The CARES Act and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Reporting Disclosure
On March 27, 2020, the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The CARES Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”). A portion of HEERF funds must go directly to eligible students in the form of emergency financial aid grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare. (“HEERF Student Share Grant Funds”).
The following information is provided by Be’er Yaakov Talmudic Seminary (“BYTS”) as required by the Department of Education (“ED”) in order to comply with the reporting requirements under the CARES Act. This is BYTS’ first 30-day progress report and presents information as of May 23, 2020. Additional reports will be provided every 45 days
1. CERTIFICATION AND AGREEMENT
On April 21, 2020, BYTS signed and returned to ED the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that BYTS 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.
2. AMOUNTS TO BE RECEIVED
Pursuant to the Certification and Agreement, BYTS is eligible to receive up to $667,534.50 in HEERF Student Share Grant Funds. BYTS received notification of receipt of the Student Share of the HEERF on April 26, 2020.
3. AMOUNTS DISTRIBUTED TO DATE
As of the date of this submission, the BYTS has begun distribution of its HEERF Student Share Grant Funds.
As of May 27th, BYTS distributed $128,535.00 to low income students that have demonstrated eligibility.
As of July 10, 2020, BYTS has distributed an additional $68,685.00 to additional students who have demonstrated eligibility.
As of August 13, 2020, BYTS has distributed an additional $470,315.00 of student emergency grants from the student portion of the HEERF, thereby distributing the entire $667,535.00 of the HEERF Student share
4. ESTIMATED NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE STUDENTS
As of the Spring 2020 academic term, BYTS estimates that approximately 562 students enrolled in the First Talmudic/Rabbinic Degree program, may be eligible for the HEERF Student Share Grant Funds, with a maximum potential of 778 students.
5. NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE RECEIVED HEERF GRANTS
A total of 544 Title IV eligible students have received HEERF Student Share Grants with an average distribution amount of $1227.09 per student.
6. METHOD OF DETERMINING WHICH STUDENS WOULD RECEIVE HEERF STUDENT GRANTS
Be’er Yaakov’s method of calculating distribution is based on the expenses for food, course material, and equipment needed to participate in the educational program due to the disruption of campus operations, travel home expenses and health care related expenses. BYTS has decided to prioritize students with the greatest need, but at the same time establish a maximum funding threshold based on aforementioned expenses for each student to ensure that these funds are distributed as widely as possible. Based on the number of students who have demonsrated eligibility, the maximum award is estimated at $1,227.00
Following is a summary of BYTS’ procedure for determining how the HEERF Student Share Grant Funds will be distributed:
Due to its relatively small body of low income students, BYTS anticipates distributing the entire $667,534 to students for expenses incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations.
BYTS will validate each student’s eligibility. Students must demonstrate eligibility by filing a FAFSA by June 25th to be included in the next round of funding.
The initial method of distribution will be first to eligible married students who are determined to have the greatest need. BYTS has already reviewed the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of all such students and distributed funds to all married students in order of lowest to highest EFC who have also demonstrated eligibility. BYTS has given students a deadline of June 25th to demonstrate eligibility by completing their FAFSAs.
If the total value of eligible students to receive funds during the period exceeds $667,534, BYTS may choose to submit all eligible students back into one pool, and reallocate the total award equally between all students in order of lowest to highest EFC. Final determination will be made after the June 25th deadline, once BYTS has a final account of all eligible students.
Any funds remaining after the initial funding of all students, will be awarded to eligible students on a case-by-case basis taking into account individual student circumstances. A final round of funding will be considered if total remaining funds exceed $50,000. BYTS will continue to make awards consistent with the CARES Act and BYTS’ policy until the HEERF Student Share Grant Funds are fully distributed.
7. INSTRUCTIONS, DIRECTIONS AND GUIDANCE REGARDING HEERF STUDENT SHARE GRANTS
A letter has been sent out to all students advising them that the distributed funds are to be used in accordance with the CARES Act: “to be used for expenses that are related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare.” In addition, letters to students and guidance posted on BYTS’ website encourages all students do the following:
Complete their FAFSAs by the June 25th deadline.
Gather and organize documentation required to demonstrate FAFSA eligibility, or contact BYTS’ administrative office for assistance.
Review HEERF Student Share Grant Funds FAQs at
HEERF STUDENT PORTION FAQ for related information.