On March 27, 2021, Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and on March 28, 2021, former President Trump signed the CARES Act into law. This bipartisan economic stimulus legislation contains significant new resources to help states, hospitals, businesses, organizations, families and individuals address the economic impact of COVID-19.
Education Stabilization Fund
The CARES Act includes the Education Stabilization Fund, which provides states with $30.75 billion to support K-12 and higher education. The amounts each state will receive are largely based on the number of students from lower-income families attending school in that state. The Education Stabilization Fund has three major recipients: K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and emergency relief for governors to use toward education. South Dakota will receive approximately $82 million under the Education Stabilization Fund.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)
The higher education portion of the Education Stabilization Fund is titled the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), of which South Dakota colleges and universities will receive approximately $34 million. The first half of the funding authorized by the HEERF is designated exclusively for emergency grants to students and the second half of the funding is designated to help institutions. For more detail on HEERF, visit the Department of Education (DoED) website.
The University of South Dakota was allocated a total of $3,634,766 under Section 18004(a)(1). Pursuant to the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students, at least $1,817,383 will be distributed directly to eligible students impacted by campus disruptions due to the coronavirus. The Certification and Agreement for the Institutional Portion states that the remaining $1,817,383 may be used to cover institutional costs associated with the coronavirus.