GEER State Grant and Emergency Educational Grant

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) recently received $57 million through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund to support the TEXAS Grant, Texas Educational Opportunity Grant, and Tuition Equalization Grant programs and $46.5 million in GEER Funds to support Emergency Educational Grants.

For questions, please email DeCha Reid at DeCha.Reid@highered.texas.gov.

 

Monthly Reporting Requirements

Each institution must provide the enclosed reports to the THECB on the first of each month, or the first working day thereafter if it falls on a weekend or holiday, beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

General GEER Contract Questions

The agency has conferred with the Texas Comptroller’s office regarding FPP A.043. The Comptroller’s office has confirmed that public institutions of higher education are exempt from this requirement for these GEER funds and may issue these grants from their local institutional funds. Public institutions may then reimburse their local institutional funds using the GEER funds that reside in the state treasury (CAPPS/USAS). Using this approach, public institutions are not required to treat student’s receiving GEER funding as vendors in TINS for the purpose of FPP A.043.

Yes. The THECB accepts electronic signatures. An electronic signature is a signature that is an image of a hand-made signature, such as on a transmitted facsimile, an electronic document created by scanning the original physical document, or an electronic document where a separate image of a hand-made signature has been overlaid onto the electronic document in place of a physical hand-made signature. Note: The agency currently does not accept digital signatures.

Yes. Per the Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA), any interest earned on these funds from CFDA 84.425C needs to be accounted for and remitted back to the THECB after all of the GEER funds have been expended at the time of excess funds are returned.

No. The Certification Regarding Debarment and Suspension does not need a separate signature. Only the Certification Regarding Lobbying and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Certification need to be signed and returned with the signed grant contract.

TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG recipients whose grants are GEER-funded will be reported in FAD in the same way that TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG recipients funded with state appropriations are reported. No modifications to the FAD reporting structure related to GEER funding are planned.

Separate reporting will occur to provide the agency with details regarding an institution's use of the GEER funds for TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG. This reporting includes:

  • Monthly reporting, beginning October 1, 2020, of the year-to-date total number of students who have received a TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG funded by GEER and the total amount of GEER funding disbursed to students for TEXAS Grant or TEOG.
  • Close-out reporting of the students reported in FAD as receiving TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG who were funded by GEER and the amount of this GEER funding the student received

For institutions eligible to offer Emergency Educational Grants, reporting includes:

  • Monthly reporting, beginning October 1, 2020, of the year-to-date total number of students who have received an Emergency Educational Grant and the total amount of Emergency Educational Grants disbursed to students for TEXAS Grant or TEOG
  • Close-out reporting at the end of the Fall semester. The report must list the students who received Emergency Educational Grants funded by GEER and the amount of this GEER funding the student received. The report must also include some demographic and enrollment data specified by THECB. The THECB will finalize the specific requirements of this report in the coming months. THECB will seek to minimize additional reporting that is required by each institution.

 

GEER Funding for TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG

An institution using GEER funding to offer a TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG should follow the same eligibility criteria as TEXAS Grants/TEOG/TEG offered using state appropriations, with one exception. GEER-funded TEXAS Grants/TEOG/TEG may only be offered to students who are eligible for Title IV federal student financial aid. Additional reporting requirements are outlined in the grant contract, as is the deadline by which GEER funds for TEXAS Grants/TEOG/TEG must be disbursed.

While the THECB encourages institutions to utilize the $5,000 "target" grant level to spread limited funding across more recipients, we realize that financial aid offices must take into consideration a variety of factors unique to their institution's student population and resources. The $5,000 grant level is a "target." It is not a cap.

While public institutions must disburse their GEER funding for Emergency Educational Grants by November 2, 2020, the deadline for public and private institutions to disburse GEER-funded TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG is February 1, 2021. While we encourage institutions to disburse GEER funding for TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG promptly, we understand that institutions may wish to disburse GEER-funded TEXAS Grant/TEOG/TEG in both the fall and spring for fund tracking purposes. Please keep in mind the reporting requirements in the General GEER Contract Questions section of this page.

Institutions must keep in mind reporting requirements as they manage the GEER funding for TEXAS Grant or TEOG. An institution's approach should ensure that reporting requirements can be fulfilled, such as:

  • Monthly reporting of the year-to-date total number of students who have received a TEXAS Grant or TEOG funded by GEER and the total amount of GEER funding disbursed to students for TEXAS Grant or TEOG.
  • Close-out reporting of the students reported in FAD as receiving TEXAS Grant or TEOG who were funded by GEER and the amount of this GEER funding the student received.
  • Cash management reporting based on the Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA), which requires that any interest earned on these funds from CFDA 84.425C needs to be accounted for and remitted back to the THECB after all of the GEER funds have been expended at the time of excess funds are returned.

 

GEER Funding for Emergency Educational Grants

The maximum EEG for a student who meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the grant agreement is the lesser of the student’s financial need minus all gift aid or the student’s tuition, fees, and supplemental expenses minus all gift aid. In no case may the EEG exceed $2,500.

Per Texas Administrative Code Rule 22.1(15), gift aid is defined as “grants, scholarships, exemptions, waivers, and other financial aid provided to a student without a requirement to repay the funding or earn the funding through work.” Loans, installment plans, or student payments are not included in the Rule 22.1(15) definition of gift aid, and thus would not be included in the calculation of the maximum EEG.

The amount of tuition and fees to be used in the calculation of the maximum EEG is the amount the student was charged by the institution.

The Emergency Educational Grant is a “last-dollar” scholarship, which may not exceed $2,500. The grant has an additional limitation that it may not exceed remaining financial need.

 

The last-dollar amount is calculated as follows:

  • Add together the student's tuition, fees, and supplemental expenses for the fall semester. Supplemental expenses are defined as an estimate of course materials determined by the institution that is not to exceed $500.
  • Add together all gift aid the student has been offered at the time the Emergency Educational Grant is offered. Gift aid is defined as grants, scholarships, exemptions, waivers, and other financial aid provided to a student without a requirement to repay the funding or earn the funding through work.
  • Subtract the total gift aid from the total tuition, fees, and supplemental expenses.
  • If the result is greater than $2,500, reduce the calculated value to $2,500.

The remaining financial need is calculated as follows:

  • Subtract the student’s Excepted Family Contribution from the student’s Cost of Attendance to determine the student’s financial need.
  • Subtract the student’s total gift aid from the student’s financial need. Gift aid is defined as grants, scholarships, exemptions, waivers, and other financial aid provided to a student without a requirement to repay the funding or earn the funding through work.
  • If the result is greater than $2,500, reduce the calculated value to $2,500.

A student’s eligibility is the lesser of the last-dollar calculation or the remaining financial need calculation.

Examples

 

Student #1

Student #2

Student #3

(a) Cost of Attendance

$8,500

$16,000

$9,500

(b) Expected Family Contribution

$1,000

$9,000

$5,000

(c) Financial Need

(a minus b)

$7,500

$7,000

$4,500

(d) Tuition, Fees, and Supplemental Expenses

$2,000

$8,000

$4,000

(e) Gift Aid

$2,500

$5,000

$1,000

 

 

 

 

Last-Dollar Calculation (d minus e, not to exceed $2,500)

$0

$2,500

$2,500

Remaining Financial Need Calculation

(c minus e, not to exceed $2,500)

$2,500

$2,000

$2,500

 

 

 

 

Maximum Eligibility (lesser of Last-Dollar or Remaining Financial Need)

$0

$2,000

$2,500

Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 22, Subchapter A, Rule 22.1provides definitions referenced in the Emergency Educational Grant section of the grant contract. The following terms from Rule 22.1 are used in the calculation of the maximum Emergency Educational Grant amount.

  • (7) Cost of Attendance/Total Cost of Attendance--An institution's estimate of the expenses incurred by a typical financial aid recipient in attending a particular institution of higher education. It includes direct educational costs (tuition and fees) as well as indirect costs (room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, and other allowable costs for financial aid purposes).
  • (12) Expected Family Contribution (EFC)--A measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student's education for the year as determined following the federal methodology.
  • (13) Financial Need--The Cost of Attendance at a particular public or private institution of higher education less the Expected Family Contribution. The Cost of Attendance and Expected Family Contribution are to be determined in accordance with Board guidelines.
  • (15) Gift Aid--Grants, scholarships, exemptions, waivers, and other financial aid provided to a student without a requirement to repay the funding or earn the funding through work.

Yes. Institutions may utilize systems they have already established for determining a severe financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or they may document criteria specific to the Emergency Educational Grant.

No. Per Section 5.0 of the grant contract, an institution must expend the entirety of funding provided for Emergency Educational Grants by November 2, 2020. Any unused funds must be returned to the THECB.

Emergency Educational Grants may only be used for paying tuition, fees, and supplemental expenses incurred for the semester for which the funding was offered. The THECB encourages institutions to use Emergency Educational Grant funding to help students address the financial challenges they face in covering their fall semester expenses.

Yes. An institution may provide this information electronically, though the institution must do so in a way that meets the required retention expectations outlined in the contract.

No. Your contract provides the amount that is specifically available for use as TEXAS Grants/TEOG, as well as the amount that is specifically available for use as Emergency Educational Grants. You may not transfer money between these two uses of GEER funding.

No. Emergency Educational Grants must supplement and not replace gift aid the student has received for educational expenses.

No. Emergency Educational Grants are considered "last-dollar" scholarships to help cover tuition, fees, and supplemental expenses that have not already been covered by federal, state, institutional, and private gift aid.

The grant contract between the institution and the THECB states that, "Emergency Educational Grant funding may not be used for any purpose other than paying for tuition, fees, and supplemental expenses incurred by the student related to enrollment at an eligible institution for the semester for which funding was offered," and that, "supplemental expenses are defined as an estimate of course materials determined by the institution that is not to exceed $500."

It also states that the maximum Emergency Educational Grant that can be offered to a student is the lesser of:

  • $2,500;
  • the student's financial need minus all gift aid, as defined by Board rules, the student has been offered at the time the Emergency Educational Grant is offered; or
  • the sum of the student's tuition, fees, and supplemental expenses minus all gift aid the student has been offered at the time the grant is offered.

Based on the guidance issued by the Department of Education, Emergency Educational Grants would not be considered estimated financial assistance. On April 3, 2020, the Department of Education issued updated guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID019). It states that, "any aid (in the form of grants or low-interest loans) received by victims of an emergency from a federal or state entity for the purpose of providing financial relief is not counted as income for calculating a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under the Federal Methodology or as estimated financial assistance for packaging purposes." The grant contract between the institution and the THECB states that, "the purpose of the Emergency Educational Grant is to provide financial relief to victims of the pandemic emergency through federally-funded educational grants.".