HEERF Report

As of June 30, 2022

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's HEERF Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of June 30, 2022, and reflects all HEERF spending from April 1, 2022, through June 30, 2022, under HEERF I, II and III.

2022 Q2 HEERF Combined Report (PDF)


Previous Reports

As of March 31, 2022

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's HEERF Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of March 31, 2022 and reflects all HEERF spending from January 1, 2022 through March 31, 2022 under HEERF I, II, and III.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used the applicable amount of funds designated under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal certification and agreement to receive HEERF I, II, and III funding and agreed to use no less than the required amount(s) under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

HEERF I (CARES) – $7,412,589

HEERF II (CRRSAA) – $7,412,590

HEERF III (ARP) – $21,079,014

Total HEERF Student Funds – $35,904,193

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

HEERF III - $1,868,217.41

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

NIU has approximately 28,092 students eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

The CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs provide emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs limited the eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs on or after March 13, 2020.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

As of March 31, 2022, 3,083 students have received HEERF funds bringing the unduplicated total to 17,233 students.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

The university has established various criteria for populations of students to be awarded HEERF grants without an application for the grant.

HEERF III (ARP)

The university assessed eligibility using the following criteria to award grants up to $800:

The university established criteria for a student emergency fund grant, to which students could submit applications for funds. Applications were accepted online

Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritized as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount, but rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500-$800 through this program during this time period. Students who previously received Student Emergency Grant funds were eligible each time the application opened.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Communications sent to all students are posted online.

Students received an email from Charlie Fey on January 12, 2022 as below:

Dear Students,

I want to take this opportunity to begin to welcome you back after a much-deserved break. With the heightened prevalence of the Omicron variant, we're beginning the spring semester during a challenging time. I want to assure you that your health and safety are our top priority—and to make sure you get off to a strong start this semester.

Classes

As you know, the university made the decision to begin the first week of classes (Jan. 18 – 21) online. That decision was based on data (as of Jan. 7) that indicated the COVID-19 positivity rate would likely significantly increase with the return of all students and faculty at one time. By starting the first week remotely, faculty and students have the opportunity to make a gradual return and transition into the new semester on campus or from home.

Moving forward this semester, if the on-campus surveillance testing positivity rate reaches 8% or higher, your individual faculty members will choose to hold courses in person or online. All faculty are asked to communicate to you during the first week how they plan to proceed with classes in subsequent weeks should the on-campus surveillance testing positivity rate reach or exceed the 8% mark.

Check email, make connections, use your NIU resources

It's extremely important for you to check your email daily. We can't stress this enough. Your student email is where you'll receive all official university messages. If you've not yet set up your phone to receive your student email, now is a good time to do so.

It's very important that you attend class (both online and in-person) and make connections with faculty, friends and NIU staff members. Meet your peers, talk to your professors, make friends—it's the fun part of the college experience but also key to your success.

We also urge you to closely review our new Starting the Semester Remotely guide, created by our Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) to help you make a quick and smooth shift to remote learning. It includes tips on preparing yourself for this semester, being proactive about your learning and tapping into university support systems, such as finding technical assistance.

While classes are starting virtually for the first week, campus offices are open and accessible during normal business hours. Throughout the semester, you'll want to keep in mind resources that can help you succeed, including:

Vaccinations, boosters and testing

As communicated yesterday, the university has updated its procedures and protocols for vaccinations, exposures and positive cases. If you test positive for COVID-19 or are feeling unwell, please complete the COVID-19 Screening Checklist.

Any student or employee who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID-19 can test on campus at the Student Health Center using the free SHIELD Illinois saliva-based PCR test, but you must first schedule the test before you take the test. Schedule an appointment online by choosing the "NIU ‘Sick Only' Student Health Center" location in the SHIELD testing portal. Please do not go to the SHIELD testing site in the Holmes Student Center if you are symptomatic.

We also continue to encourage all community members to get a booster, if eligible: five months or more since your last dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or two months since you received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Visit vaccines.gov to find a free booster clinic near you. NIU will also host a vaccine booster clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for students and employees. Appointments are required.

Finally, we understand the challenges you're facing. The pandemic has thrown us more curveballs than we can count, and college students nationwide have had to adjust. But we expect the current COVID-19 surge to pass and that we can resume a more normal campus experience as the semester progresses. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience, flexibility and contributions to the health and safety of our entire Huskie community.

We'll do everything we can to make sure your semester is a success!

Sincerely,

Charles J. Fey, Ed.D.
Interim Vice President
Division of Student Affairs
Northern Illinois University

As of December 31, 2021

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's HEERF Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of December 31, 2021 and reflects all HEERF spending from October 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 under HEERF I, II, and III.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used the applicable amount of funds designated under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal certification and agreement to receive HEERF I, II, and III funding and agreed to use no less than the required amount(s) under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

HEERF I (CARES) – $7,412,589

HEERF II (CRRSAA) – $7,412,590

HEERF III (ARP) – $21,079,014

Total HEERF Student Funds – $35,904,193

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

HEERF II - $991,401.13

HEERF III - $2,674,909.85

Total - $3,666,310.98

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

NIU has approximately 27,119 students eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

The CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs provide emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs limited the eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs on or after March 13, 2020.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

As of December 31, 2021, 4,046 students have received HEERF funds bringing the unduplicated total to 16,738 students.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

The university has established various criteria for populations of students to be awarded HEERF grants without an application for the grant.

HEERF II (CRRSAA) and HEERF III (ARP)

University assessed eligibility using the following criteria to award $800 grants:

The university established criteria for a student emergency fund grant, to which students could submit applications for funds. NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants after the passage of the CARES Act to students via an electronic application process that was made available through university announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritized as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount, but rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500-$800 through this program.

NIU created two methods for identifying students and providing academic recovery grants:

  • An application process was established to award up to $2,000 on a case-by-case basis to students who meet eligibility criteria. This methodology was intended to quickly assist students who must repeat coursework, labs or clinicals to meet or stay on track with graduation or other requirements, and have a financial hold preventing registration as a result of an overdue account balance due to loss of scholarship, assistantship, financial aid eligibility, or other financial support as a result of the pandemic.
  • An automatic grant:

    1. Awarded to students who received a D/F/U/W grade during Spring 2021 and have a need to repeat that coursework, lab or clinical. Students received an award up to $1,200 based on number of repeated credit hours through an automatic grant process; and
    2. Students who lost merit aid due to being enrolled less than full-time in Fall 2021 received an award between $500 - $3,500 based on the amount of lost merit scholarship.
  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Communications sent to all students are posted online.

The application for the application-based recovery funds is below:

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to provide support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure that learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. NIU has allocated funding for students who experience additional emergency costs related to their academic progress or program. A maximum of $2,000 is available to eligible students in addition to other automatic grants that may have been previously awarded.


The following criteria must be met:

□ I was enrolled at NIU during summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, summer 2021 and/or fall 2021.

□ I have a financial hold or overdue account balance from the term(s) above due to: (circle all that apply):

▪ Loss of scholarship(s)
▪ Loss of assistantship
▪ Loss of financial aid eligibility
▪ Loss of financial support/income due to Covid-19
▪ Required to repeat course(s), lab(s), or clinical(s) as needed for graduation


Certification/Signature: Choose one of the options below:

□ By checking this box, you are indicating you wish for NIU to apply the grant funds toward your eligible account balance.

□ By checking this box, you are indicating you do not want the grant funds to pay any NIU charges and prefer for it to be sent directly to you. ****Your NIU account balance will not change as a result of the grant, and the outstanding charges are still your responsibility to pay**** In addition, you may be prohibited from enrolling in future terms until your balance has been reduced to a satisfactory level.

Student Signature: _________________________________________ Date:______________

My signature certifies that all the information on this form is true, complete and accurate.


In addition, student recipients of automatic HEERF funds received a text message that said “Hey! You're getting a grant from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund! Check your NIU email to learn more about the money coming your way."

The email referenced above said:

Dear <Student>,

Good news! We are writing to inform you that you meet the qualifications for a federal grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA): Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. This round of funding was specifically reserved for students impacted by the pandemic and will incur additional academic and program expenses as a result of the following:

- Had one or more non-passing grade(s) in Spring 2021 at NIU, are enrolled fall 2021 at NIU. The funding is intended to help defray the costs associated with repeating the course(s) that were not passed; OR

- Students who were not enrolled full-time in Fall 2021 and lost the Fall 2021 portion of an NIU Merit Scholarship due to not being enrolled full-time.

Dollars from this fund were provided to NIU by the U.S. Department of Education, which requires us to prioritize students with exceptional need.

You will receive <INSERT GRANT AMOUNT> to use for any component of your cost of attending NIU such as tuition, fees, housing, books, or for emergency costs caused by the coronavirus, such as food, housing, physical and mental health care, and childcare.

Disbursement of the grant will begin December 13, 2021.

We encourage you to create a direct deposit account in your MyNIU as soon as possible to receive your refund faster. You also can verify and/or update your mailing address if you prefer to receive a check.

As of September 30, 2021

The information below is provided in compliance with the Department of Education's HEERF Reporting requirements. The information in this report was compiled as of September 30, 2021 and reflects all HEERF spending from July 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 under HEERF I, II, and III.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used the applicable amount of funds designated under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Northern Illinois University acknowledges that it signed and returned the federal certification and agreement to receive HEERF I, II, and III funding and agreed to use no less than the required amount(s) under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution's Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

HEERF I (CARES) – $7,412,589

HEERF II (CRRSAA) – $7,412,590

HEERF III (ARP) – $21,079,014

Total HEERF Student Funds – $35,904,193

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the initial report and every calendar quarter thereafter).

HEERF II - $233,688.87

HEERF III - $12,943,100.40

Total - $13,176,789.27

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

NIU has approximately 27,172 students eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants under CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

The CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs provide emergency financial aid grant funds to address the financial need of students due to the disruption of campus operations and the related expenses they incurred. Therefore, the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs limited the eligibility of emergency grants to students who were actively participating in courses and programs on or after March 13, 2020.

Within the total population, institutions were instructed to determine eligibility criteria for distribution of the grant and encouraged to prioritize students with greatest need.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

As of September 30, 2021, an additional 11,979 students had received HEERF funds bringing the total to 15,903 students.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

The university has established various criteria for populations of students to be awarded HEERF grants without an application for the grant.

HEERF II (CRRSAA)

The university assessed eligibility using the following criteria to award $800 grants:

  • 2020-2021 FAFSA on file and financial need within thresholds for state and federal need-based grants programs
  • Enrolled at least half-time during spring 2021 semester
  • Not an international or undocumented student

HEERF III (ARP)

NIU determined that all students experienced emergency costs due to the coronavirus and will automatically award grants to help with emergency costs or cost of attendance. NIU has also defined students of exceptional need based on the following:

  • Thresholds for federal and state need-based grants, or
  • EFC of less than or equal to $10,000 using FAFSA data or Illinois Alternative Application, or
  • EFC between $10,001 - $30,000 using FAFSA data or Illinois Alternative Application, or
  • No EFC, excluding sponsored international students, or
  • EFC greater than $30,000 using FAFSA data or Illinois Alternative Application, excluding sponsored international students

The amount of the automatic award was determined based on three tiers to prioritize students with most exceptional need and domestic students. Tier 1 represents students with the most exceptional need and met the thresholds for federal and state need-based grants or have an EFC of $10,000 or less. Students in Tier 1 received a $1,200 automatic award. Tier 2 represents students, including non-sponsored international students, have exceptional need and no EFC or EFC between $10,001 - $30,000 using FAFSA data or Illinois Alternative Application. Students in Tier 2 received an $800 automatic award. Tier 3 represents students with some exceptional need and EFC > $30,000. Students in Tier 3 received a $500 automatic award.

The university also established criteria for a student emergency fund grant, to which students could submit applications for funds. NIU moved swiftly to develop methodology and began disbursing emergency grants after the passage of the CARES Act to students via an electronic application process that was made available through university announcements, posted on its primary website and emailed to all students. Applicants were required to provide a reason for the grant request. A committee of faculty and staff reviewed and approved or denied each application. Students who noted a change in need or loss of personal or family income were prioritized as a student of greatest need. The change in income was not the basis for the grant amount, but rather the basis to recognize the barrier to meet expenses related to the disruption in campus operations. Students were eligible to receive a maximum award of $500-$800 through this program.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Communications sent to all students are posted online.

In addition, student recipients of HEERF funds received a text message that said “Hey! You're getting a grant from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund! Check your NIU email to learn more about the money coming your way."

The email referenced above said:

Dear <Student>,

Good news! We are writing to inform you that you meet the qualifications for a federal grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA): Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Dollars from this fund were provided to NIU by the U.S. Department of Education, which requires us to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as those who receive Pell grants.

You will receive $500/$800/$1,200 to use for any component of your cost of attending NIU, such as tuition, fees, housing, books, or for emergency costs caused by the coronavirus, such as food, housing, physical and mental health care, and childcare.

By receiving this award, you have the option to apply those funds to your NIU account balance. To do so, provide your affirmative consent no later than Tuesday, July 27 @ 5 p.m., by visiting the MyNIU Student System and clicking on the “Tasks" tile. Select the optional "To Do" task called “Special Financial Aid Authorization."

Please let us know before then if you would prefer to receive your funds directly or if you would rather authorize NIU to apply your award to your account balance. If we do not hear from you, we will automatically refund the grant award to you.

Disbursement of the grant will begin July 29, 2021.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to create a direct deposit account in your MyNIU by July 29 to receive your refund faster. You also can verify and/or update your mailing address if you prefer to receive a check.

Still Need Help?

For general concerns or questions, contact the Center for Student Assistance at studentassistance@niu.edu or 815-753-8300.

For technological concerns contact the Service Desk at servicedesk@niu.edu or or 815-753-8100

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