House Democrats' Newest COVID-19 Relief Bill Includes Additional Reporting Requirements
By Muhammad Kara, Dallas Martin Endowment Policy Intern
House Democrats unveiled their newest proposal for the next phase of coronavirus relief on Tuesday, dubbed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. This new proposal calls for additional reporting requirements for institutions on the use of certain waivers and flexibilities allowed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Through the bill, Congress would mandate institutions report the following items to the Department of Education (ED) within 30 days of enactment:
- Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds reallocated to the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program.
- Use of FSEOG as emergency aid.
- Use of authority to continue paying FWS students who are unable to work.
- Use of approved leave of absence (LOA) when a student will not return at the same point in the academic program as they left.
- Use of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) waiver to exclude unearned credits resulting from qualifying emergency from the quantitative component.
- Use of waiver authority specifically granted to institutions receiving funds under Title III, typically provided to minority-serving institutions (MSIs); Title V, typically provided to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs); or subpart 4 of part A of Title VII, which encompases institutional aid given to Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) to improve graduate education opportunities.
The bill would require schools to report on the "nature and extent" of their use of the flexibilities, including the number of students and amount of aid provided under Title IV programs that are affected by the use of the flexibilities, as applicable. The reporting method and other implementation details would be developed by ED.
For more information and resources on how the spread of the novel coronavirus is impacting student financial aid, please refer to NASFAA's COVID-19 Web Center.
Publication Date: 5/15/2020