According to a May 14, 2021, Federal Register notice, The Education Department expanded the definition of who is an eligible “student” for the purposes of making Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Programs. This rule is effective as of May 14, 2021, and you may need to adjust your HEERF awarding procedures accordingly.
The final regulations define “student,” for purposes of the phrases “grants to students,” “emergency financial aid grants to students,” and “financial aid grants to students” as used in the HEERF programs, as any individual who is or was enrolled (as defined in 34 CFR 668.2) at an eligible institution of higher education (IHE as defined in 34 CFR 600.2) on or after March 13, 2020, the date of declaration of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease. This definition enables an IHE to appropriately determine which individuals currently or previously enrolled at an institution are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants to students under the HEERF programs, as originally enacted under the CARES Act and continued through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (Pub. L. 116-260) and American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (Pub. L. 117-2).