Yale was awarded $4.7 million from the second round of awards from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) grants. Yale will award all of the $4.7 million, including the share that could have been applied to institutional expenses, as emergency grants to Yale students with exceptional financial need.

UPDATE: The application and appeals processes for HEERF II grants are now closed.

♦ Who is eligible to receive a HEERF II grant?

Students at all schools at Yale University are eligible if they meet the following qualifications:

  • Students must have been enrolled at least half-time in one or both semesters in the 2020–2021 academic year.
  • As required by the federal government, Yale is prioritizing students with “exceptional need.”
  • Students must have completed a financial aid application (e.g., the federal FAFSA, the CSS Profile, or a Yale application), must have received financial aid in 2020–2021, and must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated by Yale of $20,000 or less.
  • A student’s COVID-19 related expenses must not have been covered by other financial aid.
  • U.S. citizenship is not required. On May 11th, the federal government announced that HEERF grants would be available for all students, including domestic, international, DACA, and undocumented students.

♦ If I am eligible for a HEERF II grant, how much will it be?

In compliance with federal guidelines, grants have been allocated in every Yale school to students with the highest need. The amount of the maximum grant in each school has been adjusted based on the amount of emergency grants for COVID-19 related expenses that have been awarded to students previously from university funds and differences in financial aid policies among schools.

Individual grants range from $500 to $2,100. Your online HEERF II application will state your maximum eligibility amount. Instructions for access to the online HEERF II application will be sent to eligible students by the end of May.

♦ Why does the maximum grant per school differ?

The differences across schools reflect an assessment about the relative levels of need across all students at the university. Yale reviewed the following factors when deciding on the grant eligibility by school:

  1. the average amounts of grants and loans already awarded by the school through its regular financial aid policies;
  2. prior grants awarded by the school to cover COVID-19 related costs.

♦ How do I obtain a HEERF II grant?

Update: The application process for HEERF II grants is now closed. It was open from May 21 through June 30, 2021.

Yale will send you information about the application process if you qualify. Yale knows which students qualify by their enrollment status in the 2020–2021 academic year, having received financial aid, and having an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated by Yale of $20,000 or less. Notifications will be sent to eligible students by the end of May 2021.

♦ How will I know if I am eligible for a HEERF II grant?

Yale will contact you directly by email to let you know of your eligibility. This email will be sent out by the end of May 2021.

♦ What does the application for a HEERF II grant entail?

Yale will provide you with a link to an online form that will enable you to attest to the fact that you had COVID-19 related expenses that were not covered by other financial aid, and the amount of those expenses. These expenses can be for housing, utilities, food, course materials, tuition, childcare, technology, healthcare, and other COVID-19 related emergency expenses. Receipts for these expenses are not required. The deadline for HEERF II applications was June 30, 2021.

♦ What if my expenses were less than the maximum HEERF II grant for my school?

If you incurred a lower amount than the maximum HEERF II grant for your school, you will receive the lower amount.

♦ What if my COVID-19 related expenses were already covered by other financial aid?

You should decline the HEERF II grant.

♦ I haven’t received an email inviting me to apply for the HEERF II grant. When can I appeal that decision?

Update: The appeals process for HEERF II grants is now closed. It was open from July 7 through July 22, 2021.

In order to file an appeal for these HEERF II funds, you need to contact your school’s financial aid office. Your financial aid officer will determine if you are eligible to file an appeal and will enable you to complete the online appeals application. The final determination of your eligibility will be made by the HEERF Working Group. Appeals will be reviewed in the order they are received. HEERF II appeal funds are limited, and completing an application for an appeal does not guarantee the receipt of funding. The deadline for submitting an appeal is July 22, 2021.

♦ I have received a HEERF II grant. Can I appeal for a larger amount?

No. Students may appeal only their eligibility for an award, not the amount. Yale has carefully apportioned the available HEERF II funds across all eligible students and has determined the maximum grants based on available HEERF II funding and the number of eligible students in each school.

♦ How will I receive the grant?

The HEERF II grant will be credited to your Student Account and then automatically refunded to you by direct deposit, or by check if you do not have direct deposit set up when you submit the HEERF II online application form. You will have full control over how you choose to use the grant.

If you have not already done so, please set up direct deposit for your Student Account in SIS to expedite processing of your grant. Instructions are available on the Student Accounts website.

♦ What are the tax implications of accepting these HEERF II funds?

While Yale cannot offer personal tax advice, the IRS has provided guidance that HEERF II grants will not be considered income. Students should consult the IRS website or a tax professional for further information.

♦ Will a HEERF II grant affect my financial aid eligibility for 2021–2022?

HEERF II grants will not be considered as other financial aid received when determining your eligibility for need-based financial aid. Acceptance of a HEERF II grant will not reduce your eligibility for Yale or federal aid in 2021–2022.

♦ Does Yale need the HEERF II money?

Yale will not use any of the HEERF II money to offset the university’s COVID-19 related costs. The entire grant has been allocated to students.

♦ Why didn’t Yale accept the funds from the first round of the HEERF? What changed?

In April 2020, when Yale declined the $6.8 million in the first round, there was a high level of uncertainty about the course of the pandemic and the impact on students and institutions of higher education. Yale was able to provide emergency support for its students from university funds. There is now greater clarity about the course of the pandemic, and Yale believes it is appropriate to provide additional assistance to our financially neediest students by claiming the funds appropriated for their benefit.

♦ Will Yale apply for the funds available in the third round of the HEERF?

The university has chosen to decline funds allotted in the third round of the HEERF so that those funds can be distributed to other colleges and universities with greater need. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Yale has continued to meet the full financial need of undergraduates and has provided emergency support from university funds to students with COVID-19 related expenses.

♦ Did Yale provide emergency aid to students from its own sources?

Yes. Yale provided significant support for students from its own funds to help them cope with unexpected COVID-19 related costs and disruptions to their educations. The kind and amount of support varied from school to school. Here are some examples:

Yale College

  • In spring 2020, Yale provided supplemental funding and financial support to students for specific and unforeseen expenses associated with the disruption caused by the pandemic. This included assistance with travel, shipping of personal possessions, computers and other academic supplies, and medical expenses. Each undergraduate who was living on campus received a rebate for room and board.
  • In the current year (2020–21), Yale College waived the “Student Share” component of the Expected Family Contribution ($1,850 to $2,975 per semester) for financial aid recipients studying remotely.
  • Yale increased financial aid packages to recognize Internet expenses for undergraduate students enrolled remotely.
  • Yale College offered first-year students and sophomores who enrolled for both terms in 2020–2021 and at least one of them remotely, free tuition for two Yale Summer Session courses in the U.S. or abroad, or a directed research experience supervised by a Yale faculty member.

Throughout the pandemic, Yale College also maintained its longstanding policy of meeting undergraduates’ full need without resorting to student loans; financial aid spending increases naturally as students’ financial need increases. The university continued to waive contributions from parents earning less than $75,000 with typical assets.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • Authorized academic departments to grant graduate students an additional year of teaching fellowship support to accommodate interruptions to their research.
  • Created 35 post-graduate fellowships to assist graduating PhD candidates with the transition to a difficult job market. Each fellowship provides a $30,000 stipend plus benefits.
  • Offered emergency grants of up to $2,000 to students on a case-by-case basis.
  • Made a lump sum payment of $500 to all graduate students who qualified for the family support subsidy in the spring 2020 term.

Professional Schools

  • Some schools made cash grants of $200 to $4,000 for their eligible enrolled students.
  • Other schools offered emergency grants to students on a case-by-case basis, both from school funds and from the President’s Emergency Fund.
  • The School of Drama has extended its three-year MFA program to include a fourth year with full financial aid eligibility, due to the disruption in the production schedule during the 2020–2021 academic year.

► Page last updated September 24, 2021