Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is administered by the U.S. Department of Education and provides funding to address higher education challenges created by the COVID‐19 pandemic. As of summer 2021, there have been three rounds of this funding and UC Berkeley has been granted funding in each round.

The well-being and health of our students, staff, and faculty are our top priority. To comply with reporting requirements and to offer transparency to our community, we are providing details about our use of these funds.

HEERF I - CARES Act

HEERF II - CRRSAA

HEERF III - ARP

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) I - CARES Act

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) I, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020. UC Berkeley received the first round of funding in 2020 and of that funding, $15,220,314 was distributed to fund emergency financial aid grants to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Of the $30,440,627 allocated to UC Berkeley as part of the CARES Act, $15,220,313 was awarded to the institution and this portion was used to support the housing refunds to students who had to vacate their housing under COVID-19 restrictions.

Student portion

To support our students’ financial well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of California Berkeley is providing emergency financial aid grants to eligible undergraduate and graduate students from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

On April 10, 2020, the University of California Berkeley signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding and intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The university has received $15,220,314 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, the total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to Students under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, and the estimated total number of students eligible to participate in programs under § 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act are available on Financial Aid and Scholarships’ COVID-19 CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants page.

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office team collaborated with campus partners, including the Division of Equity and Inclusion, the Graduate Division, student government leaders, and the Student Advocate’s Office, to award and distribute these funds. Payments were sent out to students on Thursday, May 7. The IRS website FAQs provide guidance related to exclusion of these payments as gross income for tax reporting purposes, as they are considered qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. Likewise, expenses paid with this funding cannot be claimed as deductions. More information is available on the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office website.

The university used the following methods to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they receive under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under § 484 in the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 Students, who were actively enrolled as of May 1, 2020, with financial need greater than $500 based on the 2019-20 aid application, who had not already received emergency funding or a cash housing refund greater than $1,000 were awarded funding to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. The grant amounts each undergraduate student received are based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as reflected on the 2019–20 aid application.

EFC Grant Amount
$0 $1,300
$1-$2,500 $1,200
$2,501-$5,000 $1,100
$5,001-$7,500 $950
$7,501-$10,000 $750
>$10,000 $500

Graduate students

Graduate students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under § 484 in the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 Students, who were actively enrolled as of May 15, 2020, with financial need greater than $1,000 based on the 2019-20 or 2020-21 aid application, who had not already received emergency funding or a cash housing refund greater than $1,000 were awarded funding to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. Graduate student awards are $1,000.

Students receiving these funds are sent this CARES Act funding email notification.

Additional funding: May be awarded on a case-by-case basis to undergraduate and graduate students who have submitted a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request for additional expenses that have resulted from the COVID-19 emergency and the move to remote instruction.

Institutional portion

Of the $30,440,627 allocated to UC Berkeley as part of the CARES Act, $15,220,313 was awarded to the institution to defray operational expenses related to the impact of COVID-19. From the $15,220,313 of the institutional portion, on a cash basis of accounting, $15,220,313 was spent through the period ending December 31, 2020. This amount was spent on reimbursement for room and board and other fees. Read the quarterly reporting form below for more information on the institutional portion of the CARES Act funding.

UC Berkeley Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Quarterly Reporting - January 8, 2021

This report covers the reporting period ending December 31, 2020. This is the final quarterly report for this funding.

Previous report

UC Berkeley Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Quarterly Reporting - October 28, 2020

This report covers the reporting period ending September 30, 2020.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II - Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act

HEERF II was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and was signed into law on December 27, 2020. UC Berkeley received $45,429,825 from HEERF II, of which $15,220,314 will directly support students. The institutional portion will help mitigate financial impacts directly related to the impact of COVID-19. Eligibility requirements are being clarified by the Department of Education.

We will report information about HEERF II funding distribution to this page when it is available.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III - Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act

HEERF III will be allocated under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and was signed into law on March 11, 2021. UC Berkeley will receive $79,204,086 from HEERF III, with approximately half of the funding planned to support students.

We will report information about HEERF III funding distribution to this page when it is available.