Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF 2)

Learn about these emergency funds which have been disbursed to students.

Bellevue College Student Success Center

Public Disclosure Information for HEERF 2

In January 2021, Bellevue College received $2,072,545 to disburse as emergency financial aid grants to students under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF 2) act.

  • As of March 30, 2021, the college has disbursed $598,500 to 778 eligible students for winter quarter using HEERF 2 funds.
  • As of June 29, 2021, the college has disbursed an additional 1,467,145 to 1277 students for spring quarter using HEERF 2 funds, which represents a full expenditure of HEERF 2 funds.

In determining student eligibility and when the funds would be disbursed, the college took the following steps:

  1. Discussed at an administrative level the amount of funding available, the potential number of students available to receive the funds, and the number of quarters in which the college would like to disburse the funds to achieve the greatest benefit to students through the pandemic
    • Determined that more students would benefit from extended funding through fall quarter 2021
  2. Discussed college eligibility for winter and spring quarter requirements  
    • Winter quarter only: Determined students must be registered for at least three credits, based on the plan to award a matching amount of state funds to students not eligible for Cares Act funds
    • Spring quarter only: Determined students must be registered for at least one credit
    • Winter quarter only: Determined that students must be pursuing a Bellevue College degree or certificate
    • Determined that students taking classes under the Basic and Transitional Skills (BaTS) program (ABE, ESL, GED) and students taking high school completion classes) could receive funding
    • Winter quarter only: Students must have a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). Students may appeal if below a 2.0 GPA
  3. Based on guidance from the Department of Education the college adopted the following student eligibility requirements
    • Winter quarter only: Must be a U.S citizen or permanent resident
    • Must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • Must demonstrate on the FAFSA, exceptional financial need based on the expected family contribution (EFC)
      • Winter quarter awarded students with a zero EFC only
      • Spring quarter awarded students with a 0 – 5000 EFC
    • During spring quarter the Department of Education opened eligibility up to all higher education students, including international students. Exceptional financial need for these students was obtained on a separate application for international students and the Washington State Student Financial Aid Application (WASFA) for undocumented students. Only HEERF 3 were used to fund international students.

In determining which students met the eligibility requirements needed to receive HEERF and how much they may receive, the college established the following procedures:

  • Identify all FAFSA/WASFA’s with a zero EFC for winter and 0 – 5000 for spring
  • Identify the enrollment level of all registered students with a zero EFC for winter and 0 – 5000 for spring
  • Confirm citizenship/immigration status, program of study and GPA for winter only
  • For winter quarter 2021, award eligible part-time students $650, and full-time students $850 to maximize available funds through fall quarter 2021
  • For spring quarter 2021, award all eligible students $1150
  • Enter all awards into the financial aid management system and disburse funds through Bank Mobile
  • Send students an award letter with instructions on how to access their funds
  • Send ineligible students an email indicating the reason and how to resolve the issue to regain eligibility

The college also created a website with information about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, which includes current eligibility criteria and FAQ’s. An email with this same information is sent to all registered students and to the campus community each quarter in which the funds are awarded. The students are also provided with information on how to contact staff if they have additional questions or need assistance.