College students return to campus in the fall post-pandemic

Department of Education releases HEERF III reporting updates

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III), authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed into law on March 11, 2021, provides $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Education (ED) has released additional quarterly reporting guidance for HEERF funding with new directions that institutions must follow. In the most recent Frequently Asked Questions document, ED addresses new institutional public reporting formatting requirements in effect for all institutional reports for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2021. Institutions are required to comply with quarterly reporting requirements within 10 days after the quarter ends (Oct. 10, Jan. 10, April 10 and July 10). No changes have been made to student reporting requirements.

ED made a digital PDF available to be used for institutional reports beginning with the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2021. The substance of the report remains unchanged. ED requires spending for each calendar quarter from all possible funding sources be input on the template. The file must be saved with the following naming convention, which includes the institution’s OPEID number, report name and quarter-end date. The documents uploaded to an institution’s website must be the original PDF file as ED will no longer consider scans, handwritten forms and other versions as acceptable reporting.

Naming convention requirement: [8-digit OPEID]_[Survey Name]_[Quarter/Year]_[Date of Release], for example, 00000000_HEERF_Q32021_101021

ED confirmed in the May 13, 2021 Federal Register, that institutions are required to post quarterly institutional and student public reporting forms for HEERF II and HEERF III funds to their website. Institutions were required to submit retroactive HEERF II reports for the first two quarters of 2021 and were given until July 10, 2021 to do so.

Annual reporting requirements for HEERF II and HEERF III will also be in place and necessary to complete early in calendar year 2022. More information will be provided by ED leading up to that reporting deadline. It is anticipated that ED will be particularly interested in gathering information as to how the institution addressed the two new requirements that were included with HEERF III related to continued measures to address the spread of the coronavirus and outreach to financial aid recipients.

Baker Tilly can help

Our specialized higher education team can provide proactive guidance to help institutions:

  • Develop a strategic approach to navigating ARP funding and HEERF
  • Review allocation plans
  • Discuss and apply accounting treatment
  • Comply with reporting requirements

For more information, or to learn more about how Baker Tilly can help your institution, contact our team.

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HEERF II and III FAQ for higher education institutions

Gain insight into Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund frequently asked questions related to accounting, financial reporting and more.

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