Navigating the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

July 27, 2020

Access the on-demand webinar here.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created the $14.1 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for grants to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). The grants use a formula based on student enrollment. Each institution must use at least 50% of its HEERF allocation to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Moreover, IHEs may use no more than 50% of their HEERF funds to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus (such as to expand remote learning programs, build IT capacity to support such programs, and train faculty and staff to operate effectively in a remote learning environment). 

While IHEs have significant discretion to develop their own systems and processes to allocate their HEERF award, each participating institution must comply with terms and conditions in a Certification and Agreement. In addition, the grant brings new reporting and oversight responsibilities, on top of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and other federal grant conditions. 

Recently, the US Department of Education announced that HEERF applications must be submitted no later than August 1, 2020 and that funds must be used by September 30, 2022.

On this webinar, we will review key terms and conditions of HEERF funding, including questions such as:

  • Which costs are permissible?
  • When, and over what time frame, can HEERF funds be used?
  • What are the new monitoring and oversight compliance requirements for IHEs under the CARES Act?
  • How much is included in a typical HEERF distribution and what are the amounts based on?

We will also address the relationship among the main HEERF allocations and the procedures for applying for HEERF funds. 

Note: This webinar will not address CARES Act emergency relief funds for K-12 education.

Target Audience

  • College and University Executives and Administrative Leadership
  • College and University Finance Department Staff
  • Office of Financial Aid Staff
  • Higher Education Association Executives and Staff with Roles Supporting IHE Finances and Financial Aid Programs

Learning Objectives

After this webinar, you will be better able to:

  • Discuss key terms and conditions under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)
  • Describe the main HEERF fund distributions and permissible uses for each
  • Explain key HEERF-related obligations for Colleges and Universities (e.g., deadlines, reporting, and auditing requirements)
  • Identify major risk areas and strategic opportunities pertaining to HEERF grants
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Certificate of Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
07/27/2020 - 1:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
07/27/2020 - 2:00pm EDT


Phillip is Of Counsel in the firm’s Federal Grants and Health Law practice groups. A native of Puerto Rico, Phillip’s bilingual, nationwide practice serves non-profit organizations, municipalities, local government agencies, and other federal grantees. Prior to joining Feldesman Tucker, Phillip ran a practice from San Juan which spanned corporate, business, public policy, government and contract law, and included contested matters and appeals before state and federal courts. [Full Bio]

Participants can earn up to 1.20 CPE credits in Specialized Knowledge and Applications upon completion of all course requirements.


If you purchase CPE credit for this webinar you must satisfy the following conditions in order to receive your certificate:

  1. Answer at least 3 of the polling questions during the webinar
  2. Complete the evaluation survey after the conclusion of the webinar or in the follow-up email

Upon completion of these requirements, FTLF will email you your CPE Certificate within five (5) business days.


  • Prerequisites: None 
  • Target Audience: College and University Executives and Administrative Leadership, College and University Finance Department Staff, Office of Financial Aid Staff, Higher Education Association Executives and Staff with Roles Supporting IHE Finances and Financial Aid Programs.
  • Advanced Preparation: None  
  • Program Level: All
  • Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
  • Attendance Requirements: In order to be awarded the full credits, you must respond to three (3) out of five (5) polling questions.

Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website (formerly

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Certificate of Attendance


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Access to the recorded version of this webinar is included in your purchase.


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