CARES Act Funding for Colleges & Universities

Coursedog is committed to helping our institutional partners safely and successfully navigate digital transformation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our cloud-based solutions help to fuel administrative efficiencies and student success in an entirely remote world, with outcomes persisting after the return to campus. To learn how Coursedog can support your institution during the new normal, reach out today.

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How Coursedog Helps Our Partners Build IT and Distance Learning Capacity

Below are a few of the ways Coursedog has enabled colleges and universities to remove unnecessary friction, and help students, in the transition to remote and hybrid learning environments:

Enrollment heatmaps and reporting help institutions visualize and respond to enrollment density across buildings and time, ensuring students and faculty are safely spread out

Paperless forms and workflows allow institutions to move their scheduling, curriculum and catalog management, and paper and PDF-based approval processes online, removing historical bottlenecks

Our flexible and responsive UI enables institutions to quickly respond to change, without requiring time consuming, manual work

Our cloud-based solution was designed with IT in mind. Our integration dashboard, fully integrated environment, and out-of-the-box reporting and analytics are only a few of the ways we free up IT resources

"I would encourage leaders of our higher education institutions to use this funding as former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested during the first round of relief—to support students who are struggling financially in the wake of this pandemic and to build IT and distance learning capacity for now and in preparation for the future."

–Acting U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Mitchell "Mick" Zais


What does the CRRSAA mean for how I can use the Institutional Portion of CRRSAA and CARES awards?

The CRRSAA grants institutions expanded flexibility around how they leverage the supplemental Institutional Portion of their funds. Under "the CARES Act, institutions were required to use their Institutional Portion awards to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus and/or for additional emergency financial aid grants, subject to certain limitations.

In contrast, allowable uses under the CRRSAA for Institutional Portion awards include:
i) Defraying expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll);
ii) Carrying out student support activities authorized by the Higher Education Act of1965, as amended (HEA), that address needs related to coronavirus; and
iii) Making additional financial aid grants to students"

The expanded use of CRRSAA funds also applies to unexpended CARES act funding, effective December 27, 2020.For additional information on how the CRRSAA impacts the CARES Act, see here.

What 'student support' initiatives can CRRSAA funding, and unexpended CARES funding, be used for?

Institutions may spend these funds on student support initiatives authorized by the HEA, where these initiatives relate to needs resulting from coronavirus. One example given by the Department of Education is use of these funds to help facilitate the transition to virtual activities. For additional information, see here.

Can CARES and CRRSAA funding be used to purchase Coursedog?

It is our understanding that yes, CARES and CRRSAA funding may be used to purchase Coursedog depending on the institution's unique needs for our solutions.

Under the CARES Act, institutions may use up to 50% of their funds received to "cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus," subject to certain limitations. This is expanded on by the CRRSAA, as outlined in FAQ #1.

We have had institutions purchase Coursedog with HEERF and HEERF II funds as our platform helps to support student and administrative success in remote learning environments.

How much time does my institution have to disburse CARES Act and CRRSAA funds?

"Institutions generally must expend their HEERF funds within one year from the date when the Department processed the most recent obligation of funds for each specific grant. Thus, institutions that received a supplemental award under CRRSAA have one year to spend all remaining CARES funds and new CRRSAA funds for each grant. No cost extensions up to one year are also available under certain circumstances. Institutions may contact their assigned grant program officer identified on the GAN for more details on requesting an extension."

Who can I talk to on my campus to access our institution's HEERF and HEERF II funds?

While every institution is different, we have heard from many of our partners that the finance team on their campus is the best point of contact to start the conversation. Similar to any grant or funding initiative, it is recommended that you touch base with them to better understand how your institution's unique needs and goals fit within the outlined appropriate uses for the relief funds.

Can my institution apply for CRRSAA funds if we did not receive CARES Act funding?

Yes, eligible public or private nonprofit institutions that did not originally receive money under the CARES Act will be able to apply to receive funding under CRRSAA. For more information on HEERF II, see here.

Does my institution need to apply for CRRSAA funds if we did receive CARES Act funding?

No, existing public or private nonprofit institutions that did receive a CARES act grant will not be required to submit a new or revised application to receive funds under the CRRSAA. The CRRSAA authorized additional supplemental funding to existing CARES act grantees. For more information see here, and connect with your campuses' point of contact for CARES and CRRSAA funding.

How can CARES and CRRSAA funds be used to support minority serving institutions?

Congress created several programs within HEERF and HEERF II to specifically support minority serving institutions, including "predominantly Black Institutions, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, Native American-Serving Non tribal Institutions, Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, and Promoting Post baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans." To learn more about the resources and programs available to minority serving institutions, check out the U.S. Department of Education's HEERF and HEERF II pages.