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Lumberjack CARES Act Grant

NOTICE: Communication for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II will be sent in early April

Northern Arizona University will soon receive a second round of emergency relief aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II) for student grants. We will again receive $11.7 million in funding to directly assist eligible students who are facing financial hardship as it relates to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.   The university will distribute these funds during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 semesters.


How much will I receive?

Schools are required to prioritize grants to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need; therefore, the amount disbursed is dependent upon the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, OR 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and the resulting estimated family contribution as determined by the FAFSA. That, combined with your designated campus as well as full time/part time status will determine the amount you will receive.

Who is eligible to receive the Lumberjack CARES Act Grant?

Students must have a 2019-2020,  2020-2021, OR 2021-2022 academic year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file to confirm eligibility for the Lumberjack HEERF II and enrolled, full or part-time in a graduate or undergraduate degree program.

More information about HEERF II and Student eligibility can be found here.

Who is not eligible to receive the Lumberjack CARES Act Grant?

Students not eligible include:

  • International students
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) students
  • Non-degree, graduate or undergraduate, students
  • Students who have applied for graduation
  • High school concurrent students

How are the funds distributed?

If a student is eligible to receive the Lumberjack HEERF II Grant, they will have the option to apply the grant funds to their student account balance or receive the funds directly. If a student applies the grant to their LOUIE account, any excess will be refunded via direct deposit or a paper check mailed to them as designated in their LOUIE information. In order to apply funds to a student account, the student must complete the Lumberjack HEERF II Grant Account Authorization form.

If the HEERF II Lumberjack Account Authorization form is not completed or if the preferences is to have funds sent directly to the student, the grant funds will be sent via direct deposit or paper check as designated in the LOUIE account, without applying to any charges on the account.

To check or update information in LOUIE, login in here.

CARES Act Reporting and Disclosure

  1. Northern Arizona University acknowledges that on April 17, 2020, we signed and returned to the Department of Education the required Certification and Agreement that states the institution intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. On May 5, 2020, Northern Arizona University received $11,788,927 from the Department of Education pursuant to our Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  3. On May 12, 2020, Northern Arizona University began contacting students regarding how to submit a request for the Emergency Financial Aid Grant. The first distribution of funds began on May 14, 2020. As of March 1, 2021, $11,849,142 has been distributed which includes $60,350 from institutional grant funds.
  4. As of November 17, 2020, 23,740 students were 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. More information on eligibility is available on this page under the “Who is eligible to receive the Lumberjack CARES Grant?” question.
  5. On May 12, 2020, Northern Arizona University began contacting students regarding how to submit a request for the Phase I Emergency Financial Aid Grant. Distribution of these funds occurred between May 14 and July 16, 2020. For Phase II grants, NAU began contacting eligible students beginning the week of November 2 with distribution of the funds on December 1, 2020. As of March 1, 2021, 17,535 students have completed the confirmation process and have been sent grant funds.
  6. The methods used by Northern Arizona University to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive are detailed on this page in the opening as well as under the “How much will I receive?” question.
  7. Northern Arizona University contacted students and parents via email in May (Phase I) and November (Phase II) with guidance concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. In those emails, students and parents were also encouraged to review information on this page, the Lumberjacks CARES Act Grant website.
  8. The quarterly expenditure reports for the Institutional Portion of the CARES Act are disclosed here.

FAQS


What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which affords the opportunity for NAU to provide emergency grants to students to help defray expenses related to COVID-19. There is additional funding for universities for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II) established a second fund to allow NAU to award additional grant funds during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 semesters.

When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?

NAU applied for funding from the federal U.S. Department of Education based on the guidelines in the CARES Act. We received $11.7 million in May, 2020 and have distributed 95% of those funds as of February 10, 2021.

NAU will receive an additional $11.7 million under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II) for student grants. We anticipate receiving the award of those funds during the Spring, 2021 semester. We will distribute those funds during the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters in 2021.

What documentation is required?

To become eligible for a Lumberjack HEERF II grant, the student must file a current 2020-2021, or future, 2021-2022, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) no later than March 1, 2021. The FASFA for this academic year can be completed here. Please note that both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 FASFAs are available, and either may be completed.

If the student prefers to have the grant funds applied to their student account, they must complete the HEERF II Lumberjack Account Authorization form by the due date.

The student also must confirm that direct deposit information and mailing address in LOUIE are correct. To check or update information in LOUIE, login in here.

What constitutes eligible expenses to qualify for emergency funding?

Eligible expenses could include a variety of expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on your academics. Some potential examples are: money spent for unanticipated travel, emergency child care due to extended school closures, and technology expenses.

Are the federal grants to students taxable?

No. According to the IRS: Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.

Do I have to repay a Federal Emergency Aid Grant?

No. Grants are a type of financial assistance that do not need to be repaid.

Would this funding reduce my financial aid?

No, this fund does not negate or replace financial aid. It is a one-time grant.

Will I still receive funds if I have a charge on my student account?

Yes. CARES grant funds will be sent directly to you even if you have a balance on your account. This grant does not require your account to be at a $0 balance.

How does NAU plan to use the institutional grant funds made available through the CARES Act?

NAU will receive a second, different, institutional grant through the CARES Act. NAU is using these institutional funds to recover costs associated with the significant changes brought on by the global pandemic.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have additional questions, please call 928-523-9501.