Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
Page last updated Oct. 29, 2021
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is a federally funded grant that provides financial assistance to eligible college students to help with unexpected expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal guidelines require universities to give priority to students with high financial need and distribute the funds directly to students.
HEERF funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).
Students eligible to receive funding as part of HEERF will receive direct notification from TCU. Students with questions about the distribution process, please contact Financial Services:
Students and families experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic—regardless of whether or not they qualified for HEERF funding—should contact the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid as there may be additional sources of funding available.
Frequently Asked Questions
HEERF is an acronym for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
HEERF II funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA): Public Law 116-260, signed into law on December 27, 2020. HEERF III funding was authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021.
Federal guidelines require universities to give priority to students with high financial need. In addition, TCU selected students who met the following criteria.
The criteria for the initial round can be found here.
For the second round, TCU identified students who:
- Were currently enrolled for the Fall 2021 term at the time the funds were offered
- Had filed an official 2021-2022 FAFSA or TASFA; or international and qualified for need-based aid
- Demonstrated an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) between $0 - $35,000 and an Annual Gross Income of $175,000 or less
Amounts are based on results of the FAFSA or TASFA, enrollment classification, and hours enrolled. Priority funding is given to undergraduate students with high financial need and who have completed federal verification, if selected.
Second round (Fall 2021):
Pell Eligible ($0 - $5,846 EFC for 2021-2022 Aid Year)
Non-Pell Eligible ($0 - $35,000 EFC for 2021-2022 Aid Year)
$0 - $35,000 EFC – (Incomplete Federal Verification)
$0 - $35,000 EFC
The EFC is calculated as part of the FAFSA/TASFA process and is based on a family’s financial situation and household information, and is normally used to determine eligibility for need-based federal and state aid programs. The federal EFC is visible upon completion of the FAFSA and can be found on the Student Aid Report (SAR) received by students. To view the 2021-2022 federal EFC and full Student Aid Report, go to the FAFSA website.
Funds will be distributed directly to students using Chase Bank’s QuickPay® system, a free and secure way to transfer money. Funds will not be disbursed to TCU student accounts. Students who do not currently use Chase QuickPay® will need to set up an account in order to receive funding. However, you are not required to have a checking or savings account with Chase Bank to use the QuickPay® service. Anyone with a U.S. bank account can receive money through Chase QuickPay®. When funds become available for disbursement, students will receive an email from Chase Bank with instructions on how to complete the transfer.
No, the bank account number is not the same as a credit/debit card number. You can obtain your account information from your bank statement, mobile banking app, or from a paper check.
QuickPay® is the easiest and fastest way to receive your money. However, if you don’t have a U.S. bank account, or encounter a setup problem, please contact Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-257-7836.
No. All funds will be paid directly to students. Once received, students may use the money to make a payment to their TCU student account through TCU student payments.
Students who received funding in the initial round were notified of their eligibility in June 2021. TCU is working to distribute the second round of funds as quickly as possible. We anticipate notifying students of their eligibility by early Nov. 2021.
Once the Chase QuickPay® account has been set up and funds accepted, the transfer of dollars from TCU to the student bank account will usually take only minutes. However, we do ask that you allow three business days before contacting the Financial Services Office.
Our understanding is that these funds are not taxable. However, students should always refer to irs.gov for guidance and the latest information.
There may be additional sources of funding available to students who did not qualify for HEERF assistance but continue to experience financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students with additional financial needs related to their student accounts should contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Financial Aid.
Students and families who have questions about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) not addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid.