Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA)
On Dec. 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was signed into law. The bill authorized $22.9 billion in COVID-19 relief funding for higher education and includes funding to be distributed directly to students, as well as funds to offset institutional costs caused by the pandemic. The grant is administered through the U.S. Department of Education.
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) has received its CRRSAA funding from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $209,453. GCSOM is required under the terms of the award to provide at least $80,018 of this amount as direct awards to students to offset their increased costs as a result of the pandemic. However, GCSOM has elected to provide the total amount awarded to the school as direct support to students. This allows GCSOM to reach more students with a meaningful award.
Who is eligible to receive CRRSAA funding?
GCSOM will distribute the funding received directly to approximately 521 medical and graduate students (including exclusively distance education courses) who, as of the date the awards are determined, had a 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrated financial need as determined by GCSOM’s Financial Aid Office.
How are award amounts determined?
Funds are awarded to students who meet the eligibility requirements (above) and demonstrate financial need based on 2020-2021 FAFSA information as of the date of grant distribution. As a proxy to prioritize students with exceptional need, the expected family contribution (EFC) was used by the GCSOM’s Financial Aid Office to determine level of award with a range of $284 to $427 for eligible students.
What expenses can be covered with CRRSAA funding?
Grants awarded to students are intended to reduce financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic but will not in all cases fully cover or eliminate the financial burden. Examples of COVID-19 related expenses include but are not limited to tuition, fees, books & supplies, housing, meals, travel, technology required for your academic program, medical costs, childcare costs and personal expenses related to attending your academic program.
How can I make sure I will receive my funding quickly?
Please be sure to set up direct deposit with the Bursar’s Office. If you do not have direct deposit on file, need to confirm your account information or have any questions related to the payment, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the quickest way to receive the funding. If this is not possible, please make sure the billing address you have listed in Empower Web is correct. This address is where your paper check will be mailed if no direct deposit information is provided. Any changes to direct deposit or billing addresses need to be completed by March 19. The award will not apply to any unpaid balance the student may owe. Awards will be processed as quickly as possible once eligibility is confirmed and final arrangements are made. We anticipate that payments will be made by the first week in April 2021.
How do I apply for CRRSAA funding?
Eligible students (as defined above) do not need to apply for this emergency assistance and will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid if eligible for an award.