On July 29, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released a proposed Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) Data Collection Form (HEERF Form). The HEERF Form will capture how institutions utilized the student and institutional portions under Section 18004 of the CARES Act. Comments on the proposed HEERF Form will be accepted until September 28, 2020.

The form located at  https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=ED-2020-SCC-0122&utm_campaign asks specific funding questions, requiring multiple detailed answers.

There is a lot of detailed information to be collected so review the form to ensure that you will be able to provide the required data and make suggestions for changes to the form by clicking on the Comment box.

Version 1. Annual Reporting: This report should be completed by the institution, meaning the campus or group of campuses that share the same 6-digit OPEID number.

  1. Institutional Identifiers, Contact Information, and URL for 30-day Fund Report
  2. How did your institution determine which students were eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under any of the CARES Act programs?
  3. For your institution, which of the following best describes how your institution distributed emergency financial aid grants to students (i.e., how did your institution determine which students received emergency financial aid grants and how much each student would receive)?
  4. How did your institution distribute the emergency financial aid grants to students?
  5. Did your institution provide any instructions, directions, or guidance to students about the emergency financial aid grants?
  6. For Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students, use the instructions noted in the Appendix I to complete the provided table.
  7. For Institutional Support (applies to all HEERF grants), provide the total amount of HEERF funds expended on the categories provided. Please note that the CARES Act prohibits the use of funding for the provision of pre-enrollment recruitment activities; endowments; or capital outlays associated with facilities related to athletics, sectarian instruction, or religious worship. In addition, please note that this template is meant to serve as a guide, and therefore institution of Higher Educations (IHEs) are not required to categorize amounts in every category listed but only those that IHEs found applicable to their unique circumstances.
  8. Provide the number of students who received HEERF grant funds and withdrew from the institution within the reporting period.
  9. Provide the full-time equivalent (FTE) positions as of March 13, 2020 and the FTE positions as of the last day of the reporting period.

Version 2. Annual Reporting: Your institution has been identified as a separate branch campus (i.e. entities with unique 8-digit OPEID codes) that received a HEERF grant under section 18004(a)(2) and therefore is required to answer the following questions.

Version 2 has the same questions and you are automatically directed to the correct version.

ED is proposing that the First Annual Report will be due on January 29, 2021 and would cover the reporting period from March 13, 2020 through June 30, 2020. The Second Annual Report would be due on September 30, 2021 and applies to the reporting period from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. The Third Annual Report would be due on September 30, 2022 and applies to the reporting period from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

ED also asked for comments on the following:

(1) What data in this form will be difficult to collect or report and why? Are there changes that could be made to improve the quality of the data or reduce the burden?

(2) The Department believes the data requested under this collection will be valuable for multiple purposes, such as measuring program performance and informing future program design. The Department is interested in learning the extent to which others, particularly stakeholders at the State and local level, agree that this data is valuable for their own purposes and whether there is additional data that would be valuable for the Department to collect from its grantees?

(3) The Department is interested in reducing the burden of data collection and making use of existing data when at all possible. For example, are there alternative methods to collect data or data that is already collected on institutional expenditures related to HEERF funding under section 18004a of the CARES Act?

(4) Will the proposed method for collecting the number of FTE positions created or retained as a result of HEERF funds awarded to IHEs yield accurate data? Is there an alternative methodology that would improve the accuracy of the data?

As a reminder, the deadline for submitting comments on the proposed HEERF Form will be accepted until September 28, 2020.