Lumberjack CARES Act/HEERF Grant
Emergency relief funding program
Northern Arizona University received emergency relief aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) for student grants. The university first distributed these funds in May, 2020 and continued doing so through Spring, 2022. A total of $57,571,054 was distributed to students through the HEERF program.
Important to know
How much will I receive? Accordion Closed
Schools are required to prioritize grants to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need; therefore, the amount disbursed is dependent upon the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, EFC and/or student’s unmet Federal need. Award amounts start at $150.
Who is eligible to receive the Lumberjack CARES Act/HEERF Grant? Accordion Closed
Students must have a 2021-2022 academic year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file to confirm eligibility for the Lumberjack HEERF and enrolled, full or part-time in a graduate or undergraduate degree program.
Learn more about HEERF II and student eligibility.
Who is not eligible to receive the Lumberjack CARES Act/HEERF Grant? Accordion Closed
Students not eligible include:
- Non-degree, graduate or undergraduate, students
- High school concurrent students
How are the funds distributed? Accordion Closed
If a student is eligible to receive the Lumberjack HEERF Grant, they will have the option to apply the grant funds to their student account balance or receive the funds directly. If a student applies the grant to their LOUIE account, any excess will be refunded via direct deposit or a paper check mailed to them as designated in their LOUIE information. In order to apply funds to a student account, the student must complete the Lumberjack HEERF Grant Account Authorization form.
If the HEERF Lumberjack Account Authorization form is not completed or if the preferences is to have funds sent directly to the student, the grant funds will be sent via direct deposit or paper check as designated in the LOUIE account, without applying to any charges on the account.
Check or update information in LOUIE by logging in.
CARES Act/HEERF Grant Reporting and Disclosure Accordion Closed
- Northern Arizona University acknowledges that on April 17, 2020, we signed and returned to the Department of Education the required Certification and Agreement that states the institution intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- On May 5, 2020, Northern Arizona University received $11,788,927 from the Department of Education pursuant to our Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. NAU was allocated additional HEERF funds on December 27, 2020 in the amount of $11,788,927 as well as an additional $33,993,200 on May 11, 2021.
- On May 12, 2020, Northern Arizona University began contacting students regarding how to submit a request for the Emergency Financial Aid Grant. The first distribution of funds began on May 14, 2020. As of September 20, 2021, $21,373,052 has been distributed which includes $73,460 from institutional grant funds.
- As of September 29, 2021, 28,302 students were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. More information on eligibility is available on this page under the “Who is eligible to receive the Lumberjack CARES Grant?” question.
- In March, 2022, $19,684,130, $3,043,200 of which was supported by HEERF institutional funds, to 25,004 students.
- A final distribution of $1,015,360 was made to 3,894 students in June, 2022.
- The methods used by Northern Arizona University to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive are detailed on this page in the opening as well as under the “How much will I receive?” question.
- Northern Arizona University contacts students and parents via email with guidance concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. In those emails, students and parents are also encouraged to review information on this page, the Lumberjacks CARES/HEERF Act Grant website.
- The quarterly expenditure reports for the Institutional Portion of the CARES/HEERF Act are disclosed here.
What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)? Accordion Closed
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which affords the opportunity for NAU to provide emergency grants to students to help defray expenses related to COVID-19. There is additional funding for universities for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II) established a second fund to allow NAU to award additional grant funds during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 semesters. Additional HEERF funds were made available for the 2021-2022 academic year.
When will CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available? Accordion Closed
NAU applied for funding from the federal U.S. Department of Education based on the guidelines in the CARES Act. We received $11.7 million in May, 2020.
NAU was allocated an additional $11.7 million under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds II (HEERF II) and $34.0 million under HEERF III for student grants.
What documentation is required? Accordion Closed
To become eligible for a Lumberjack HEERF II or III grant, the student must file a 2021-2022, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) prior to each semester’s distribution date. The FASFA for this academic year can be completed here. Please note that both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 FASFAs are available, and either may be completed.
If the student prefers to have the grant funds applied to their student account, they must complete the Lumberjack Account Authorization form by the due date.
The student also must confirm that direct deposit information and mailing address in LOUIE are correct. Check or update information in LOUIE by logging in.
What constitutes eligible expenses to qualify for emergency funding? Accordion Closed
Eligible expenses could include a variety of expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on your academics. Some potential examples are: money spent for unanticipated travel, emergency child care due to extended school closures, and technology expenses.
Are the federal grants to students taxable? Accordion Closed
No. According to the IRS: Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.
Do I have to repay a Federal Emergency Aid Grant? Accordion Closed
No. Grants are a type of financial assistance that do not need to be repaid.
Would this funding reduce my financial aid? Accordion Closed
No, this fund does not negate or replace financial aid. It is a one-time grant.
Will I still receive funds if I have a charge on my student account? Accordion Closed
Yes. CARES grant funds will be sent directly to you even if you have a balance on your account. This grant does not require your account to be at a $0 balance. However, grant funds may be applied directly to a student account.
How does NAU plan to use the institutional grant funds made available through the CARES Act? Accordion Closed
NAU is using these institutional funds to recover costs associated with the significant changes brought on by the global pandemic. These funds may also be used for emergency relief aid for students.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions? Accordion Closed
If you have additional questions, please call 928-523-9501.