Emergency Fund (CARES Act: HEERF II) for Students Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis

Portland State remains committed to helping as many students as possible whether the financial difficulties that they have faced over the last year. We want to ensure that all students know of the following options.

By far, the largest resource currently available is from the federal government under the CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). HEERF funds will be allocated to PSU students for components of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID (tuition, food, housing, health care (mental health) and childcare. Institutions must prioritize students with exceptional need, such as Pell Grant-eligible students.

The guidance for awarding does not allow us to make awards to the following groups of students:

  • Most non-U.S. citizens/international students
  • DACA students
  • Students who were not registered for spring term on or after April 12, 2021

Award & Eligibility

Automatic Eligibility

  • Pell-eligible or equivalent students with an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 0
  • Enrolled at PSU as of April 12, 2021

No application is required. Students who meet automatic eligibility will be contacted by PSU via email and will have the option to apply their award to their student account or have the award sent to them directly.

Application Required

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements above, you can apply for funds by submitting this application. The application will be available April 19th. 

  • Undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at PSU as of April 12, 2021 (fully online students are eligible to apply)
  • Eligible to receive Title IV funds

Documentation is not required to prove expenses, and individual awards will be capped at $500 per student.

Under the U.S. Department of Education guidelines, international students and DACA/DREAMers are not eligible to receive funding.

Apply Now >>

Awarding Process

Portland State University will review applications as they are submitted and will notify students on a rolling basis of their eligibility and award amounts. The maximum award is up to $500. We will award funds based on students’ stated expenses. Funding from the COVID-19 Emergency Fund will not impact a student’s financial aid package. Grant funds will be disbursed directly to student accounts. Disbursements of funds will not be applied to an outstanding balance on the student account without the students permission.

Contact Us: heerf@pdx.edu


Key Facts Regarding Federal CARES Act Grants

Portland State University acknowledges that it has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education and has used 80 percent of the funds received to date under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Total CARES Act funds received: $8,320,203.00

Number of students eligible to participate in Title IV: 16,489

Emergency Fund Summary

# of students: 5,269

$ distributed: $8,299,389

# of transactions: 12,713

Portland State University has received its CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $8.3 million. These funds provide direct emergency assistance for PSU students for expenses related to housing, food, technology, transportation healthcare, childcare or other related expenses. Our goal is to assist students with the greatest need first, in accordance with federal guidelines.