Is a Student On a Leave Of Absence Eligible For Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?

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This guidance is not award-year-specific and applies across award years.

This AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A was updated on May 12, 2021 to include guidance in the May 11, 2021 Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III Frequently Asked Questions, as it relates to leftover HEERF I grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), HEERF II grants under the 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA, Section 314 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021), and HEERF III grants under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).

Yes. A student who is on a Title IV-approved leave of absence (LOA) is still considered enrolled at the institution and is, therefore, eligible for HEERF I, HEERF II, and HEERF III grants to students. The same is true for a non-Title IV-approved LOA if the school still considers the student to be enrolled at the institution while on the LOA.

Reference the Final Rule and Q&As #7 and #8 in the above-referenced HEERF III Frequently Asked Questions.

A Title IV-approved LOA is defined in 34 CFR 668.22(d) and in Volume 5, Chapter 1 of the FSA Handbook. A student on a Title IV-approved LOA still is considered enrolled and not a withdrawal.

Note: This Q&A was previously updated on January 19, 2021 to reflect requirements under the CRRSAA. The same rules apply to HEERF I and HEERF II.

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