Self Service following the instructions in the bullets in the question above.

  • May students who receives a HEERF II emergency financial aid grant, or students whose applications for a grant are denied, appeal the award decision? (Updated 2/15/21)

    No.  Award decisions are determined on a case-by-case basis following the review of a submitted application form and/or review of the student’s demonstrated need. The WPI Community will be notified when the application opens in the end of February 2021. Students who are approved for funding will be notified via email by mid-to-late March 2021.

    Students may also consider requesting money from the Dean of Students Student Emergency Loan Fund and the WPI Emergency Assistance Fund.

  • How does a HEERF II emergency financial aid grant affect a student’s standard WPI financial aid package? (Updated 2/15/21)

    If a student receives a HEERF II emergency financial aid grant, it will have no impact on 2021-2022 WPI financial aid. The Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy will begin reviewing financial aid packages for returning students in late May, through the month of June, per WPI’s standard process. We anticipate releasing financial aid packages in time for July eBills.

Reporting Requirements

Required Information WPI Response

(1) An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used the applicable amount of funds designated under the CRRSAA and ARP(a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

WPI signed and submitted the “Supplemental Grant Funds for Students" agreement and has, and will, use the funds to provide the mandated amounts to students based on Section 314(d)(5) of the CRRSAA which requires WPI to provide at least the same amount of funding in financial aid grants to students as was required to be provided under sections 18004(a)(1) and (c) of division B of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (Pub. L. 116–136). The amount of funds made available by this supplemental award under CFDA 84.425E represents the minimum amount that Recipient must use for financial aid grants to students.

(2) The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

$1,353,598

(3) The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

$1,353,598

(4) The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

5562

(5) The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

1041

(6) The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

All Federal Pell grant recipients in 2020-2021, as of February 15, 2021, received a one-time grant processed directly to them. All eligible students (5,562) were able to apply for funding, not to exceed $500. Additional funding was based on a student's explanation of demonstrated need. Remaining funds were distributed to Federal Pell Grant recipients based on submission of application for additional demonstrated need.

(7) Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. See WPI FAQ on CRRSAA (HEERF II) above