UA begins distributing $10.3 million in federal student aid

Here’s how to check if you qualify.


Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, News Editor

The University of Alabama received more than $10.3 million through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II and began notifying eligible students on March 16. The funds were provided through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. 

Funds will be offered to undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students who are enrolled at least half time in Spring 2021 and who are eligible for Title IV funds. Students in distance-learning programs will also be considered. A complete list of requirements can be found on the UA Health Info website.

Funds will be offered to undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students who are enrolled at least half time in Spring 2021 and who are eligible for Title IV funds.”

“While all institutions have a year to distribute the allocated funds, once UA’s funds are exhausted, the process will end,” UA Director of Communications Deidre Stalnaker said. “Any additional relief funds will be allocated based on UA’s current distribution plan, subject to further guidance from the Department of Education.” 

Eligible students will be notified through their Crimson email account by Student Financial Aid with steps to follow in myBama, along with instructions to certify eligibility. 

Students who are not offered funds during the first round of distribution but who complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by June 30 may be eligible if funds remain available. Students who are not eligible for HEERF II funds in need of assistance can apply for support through other funds listed on the Student Care and Well-Being website

HEERF II funds can be used for tuition, food, housing, transportation, course materials, technology, health care or childcare costs, or any emergency expenses associated with COVID-19 since Dec. 27. 

This is separate from the $20.8 million in CARES Act funds that the University received in May 2020. Half of the stimulus funding was used to offset institutional expenses, while $10.3 million was distributed to students with outstanding financial need. 

Students who received the University’s CARES Act funds are still eligible for aid through HEERF II. 

Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) was used to determine student eligibility for CARES Act funds last summer because the University could access this metric through a student’s FAFSA for 2020-2021, which expedited the distribution process. Following guidance from the Department of Education, the University will distribute HEERF funds based on EFC again this semester. 

There are thousands of students on campus who qualify for federal aid each semester based on information from FAFSA. For the 2018-2019 academic year, there were more than 7,500 grants awarded to UA students, according to institutional data.  

Students with the highest level of need as demonstrated by FAFSA will be eligible for the highest amount of funds. Student Financial Aid will consider students with an EFC between zero and $5,711. The highest fund amount available is $1,250. Declined funds will be distributed to other eligible students. 

VP for Financial Affairs Matt Fajack did respond in time for publication.