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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

August 4, 2020

Thomas More University has signed a certification and agreement with the United States Department of Education to participate in the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

This relief fund has provided Thomas More University up to $1,329,216 in emergency funds, of which 50%, or $664,608, will be used for direct emergency assistance to students for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.

To date, Thomas More University has utilized $1,116,252 in relief aid, including $608,575 that has been used for direct emergency assistance to students in need. There are approximately 1,164 students at Thomas More University who are eligible for funding under the CARES Act and 1,164 students have received funding.

The Financial Aid Office used two main distribution methods for HEERF funds:

  1. Stimulus – This method distributed relief funds to all Title IV eligible students whose instruction was interrupted by the disruption of campus operations. Any eligible student whose classes were moved from an in-person format to an online platform received relief funds through this method to help defray costs associated with increased technology and utility expenses required for online instruction. Stimulus amounts ranged from $150 – $1,000 based on financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. Emergency Fund – This method distributes relief funds to students who apply for additional assistance whose needs were not met by the stimulus distribution. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and emergency grants are awarded to eligible students in amounts that are based on the severity of their situation and specific needs, as well as their overall need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application for the Emergency Fund can be found at https://thomasmore.edu/COVID-19