In late December 2020, federal legislation was passed to provide economic relief to individuals and organizations dealing with the ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This legislation—titled the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (or CRRSA Act)—provided supplemental funding to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for colleges and universities in the United States.
Bemidji State University received $1,406,649 for student emergency funds as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act. The CRRSA Act directed that a portion of the HEERF II money must go toward emergency student financial assistance for students with exceptional need. Bemidji State University distributed these funds through three awarding methods with approximately 54% for students with PELL eligibility, 35% for students with EFC of $5712 to $15,000 and 11% for students with individual needs not to exceed $500.
Most students attending Bemidji State University this spring are eligible for one of these awards, but there are ineligible students. Various restrictions on the use of these funds were established through regulatory direction from the federal Department of Education and the Minnesota State Office of the Chancellor. These restrictions mean that several categories of students cannot receive emergency financial assistance, including:
- Concurrent high school students
- Postsecondary enrollment option students (PSEO)
- DACA/DREAM Act Students
- Senior citizens assessed the senior citizen tuition rates enrolled entirely in non-credit courses
- Incarcerated students
- International students with an F1 Visa status in SEVIS
Bemidji State University is defining students with exceptional need as eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. Pell Grant recipients were identified by the U.S. Department of Education as a priority group for exceptional need.
CRRSAA Supplemental Awards for Pell
Students who received a Federal Pell Grant in the Spring 2021 semester and who were actively enrolled during the semester received a $665 CRRSAA Supplemental Award. Using a headcount of 1099 for Spring 2021, $730,835 was distributed on March 24, 2021.
CRRSAA Supplemental Awards with EFC of $5712 to $15,000
Students who have an EFC between $5,712 to $15,000 in the Spring 2021 semester and who were actively enrolled during the semester received a $575 CRRSAA Supplemental Award. Using a headcount of 870 for Spring 2021, $500,825 was distributed on March 24, 2021.
CRRSAA Student Emergency Fund Applications
The remaining funds will be available to students through the online Bemidji State University Emergency Fund Application. During the spring semester awards of up to $500 were distributed to 350 students totally $175,000.