August 2021 - American Rescue Plan (HEERF III)


On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP) into law. Approved by Congress, this most recent coronavirus relief package provides an additional $40 billion to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

San Diego State has released the first round of emergency grants to eligible students for the fall 2021 term.  Awards are being made to student who are enrolled in classes for the fall 2021 term.  

Students signed up for direct deposit, E-Refund through Student Account Services will receive the funding through the electronic process.   

Students who are not signed up for E-Refund will be mailed a check.  

All students can check their AidLink portal to see the emergency grant award information.   

Students can track the disbursement through their Student Account Portal @

Regular financial aid disbursements for the fall 2021 will begin August 19, 2021.

A: Students who are enrolled for the fall 2021 term are eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF, regardless of whether they completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or are eligible for Title IV. As under the CRRSAA, institutions are directed to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or students with extraordinary financial circumstances in awarding emergency financial aid grants to students.
A: Yes. The U.S. Department of Education’s final rule on student eligibility for HEERF states that all students who are enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF, regardless of whether they completed a FAFSA or are eligible for Title IV. That includes citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students. International students may also receive HEERF.
A: Yes. Students studying abroad may receive HEERF emergency financial aid grants from the recipient institution where they are enrolled. These students must meet the criteria based on prioritizing exceptional need that the institution has established for distributing its HEERF emergency financial aid grants.
A: Emergency financial aid grants may be used by students for any component of their cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care. Students determine how they may use their emergency financial aid grant within the allowable uses
A: No. Emergency financial aid grants made by a federal agency, State, Indian tribe, higher education institution or scholarship-granting organization (including a tribal organization) to a student because of an event related to the COVID-19 national emergency are not included in the student's gross income. For more information, please see the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) bulletin Emergency aid granted to students due to COVID is not taxable (March 30, 2021). 


February 2021 – Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II)

On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) (P.L. 116-260). This new law gives the U.S. Department of Education (Department) approximately $22.7 billion in additional funding to distribute to institutions of higher education in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus through the HEERF. SDSU’s total allocation is $45,914,127. The CRRSAA mandates that at least $14,697,467 of these funds be spent on direct student aid (this is the amount of student awards mandated under the original CARES Act.)

A total of 34,023 students were enrolled for spring 2021. Of those, 23,282 are eligible for new CARES funding (have a 2020-21 FAFSA and are U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens).


March 2020- Federal CARES Act Emergency Student Funding 

Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), SDSU was given over $14 million in emergency aid earmarked to assist students whose lives have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

In Spring 2020 there were a total of 32,214 students enrolled. Of those, 22,268 were eligible for CARES funding (had a 2019-20 FAFSA and were U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens).

The CARES Act did not provide emergency funds for international students, international exchange participants, or those who students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  SDSU provided financial support to these students through the use of $800,000 from other university funds that are not federal dollars.


Change in Financial Circumstances

A: Yes. You can fill out a "Request for Review" available via the "Forms" section of the Financial Aid website. 


Document Delivery to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

A: Please do not send documents via fax or email. Your personal information is at risk. Instead, upload documents using the secure document upload feature on AidLink. Please upload PDF documents if possible. You can use free apps such as CamScanner or Scannable to scan documents using your smartphone. Alternatively, you may also send documents by mail (or to our office drop box) Be sure to provide the student's Red ID on all documents.

San Diego State University

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

5500 Campanile Drive 

San Diego, CA 92182-7436



A:  According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) became law, providing relief on ED-owned federal student loans: suspension of loan payments, stopped collections on defaulted loans, and a 0% interest rate as temporary relief. As of January 20, 2021, 0% student loan interest rate and suspension of payments on federal student loans through the Department of Education have been extended through at least September 30, 2021. Students can still make payments (with their loan servicer) if they choose.

Please refer to for the latest updates.

A: To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 emergency, federal student loan borrowers were automatically placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payments. This was active for loans as of March 13, 2020 through at least September 30, 2021 (latest extension). This may not be applicable for federal loans that were delinquent or in default prior to March 13, 2020. For information on the status of a delinquent or defaulted federal loan, please contact your loan servicer.

If you do not know who your servicer is or how to contact them, visit the  Student Aid website or call at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hearing-impaired 1-800-730-8913) for assistance.


Verification Documents

A: You may obtain your Tax Return Transcript online at If you are unable to obtain them using the on-line tool, then you must download Form 4506-T from the IRS website. This is a form you mail in to the IRS to request your Tax Return Transcript or Verification of Nonfiling Letter to be mailed to you.


Additional Questions

A: Visit the SDSU Student Financial Center.  We can help you with questions related to financial aid, scholarships and student accounts.  The center is open M-F 9:00 to 5:00 PST.  The link is available at aid.