The CARES Act & Student Reporting

Please note: This blog is current to the date of its publication, Friday, Aug. 14. For additional updates or assistance navigating these uncertain times, please contact us or visit our SST COVID-19 resource page.


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has specific reporting requirements for schools that received the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). According to the Act’s regulations, schools must submit a report to the Department of Education (ED) describing the use of the funds within 30 days of submitting the Certification and Agreement form.

However, the aforementioned 30 days will start from when the institution received its allocation of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants for students, not the date that the Certification and Agreement form was submitted. The date of allocation can be accessed via G5, ED’s grants management system.

Institutions must publicize the following pieces of information via their website in order to meet the 30-day requirement:

  • An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form to ED and the assurance that the institution has used, or 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
  • The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from ED pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants
  • The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day report and every 45 days thereafter)
  • The estimated total number of students at the institution 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 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act
  • The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act
  • The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act
  • Any instructions, directions or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants

Ensure your institution’s information is accessible through an official website. ED is routinely scanning institutional websites for the required reporting information.  If not readily available, institutions are receiving an email requesting the link to the information as quickly as possible.

All CARES Act grant resources and guidance can be found through the Office of Postsecondary Education, and the experts at SST are here to assist with additional COVID-19 related financial guidance. Contact us today for more.

Special thanks to SST Compliance Manager Karen Eilert for providing the content for this post. Click here to learn more about Karen.