Important Update: Second Round of Emergency COVID-19 Financial Aid Funding for Students through CRRSAA for Spring 2021
COVID-19 Financial Assistance for Students
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), enacted on December 27, 2020, Washington State University will receive additional funding to support students impacted by COVID-19.
Students do not need to apply for funding. WSU will evaluate individual student circumstances to determine if they meet the funding criteria. Learn more.
- WSU will award most funds to students meeting the specific need criteria outlined for each award.
- Awards will be granted through either the initial awarding process or through the emergency request process. An individual student will not receive an award for both.
- Funds will be set aside to assist students who have made a request but do not qualify for the initial awarding.
- The funding through CRRSAA will be listed as Federal Emergency Relief Grant on the student’s record.
- Students should be signed up for direct deposit to allow for the quickest process time for funds to be delivered. Please see the direct deposit video in the helpful videos section of the Student Financial Services site.
- Students with extra-ordinary circumstances who were awarded funds and need additional assistance should contact Student Financial Services.
WSU awarded based on initial criteria:
|Enrollment Level||Half time or more for Spring 2021|
|2020-21 FAFSA File Complete||Yes|
(Satisfactory Academic Progress)
|Financial Need||Pell-eligible undergrad, undergrad with expected family contribution (EFC) of $12,000 or less, graduate or professional student with EFC of $5,711 or less.|
|Distribution Timeline||Spring 2021, once funds are received from the federal government.|
WSU awarded based on Emergency Fund Request form completion:
|Enrollment Level||Half time or more for Spring 2021|
|2020-21 FAFSA File Complete||Yes|
|Meeting SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress)||Yes|
|Financial Need||As determined through Emergency Fund Request Form and review.|
|Distribution Timeline||Spring 2021, once initial awards have been made.|
Undocumented Student Emergency Relief Grant (HB 1368)
Under House Bill 1368, the state of Washington allocated $5 million to assist undocumented students with Emergency Relief Grant funding. The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), allocated funds for each college based the number of eligible undocumented students at their institution. The institution was then responsible for creating an awarding plan that, with WSACs approval, would be used to determine qualifying students to receive these funds. Find more information about House Bill 1368 here.Contact Student Financial Services with Questions
What is the CRRSAA/HEERF II?
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Dec. 27, 2020. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion former Secretary DeVos expeditiously provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. WSU will receive a little over $24 million in emergency relief. $10.8 million of this is to be designated to provide direct assistance to needy students.
How long will CRRSA/HEERF II funds be available?
WSU will start disbursing the student portion of the CRRSAA/HEERF II funds as soon as possible after receiving the funds from the federal government. We anticipate the majority of the student portion will be disbursed to students during the month of March, 2021. Some funds will be available for students who do not meet the initial eligibility. Those students will need to apply through the Emergency Fund Request form.
Who is eligible for CRRSAA/HEERF II and Student Emergency funding?
To be eligible for CRRSAA/HEERF II funding, a student must have had a FAFSA on file, meet federal eligibility requirements to receive financial aid, meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), be enrolled in at least half time for Spring 2021 term classes, and meet the EFC criteria outlined above.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow CRRSAA/HEERF II funds to be awarded to international students, undocumented students*, or non-matriculated students. Unlike the CARES Act funds, students enrolled in online classes through Global campus can be considered for CRRSAA/HEERF II.
WSU is awarding students who meet the eligibility criteria outlined above and will set aside a portion of funding to be available for students who do not meet the initial need criteria and who have completed the Emergency Fund Request Form.
*Refer to the FAQ question below or learn more.
Is funding available for undocumented students?
Under House Bill 1368, the state of Washington allocated $5 million to assist undocumented students at Washington institutions with Emergency Relief Grant funding. According to the press release, eligible students are resident, undocumented students who:
- Demonstrate financial need.
- Submitted the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).
- Did not qualify for federally funded student financial aid because of their citizenship status.
- Have been enrolled or will be enrolling as a student in the 2020-21 academic year.
Most students do not need to apply for funding. WSU will evaluate individual student eligibility based on the criteria below for all WASFA-filing students for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. WASFA-eligible students who did not file the WASFA for the 2020-2021 school year will need to complete an application form. Learn more.
Why didn’t I receive funds from CRRSAA/HEERF II and what are my options?
Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students not eligible for federal financial aid programs were not eligible for CRRSAA/HEERF II funds.
The U.S. Department of Education does not allow CRRSAA/HEERF II funds to be awarded to international students, undocumented students, or non-matriculated students.
If you are experiencing hardship due to extenuating emergency circumstances, and you were not awarded CRRSAA/HEERF II initially, financial assistance may be available. Please fill out the Student Emergency Funding Request form. You may still qualify for CRRSAA /HEERF II funds or you may qualify for non-federal sources of emergency assistance. There is also some state emergency assistance to students who have completed the WASFA application and who do not qualify for CRRSAA/HEERF II funds.
Will there be financial assistance available for 2020-21?
Right now we are concentrating on spring semester emergency aid and monitoring federal and state economic conditions, as well as the prospects for additional federal emergency funding for universities and students. We will update these FAQs as we make later decisions on the use of these funds.
How will I receive the funding if I am awarded CRRSAA/HEERF II or other Student Emergency funding?
The fastest way for WSU to deliver funds is for us to send it directly to the student’s personal bank account. We strongly recommend students go to myWSU, select Financial Account>Account Services>Enroll in Direct Deposit. If one needs to change their bank account information for a current direct deposit, go to myWSU, select Financial Account>Account Services>Manage My Bank Accounts. Once the new checking account information has been entered, click on the modify direct deposit link and follow the steps to select the new banking information. See video instructions for enrolling in direct deposit.
Some points to remember about Direct Deposit:
- We can only deposit into domestic United States bank accounts or credit unions.
- Communications are sent to the student’s official WSU email address when a direct deposit has been sent to the bank. The funds will generally be available in their bank account within 3 business days after it appears on their WSU student account.
If you are awarded funds, it will take approximately 24-48 business hours from your confirmation date for the funds to be deposited into your bank account. Some banks make take longer to process payments.
If you are not able to set up a direct deposit account, you be mailed a paper check to the local mailing address on record with the university. To determine what primary address WSU has on record for you, go to MyWSU, Main Menu and then My Profile. You can check and update your primary address there. Be advised that this method can take between 1-2 weeks.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
CRRSAA/HEERF II funding questions should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Service.
- Pullman, Everett, and Global campus Emergency Request Form Funding questions should be directed to the Pullman Dean of Students Office.
- Spokane campus Emergency Request Form Funding questions should be directed to the Spokane Division of Student Affairs.
- Tri-Cities campus Emergency Request Form Funding questions should be directed to Tri-Cities Office of Student Affairs.
- Vancouver campus Emergency Request Form Funding questions should be directed to April Tovar, assistant director of Student Financial Services.
How much will I get from the CRRSAA/HEERF II funds if I am eligible?
What funds are available if I am not eligible for CRRSAA/HEERF II funds?
While the U.S. Department of Education does not allow CRRSAA/HEERF II funds to go to some students, WSU may be able to provide emergency funding. Please fill out the Student Emergency Funding Request form. Non-federal sources are providing these funds.
Do I need to report financial aid or grants on my federal tax return?
The IRS issued FAQs on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act that clarifies that the CARES Act aid should be treated as a “qualified disaster relief payment” and not be treated as taxable income. Each financial award you receive from the federal government and other sources will have separate and unique tax consequences for your federal tax return. Visit the IRS website for assistance.
Where can I find information about CARES HEERF institutional grant's reporting requirements?
Grant Distribution and Refunds
CRRSAA/HEERF II funds are posted to student accounts and the student is notified via a message to their WSU email account.
Students enrolled in direct deposit will receive their funds directly in their bank account. This is the fastest way to receive a refund.
- Students who need to update their direct deposit information should go to myWSU , select Financial Account > Account Services > Manage My Bank Accounts
- Students who are not enrolled in direct deposit will receive a paper check to the local mailing address on record with the university. Students may check this address by going to go to myWSU, Main Menu and then My Profile
- To enroll in direct deposit, students should go to myWSU, select Financial Account > Account Services > Enroll in Direct Deposit to do so. We strongly encourage students sign up for direct deposit.
2020 CARES Act Funding
WSU was funded $21.7 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in 2020. Half of those funds, $10.88 million, were distributed to 9,812 students during the Spring, Summer and Fall terms of 2020, exhausting the student portion of the fund. WSU did both a mass awarding of this fund as well as a process for students to request the CARES funds and other university emergency aid. For more information on the student portion of the CARES Act funds, please see the CARES Act Report and Disclosure.