30-day Report for Cares Act Funding

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES Act Sections 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, 18004(a)(2), and 18004(a)(3)

CARES Act – Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)Grants to Students Required 30-day Report (7/7/2020; updated 8/21/20; updated 10/5/20)

On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the CARES Act (H.R. 748), which provides emergency relief funds to organizations and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), found in Section 18004 of the CARES Act, provides funding to institutions of higher education “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” The following information is provided by Brandeis University University as required by the Department of Education (“ED”) in order to comply with the reporting requirements under the CARES Act. This is Brandeis University University’s first 30-day progress report and presents information as of Month, day, year. Additional reports will be provided every 45 days.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Brandeis University University signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education on 6/29/20 for the HEERF Funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants. Brandeis University received its grant award notification on 7/14/20. In keeping with the terms of the certification, Brandeis University will use no less than 50% of the funds received, as stated under 18004(c) of the CARES Act, to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants directly to students.

  1. 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.

Brandeis University University is slated to receive a total of $3,198,465 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, of which $1,599,232.50 will be provided directly to students impacted by campus disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis.  On 8/5/20, the University received $1,508,150 of the student portion of this award and $0 of the institutional portion of this award.  As of 10/5/20, the University has received $1,539,525 of the student portion and $1,539,525 of the institutional portion of this award, for total funds received of $3,079,050.  As of 8/21/20, $77,829 remained for distribution and, as of 10/5/20, $57,757.50 remained for distribution. 

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

As of 7/7/20, Brandeis University had 1,743 HEERF-eligible students; as of 8/21/20, Brandeis University had 1,757 HEERF-eligible students .  All enrolled students were notified of the availability of this grant via e-mail on 6/8/20 and were given until 6/24/20 to apply for these funds by filing a valid FAFSA; reminder e-mails were sent periodically with the last one sent on 7/14/20.  Eligible students who did not request the funds by 7/16/20 were sent an e-mail on 7/20/20 with instructions on how to apply for the funds via an application to SFS. 

As of 7/7/2020, 1,743 awards were offered, in an amount of $1,300 or $650, depending on the student’s FAFSA EFC; 1006 awards were requested and distributed. As of 8/21/20, 1,746 awards were offered, in an amount of $1,300 or $650, depending on the student’s FAFSA EFC; 1,638 awards were requested and distributed.  As of 10/5/20, 1,658 awards were requested and distributed.

Additional awards will be reported no more than 10 days after the close of each quarter.  The next update is slated for January 10, 2021.   

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Brandeis University determined that 1,743 students were eligible as of 7/7/20, 1,757 were eligible as of 8/21/20 and 1,722 were eligible as of 10/5/20 (the number decreased due to withdrawals and leaves of absences for fall 20).  As of 7/7/20 and 8/21/20, respectively, 2,382 and 2,168 students were determined to be potentially eligible to participate in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.  As of 10/5/20, 83 students were potentially eligible (21 of these declined the award) to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act based on the methodology of actual FAFSAs filed.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of the date of the initial 30-day Disclosure, the total number of students who have been offered an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 1,743; 1,638 grants were distributed as of 8/21/20; 1,658 grants were distributed as of 10/5/20.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Brandeis University is using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as the application to apply for a HEERF grant. Any currently enrolled student who was enrolled at least half-time in a degree program, not including programs offered exclusively online, during the spring 2020 semester, who filed a valid 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 FAFSA by June 24, 2020, and was determined to be eligible for Title IV federal aid by the Office of Student Financial Services, is eligible for a HEERF grant.  As of 7/7/20, 1,743 students met the criteria for the grant.  Students with a FAFSA EFC of $10,000 or below qualified for a grant of $1,300 and students with an EFC above $10,000 qualified for a grant of $650.  If all students awarded a grant request distribution of these funds, the entirety of the $1,599,232.50 allotment would have been expended. Students had until July 16th to request distribution of these funds.  As of July 16th, all funds were not expended so an application form was created for eligible students who did not already receive a grant to apply for these funds.  An e-mail with the application instructions was sent on 7/20/20 to all eligible students who did not request the grant by 7/16/20.  Currently- and newly-eligible students will be included in future application instruction e-mails until funds are expended.  As of 8/21/20, $77,829 in funds remained and, as of 10/5/20, $57,757.50 in funds remained. 

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. 

An email was sent to all enrolled students (excluding those who began their studies after spring 2020) on 6/8/2020, explaining the eligibility requirements and the June 24th deadline to submit the FAFSA.  The e-mail also directed students to the University’s HEERF website at https://www.Brandeis University.edu/student-financial-services/financial-aid/announcement.html.  This website includes eligibility requirements for the grant, deadlines and timelines, and FAQS. 

On 7/1/2020 an email was sent to all grant-eligible students with instructions on how to request distribution of their HEERF grants. On 7/8/20 and 7/14/20, a reminder e-mail was sent to all grant-eligible students who did not request their funds.

On 7/20/20 an email was sent to all eligible students who did not request their funds by 7/16/20 with an attached application form and instructions on how to complete and return it to SFS to apply for the grant.  No deadline was given, however, it indicated funds would be distributed on first come, first served basis until funds are expended.   Multiple reminder e-mails about the grant and the application process have been sent since 7/20/20.  Future e-mails will also include newly-eligible students since the 6/24/20 FAFSA deadline.