What Are the Reporting Requirements For Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Grants?

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This AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A was updated on January 29, 2021 to indicate that, in a letter sent to the schools' designated Grants.gov contacts, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has extended the deadline for schools to complete their first annual report on the use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) student and institutional funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (HEERF I funds). The new deadline is February 8, 2021.
 
HEERF I Reporting Requirements

The following HEERF I Reporting Requirements Table is available on ED's HEERF Reporting and Data Collection website (1/5/2021 update):

 

Who reports?

Method of reporting?

First report due?

Frequency of reporting?

As of 1/5/21, when is the next report due?

What do I report?

What do I do if I have expended all my HEERF grant funds?

Section 18004(a)(1) Student Portion Public Reporting

All HEERF grantees that received a Section 18004(a)(1) Student Portion award.

Information is publicly posted on institution's primary website.

First report was generally due 30 days after the Department originally obligated funds to the institution for the Section 18004(a)(1) Student Portion. See our Federal Register notice published on August 31, 2020 for more information.

Subsequent reports are due quarterly and must be posted no later than 10 days after the calendar quarter (January 10, April 10, July 10, October 10).

By January 10, 2021 covering the calendar quarter from October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. The previous Student Aid Portion reports (a 30 day, 45 day, or quarterly report) should report expenditures from the date of the institution’s (a)(1) Student Portion award through September 30, 2020. This report may be a cumulative total of expenditures.

Information specified in our May 6, 2020 Electronic Announcement, which was updated in a Federal Register notice published on August 31, 2020.

Please indicate that the final quarterly posting is the final report that covers all remaining HEERF fund expenditures for Section 18004(a)(1) Student Portion funds. After posting that report, no more quarterly public reporting of Section 18004(a)(1) Student Portion funds is required.

Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, (a)(2), and (a)(3) Public Reporting

All HEERF grantees that received a Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, (a)(2), or (a)(3) award.

Information is publicly posted on institution's primary website in the same place as the Student Portion Public Reporting described above.

First report due October 30, 2020 covering the period from first award through September 30, 2020.

Subsequent reports are then due quarterly and must be posted no later than 10 days after the calendar quarter (January 10, April 10, July 10, October 10).

By January 10, 2021 covering the calendar quarter from October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. This report should not be cumulative and only list expenditures incurred during the calendar quarter.

Complete and post the Quarterly Reporting Form. Final form versions available here: PDF Document (156 KB) | Word Document (38 KB). Example PDF form of fictitious “John Doe University” is available here.

Please check the box on the form that it is the "final report" that covers all remaining HEERF fund expenditures for 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, (a)(2), and (a)(3) funds. After posting that report, no more quarterly public reporting for 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, (a)(2), and (a)(3) funds is required.

Annual Reporting

All HEERF grantees.

CARES Act Reporting Portal

February 8, 2021 covering expenditures incurred during all of calendar year 2020.

Yearly. Submission will be required of all HEERF grantees.

February 8, 2021 covering expenditures incurred during all of calendar year 2020.

The HEERF annual report form can be found here. Note that this form is for reference only.  Grantees must report using the portal.

All institutions that received any HEERF award still have to submit an annual report by February 8, 2021, even if all funds have been expended.

CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1) Student Portion Public Reporting (Currently in Effect)
According to the May 6, 2020 Electronic Announcement, institutions that have awarded HEERF I grants to students from their allocation under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act are required to make the following information easily accessible to the public on the institution's primary website:

Separately, and not for publication on the school's website, the school also will need to document that it has continued to pay all of its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures to the greatest extent practicable, explaining in detail all specific actions and decisions related thereto, in compliance with Section 18006 of the CARES Act" See AskRegs Q&A, What Does "To the Greatest Extent Possible" Mean Under the CARES Act?

In the August 31, 2020 Federal Register, ED revised the May 6 announcement. The revised announcement maintains the same seven reporting elements, but it adds a definition for "total number of eligible students." For purposes of this reporting, institutions should calculate the number of eligible students by adding the number of students for whom the institution has received an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), plus the number of students who completed an alternative application form developed by the institution for this purpose, if any. Of that total, the number of students who are eligible for an emergency grant per the institution's awarding criteria would be the final total of eligible students at the institution. The institution is not asked to make assumptions about the potential eligibility of students for whom the institution has not received an ISIR or an alternative application.

Student Portion Reporting Deadlines: After multiple changes to the deadline, the original report was due to be posted on the institution's website 30 days from when the institution received its Grant Award Notification (GAN) informing the institution that the funds were available for drawdown. In the August 31, 2020 Federal Register, ED updated the frequency of reporting after the initial 30-day report. Subsequent reports must be posted to the institutions website no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter (September 30, December 31, March 31, June 30) thereafter until HEERF I student funds are fully expended.

If the institution was previously required to post the report sometime in September due to now outdated deadlines, then the school should have waited to post its quarterly report by October 10 (and not post twice).

According to guidance NASFAA has received from ED, this student portion reporting can be done on a cumulative basis, meaning this information can be contained in one single report that is updated quarterly to show only cumulative information and not show information for each quarter separately. If there is no change, simply update the date and leave the information the same.

Reference the May 6, 2020 Electronic Announcement and the August 31, 2020 Federal Register, especially if you are looking for information on how these reporting requirements have changed since May 6, 2020.

Reference the January 15, 2021 Electronic Announcement for information about noncompliance with the above student portion reporting requirements.

Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, (a)(2), and (a)(3) Public Reporting, Otherwise Known As the Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting (QBER) (Currently in Effect)

The HEERF I reporting requirements are detailed in the Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting form, which is located on ED's HEERF Reporting and Data Collection website. Institutions complete this form to satisfy the reporting requirements outlined in the QBER. Note that on September 23, 2020, ED emailed all grantees a copy of the draft QBER. ED has since made changes to the draft form and posted a final version of the QBER to the HEERF Reporting and Data Collection website on October 13, 2020. Institutions should be careful to report using the final form and not the previously emailed draft form.

The QBER must be posted to the institutions’ primary website, on the same page as they post their Student Portion Public Reporting (noted above), either as text or as a link to a PDF of the report. The QBER is distinct from both the Student Portion Public Reporting (noted above) and from the proposed Annual Reporting (noted below).

QBER Deadlines: The institution's first QBER was required to be submitted by October 30, 2020 and should have included cumulative expenditures over the period from when the funds were first awarded through September 30, 2020, according to ED.

The subsequent quarterly reports must be posted no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter, meaning January 10, April 10, July 10, and October 10. Subsequent reports must include data only for the quarter being reported; it cannot be cumulative covering mulitple quarters in one report. Each quarterly report must be separately maintained on the institution’s website. Quarterly submission of the QBER would be required until September 30, 2022. However, institutions do not need to continue quarterly reporting once they have exhausted all their funds, ED said. In such a case, the institution would only need to post its final expenditure report.

Additionally, ED is encouraging institutions to email heerfreporting@ed.gov with their webpage where they post their quarterly reports. ED said it is asking institutions to both email them and post their reporting requirements publicly on their primary website in an effort to make the entire process accessible and accountable to the public. ED has posted a spreadsheet of institutions’ reporting web pages.

Reference the January 15, 2021 Electronic Announcement for information about noncompliance with the above institutional portion reporting requirements.

Annual Reporting (Currently in Effect, 2021)
In the July 29, 2020 Federal Register, ED posted an information collection request on a data collection form to satisfy HEERF I reporting requirements specified in Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act, which states that an institution "receiving funds under this section shall submit a report to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require, that describes the use of funds provided under this section."

The first submission of this new data collection is done through the HEERF Annual Report Data Collection System and is now due on February 8, 2021. The second is due on February 1, 2022, and the third is due on February 1, 2023.

HEERF Annual Report Data Collection System: ED began sending emails to campus officials on January 5, 2021 announcing the availability of the data collection system, along with login credentials to access the system. Institutions were required to provide ED with contact information for the individuals who should receive this information in early December. If you have not yet provided contact information to ED or have not received login information, contact heerfannual@ed.gov.

Institutions that received HEERF I funds under any part of Section 18004 of the CARES Act—which includes emergency grants for student expenses related to COVID-19; funds for institutional costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus; funding for HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs; and FISPE funding—are subject to this additional reporting requirement. Data elements to be collected include:

The purpose of this new data collection would be to provide ED with the information necessary for department staff to monitor that institutions spent HEERF funds in accordance with the allowable uses of funds. Descriptive statistics from the data collection would be made publicly available by ED.

While this new reporting requirement satisfies the reporting requirement specified in Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act, it does not replace the Student Portion Public Reporting or QBER noted above. Those website URLs noted above would be a required data element on this new information collection.

This new reporting requirement is also unrelated to, and does not substitute for, the Section 15011 CARES Act Quarterly Reporting requirements noted below.

Reference the January 15, 2021 Electronic Announcement for information about noncompliance with the above student portion reporting requirements.

CARES Act Section 15011 Reporting (Currently in Effect But Not Applicable to Most Schools)
Section 15011 of Division B of the CARES Act requires a grantee receiving more than $150,000 to report to ED on a quarterly basis. These CARES Act Quarterly Reporting requirements are detailed in the July 10, 2020 Electronic Announcement. According to ED, Section 15011 quarterly reporting requirements would be satisfied by the school's compliance with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006. FFATA reporting is for federal grantees who make subawards from those federal grants, which is not the case for the majority of institutional CARES Act grant recipients. In conversations with ED, the department acknowledged widespread confusion on reporting requirements and confirmed that it would be rare for institutional CARES Act recipients to have sub-awardees and, as such, most institutions would not be subject to FFATA reporting for their CARES Act funding.

See AskRegs Q&As, Which Schools Must Complete Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Reporting For CARES Act Grants? and Where Can We Find Guidance For CARES Act Quarterly Reporting Under Section 15011?

NASFAA does not yet know if the QBER or Annual Reporting requirements noted in the above chart would satisfy the Section 15011 reporting requirements, or if the Section 15011 Quarterly Reporting would satisfy QBER. If/When we receive further guidance from ED, we will update this AskRegs Q&A and post it in Today's News.

HEERF II Reporting Requirements

According to the Certification and Agreement for public and private nonprofit institutions, as well as for proprietary institutions, respectively:

"Recipient must promptly and timely report to the Department on the use of funds no later than 6 months after the date of this award in a manner to be specified by the Secretary pursuant to section 314(e) of the CRRSAA. Recipient must also promptly and timely provide a detailed accounting of the use of funds provided by this award in such manner and with such subsequent frequency as the Secretary may require. Recipient will comply with any other applicable reporting requirements including those in Section 15011(b)(2) of Division B of the CARES Act. Recipient acknowledges the Department may require additional or more frequent reporting to be specified by the Secretary."

At the time of this update, ED had not yet developed reporting requirements for HEERF II funds awarded under the 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA, Section 314 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021). NASFAA expects them to resemble the HEERF I reporting requirements and will update this AskRegs Q&A as soon as we have additional information to share.

Notes:

 

AskRegs Q&As represent NASFAA's understanding of regulatory and compliance issues. They are FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY. While NASFAA believes AskRegs Q&As are accurate and factual, they have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). If you should need written confirmation of AskRegs information for audit or program review purposes, please contact your ED School Participation Division. NASFAA shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein; nor for incidental or consequential damages resulting from the furnishing, performance, or use of this material.