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Federal CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide money to colleges to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

*Massachusetts College of Art and Design signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

MassArt will use the CARES Act HEERF funds to provide a standard amount of relief to every eligible student. These funds are meant to help students pay expenses for technology, health care, child care, course materials, art supplies, rent, food, moving or other expenses incurred this term. These funds can help with unanticipated expenses or income loss that may occur throughout the spring 2020 term and into future terms.

In Spring of 2020, MassArt received $755,133 from the Department of Education for CARES Act Grants to students. In January of 2021, MassArt received an additional allotment of $755,133 in student aid funds under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) (HEERF II). In May of 2021, MassArt received an additional allotment of $2,152,866 in student aid funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) (HEERF III).

  • As of December 31, 2020, $558,000 in HEERF Grants have been distributed to 1,395 eligible students.
  • As of March 5, 2021, an additional $517,200 in in HEERF Grants have been distributed to 1,293 eligible students.
  • As of October 5, 2021 an additional $2,312,250 in HEERF Grants have been distributed to 1,847 eligible students.
  • As of November 5, 2021 an additional $7,000 in HEERF Grants have been distributed to 5 eligible students.
  • As of March 4, 2022 an additional $525,900 in HEERF Grants have been distributed to 1,753 eligible students.

For HEERF I grants, eligible students were determined to be students matriculated in a program (undergraduate, certificate and graduate) and registered for at least 1 credit for the Spring 2020 term. Students must have a 2019-2020 FAFSA on file, which was reviewed by OSFA staff, and were determined to have a “complete file” - meaning all TIV eligibility requirements were reviewed. Students with incomplete files but no other TIV aid eligibility issues were also eligible. Students who did not file a FAFSA, filed a FAFSA but had TIV eligibility issues, students who took a Leave of Absence prior to March 13 or withdrew during the Spring 2020 term, students not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, international or undocumented students, and students matriculated in the Graduate MFA Low Residency program, were not eligible.

For HEERF II grants, eligible students were determined to be students matriculated in a program (undergraduate, certificate and graduate) and registered for at least 1 credit for the Spring 2021 term. Students must have a 2020-2021 FAFSA on file, which was reviewed by OSFA staff, and were determined to have a “complete file” - meaning all TIV eligibility requirements were reviewed. Notably, the HEERF II funds can be awarded to online students as well (our Graduate MFA Low Residency program). Students with incomplete files but no other TIV aid eligibility issues were also eligible. Students who did not file a FAFSA, filed a FAFSA but had TIV eligibility issues, students who took a Leave of Absence or withdrew prior to February 19 during the Spring 2021 term, students not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, and International or undocumented students, were not eligible.

All eligible students received a grant of $400. All students received a notice of their eligibility or ineligibility to their MassArt email address.

For Fall 2021 HEERF III grants, eligible students were determined to be students matriculated in a program (undergraduate, certificate and graduate) and registered for at least 1 credit for the Fall 2021 term.

Grant Amounts:
  • 479 Undergraduate Pell Recipients - $1,750
  • 216 Undergraduate, Certificate and Graduate Students with Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 0 and 12,000 - $1,500
  • 1,157 Undergraduate, Certificate and Graduate Students with EFC greater than 12,000 or no 21/22 FAFSA on file - $1,000

All students received a notice of their eligibility to their MassArt email address.

For Spring 2022 HEERF III grants, eligible students were determined to be students matriculated in a program (undergraduate, certificate and graduate) and registered for at least 1 credit for the Spring 2022 term.

All 1,753 eligible students received a grant of $300. All students received a notice of their eligibility to their MassArt email address.

For additional information, please visit CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief FundCRRSAA: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II), or ARP: American Rescue Plan (HEERF III) or view the following reports:

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, students who are not eligible for federal financial aid programs are not eligible for these federal grants. International students, undocumented students and non-matriculated students are not eligible for these funds. In addition, students who withdrew for the term are not eligible.

If you are ineligible to receive HEERF funds for any reason, please email financialaid@massart.edu. We are an institution that values a just compassionate, and equitable learning environment for all students.


Updated 10/26/22