Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reports: CARES Act, CRRSA Act, and ARP Act Allocations

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provided emergency assistance to colleges and universities in two parts. If accepted, half of the money awarded had to be passed directly on as emergency grant aid to federal Title IV-eligible students for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. The other half of the CARES Act funding for higher education was intended to assist colleges and universities with the expense of moving to remote teaching and learning during the COVID-19 public health crisis. In Bowdoin’s case, these expenses exceeded $8 million by June 30, 2020. 

Effective April 13, 2020, Bowdoin became eligible—based on the government formula used to distribute CARES Act assistance—to receive a total of $1.124 million of CARES Act funding. As of December 31, 2020, $559,250 had been distributed to students and $559,250 was applied to expenses related to the College’s transition to remote learning.

Effective January 19, 2021, Bowdoin became eligible to receive additional emergency relief funds under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA). Bowdoin was required to spend the same amount on emergency grant aid to students as they were eligible to spend under the CARES Act. The remainder could be spent on COVID-19 testing, PPE, sanitation, and other expenses associated with the general health and safety of campus. CRRSAA limited institutions subject to the endowment excise tax to 50 percent of their calculated allocation. As a result, Bowdoin was eligible to receive a total of $828,865, of which $561,830 had to be spent on emergency grant aid to students. Bowdoin accepted the full amount it was eligible for, and as of June 30, 2021, had distributed $525,750 in emergency grant aid to students, and had spent $267,035 on expenses associated with the general health and safety of campus. The remaining funds were distributed to students under ARP guidelines.  

Effective May 18, 2021, Bowdoin became eligible to receive additional emergency relief funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. Half of the money awarded had to be passed directly on as emergency grant aid to students for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including tuition, housing, food, health care and childcare. Like CARES Act and CRRSAA funding, institutions had to prioritize grants to students with exceptional need. Students did not need to be eligible for Title IV aid to receive grants under the ARP. Bowdoin was eligible to receive a total of $2.953 million. Bowdoin accepted $1,476,721 in emergency grant aid for students. The College did not accept the institutional portion of the funds. As of December 31, 2021, the College distributed $1,251,000 in emergency grants to students.

Since April 2020, Bowdoin received a total of $2,600,381 in emergency grants for students through the HEERF program, of which it distributed $2,336,000 to 1,641 individual students. The College has de-obligated the remaining $264,381.

Bowdoin distributed the CARES and CRRSAA grants using the following measures and procedures: 

  • Students must have been enrolled full-time in the spring 2020 (CARES grants) or spring 2021 (CRRSAA grants) semesters and have met the requirements for Title IV aid and Bowdoin’s threshold for financial support to attend Bowdoin using our need-based methodology. 

Bowdoin distributed the ARP grants using the following measures and procedures:

  • Students must have been enrolled full-time in the fall 2021 semester for the current academic year. The College allocated funds based on the highest need from those who certified they had incurred allowable expenses.
  • Students must have been enrolled full-time after the point at which the National Emergency was declared for the graduates of the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. The College allocated funds based on the highest need from those who certified they incurred allowable expenses.
  1. Students certified they incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 by electronically acknowledging this statement: 

Submitting this form constitutes my signature and I confirm that the information provided is accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge. I acknowledge that I have incurred allowable expenses as a direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic of at least, or in excess of, the amount requested. “Allowable expenses” include, but are not limited to housing, food, course materials, technology, health care, childcare or other expenses necessary to participate in remote learning.  

By accepting a HEERF grant, I also understand and agree that Bowdoin may be required to provide personally identifiable information about me or my specific grant to the Department of Education. I understand that the DOE has not specified how this information might be used by the federal government in the future and that Bowdoin has no ability to control or limit the government’s use of this information.  

  1. The amount of HEERF funding (CARES Act and CRRSAA) provided to each student was based on level of need to attend Bowdoin College, based on level of parent contribution; the levels of need were divided into four categories: 

Highest Need: $1,000 
Very High Need: $750 
Moderate Need: $500 
Low Need: $250

The criteria for determining the amount of ARP funding provided to each student remained the same as in previous rounds, but levels were increased and a fifth category for non-aided students was added to meet the expanded guidance that recipients did not need to be eligible for Title IV aid to receive grants under the ARP:

Highest Need: $1,500
Very High Need: $1,250
Moderate Need: $1,000
Low Need: $500
Non-aided: $250

  1. Students received the money directly, either by a direct deposit to a bank account that the student had already set up with the College, or by providing a mailing address for the check to be sent.
  2. On June 2, 2020, Bowdoin’s Office of Student Aid sent an email to each student who qualified to receive CARES funding, alerting them to the funds, indicating the amount available to them based on the level of need, and instructions to complete the step to acknowledge the certification statement and provide an address where the funds should be sent. In April 2021, a similar email was sent to each student who qualified for CRRSAA funding. In August 2021, graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 were emailed about the availability of HEERF III (ARP) funds. In October 2021, all current students (enrolled as of September 1, 2021) were sent emails - followed shortly by text message reminders - about the availability of ARP funds.

The College set a deadline for response of November 5, 2021 and disbursed the final ARP funds to eligible students on November 16, 2021.  

Bowdoin supplemented from its own funds comparable per-student grants for students who had demonstrated need but did not otherwise qualify for CARES, CRRSAA, and/or ARP funding. The process for students to receive equivalent grants from Bowdoin funding replicated the steps required for those who received CARES/CRRSAA/ARP funding, as listed above. The students who qualified for the Bowdoin funding also received an email from the Office of Student Aid with instructions. 

The College was able to do this because of the ongoing generosity of alumni, parents, friends, and generations of donors. Bowdoin is committed to access and affordability for our students, over half of whom receive financial aid from the College. We are grateful to Congress for funding emergency assistance for low-income students here and across the country, and to the members of the Bowdoin community who continue to support the ideals and the mission of the College.


January 10, 2022
Quarter 4 Report under CRRSAA and ARP Programs – Final Report

Bowdoin College acknowledges that the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certificate and Agreement was signed and returned to the Department of Education (DOE) on April 13, 2020.

On January 19, 2021, the College became eligible to receive additional funds under the CRRSAA Act. 

On May 18, 2021, the College became eligible to receive additional funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Under the ARP, any student enrolled since March 2020 is eligible for an emergency grant. Additionally, any unspent funds from the CARES ACT and CRRSAA Act can be distributed to students under the ARP guidelines (cumulatively referred to as “ARP” below).

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students during the period as of the date of submission (i.e., up to 10 days after quarter end):

For the period October 1, 2021-December 31, 2021: $1,020,000 

The estimated total number of students eligible to participate under ARP is 3,066 (actively enrolled during at least a portion of the period March 2020 through December 2021).

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under the ARP program:

For the period October 1, 2021-December 31, 2021: 1,039 students


October 10, 2021
Quarter 3 Report under CRRSAA and ARP Programs

Bowdoin College acknowledges that the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certificate and Agreement was signed and returned to the Department of Education (DOE) on April 13, 2020.

On January 19, 2021, the College became eligible to receive additional funds under the CRRSAA Act. 

On May 18, 2021, the College became eligible to receive additional funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Under the ARP, any student enrolled since March 2020 is eligible for an emergency grant. Additionally, any unspent funds from the CARES ACT and CRRSAA Act can be distributed to students under the ARP guidelines.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students during the period as of the date of submission (i.e., up to 10 days after quarter end):

For the period July 1, 2021-September 30, 2021: $231,000 

The estimated total number of students eligible to participate under CRRSAA and ARP is 3,066 (actively enrolled during at least a portion of the period March 2020 through September 2021).

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under the CRRSAA (a)(1) and ARP programs:

For the period July 1, 2021-September 30, 2021: 384 students

Institutional Portion

The College did not accept its share of ARP institutional funds and de-obligated any remaining CARES Act/CRRSAA institutional funds following our June 30, 2021 report. Therefore, this is Bowdoin's final report on the institutional portion of HEERF, showing the total cumulative accepted in the "Total Amount of Funds Awarded” field, with $0 spent this quarter.

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF I, II, and III (a)(1) Institutional Portion (PDF)


July 9, 2021
Initial Report under the CRRSAA and ARP Programs
(edited after initial posting - April 6, 2022)

Bowdoin College acknowledges that the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certificate and Agreement was signed and returned to the Department of Education (DOE) on April 13, 2020. On January 19, 2021, the College became eligible to receive additional funds under the CRRSAA Act. The College will distribute no less than $561,830 of the funds available under Section 314(a)(1) of the CRRSAA Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

On May 18, 2021, the College became eligible to receive additional funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). If accepted, half of the money awarded must be passed directly on as emergency grant aid to students for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including tuition, housing, food, health care and childcare. As of the date of this report, the College has not distributed any funds under the ARP.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 314(a)(1) of the CRRSAA Act as of the date of submission (i.e., up to 10 days after quarter end):

As of June 30, 2021: $525,750

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 to students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

As of June 30, 2021: 815 students

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under the CRRSAA (a)(1) program.

As of June 30, 2021: 750 students

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF I, II, and III (a)(1) Institutional Portion (PDF)


CARES Act
December 18, 2020 — Final Report

Bowdoin College acknowledges that the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certificate and Agreement was signed and returned to the Department of Education (DOE) on April 13, 2020. The College will distribute no less than 50% of the funds available under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act (i.e., up to 100% of the amount certified on April 13, 2020 — $561,830) to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

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, the 45-day report, and quarterly thereafter).

As of December 18, 2020: $559,250

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 to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of December 18, 2020: 867 students

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.6.

As of December 18, 2020: 827 students

Institutional Portion


September 30, 2020

Bowdoin College acknowledges that the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certificate and Agreement was signed and returned to the Department of Education (DOE) on April 13, 2020. The College will distribute no less than 50% of the funds available under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act (i.e. 100% of the amount certified on April 13, 2020 — $561,830) to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. As a HEERF participating institution, the following information will be updated every 30 days.

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, the 45 day report, and quarterly thereafter).

As of September 30, 2020: $558,750

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 to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of September 30, 2020: 867 students

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.6.

As of September 30, 2020: 824 students


July 27, 2020

Bowdoin College acknowledges that the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certificate and Agreement was signed and returned to the Department of Education (DOE) on April 13, 2020. The College will distribute no less than 50% of the funds available under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act (i.e. 100% of the amount certified on April 13, 2020 — $561,830) to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. As a HEERF participating institution, the following information will be updated every 30 days.

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, the 45 day report, and quarterly thereafter).

As of July 27, 2020: $556,750

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 to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of July 27, 2020: 867 students

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.6.

As of July 27, 2020: 821 students


June 12, 2020
30-day funding report

Bowdoin College acknowledges that the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Certificate and Agreement was signed and returned to the Department of Education (DOE) on April 13, 2020. The College will distribute no less than 50% of the funds available under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act (i.e. 100% of the amount certified on April 13, 2020 — $561,830) to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. As a HEERF participating institution, the following information will be updated every 30 days.

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, the 45 day report, and quarterly thereafter).

As of June 12, 2020: $322,500

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 to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of June 12, 2020: 867

The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.6.

As of June 12, 2020: 457 students