CRRSA Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Report #2



June 30, 2021

While the U.S. Department of Education (ED) develops a process for institutions to directly provide the required reporting data, it has in the meantime called for institutions to make easily accessible to the public — via the institution’s website — the following items:

  1. Acknowledgment that the institution signed and returned the certification and agreement form and that the institution has used, or intends to use the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least $6,953,900 of the emergency financial aid grants to students:

On January 15, 2021, Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor/CEO, signed and submitted to the Department of Education (ED) the Certification and Agreement for a formula grant under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act HEERF II). ACC intends to use the maximum amount possible for emergency aid to students. In compliance with ED mandate to provide at least the same amount of funding in financial aid grants to students as was required to be provided under sections 18004(a)(1) and (c) of division B of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The minimum allocated to emergency aid to students is $6,953,900. ACC has elected to exceed this amount with a total allocation of $16,000,00.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive, or has received under the HEERF student portion.

ACC has received $32,959,121 of which $6,953,900 is to be used for CRRSA Act Student Aid. ACC has elected to exceed this amount with a total allocation of $16,000,00.

  1. (a) The total amount that has been distributed to students as of June 30, 2021: $10,961,940

(b) The total amount distributed between March 31 and June 30, the second

reporting period: $4,008,040

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

27749 students

  1. The total number of students who have received an emergency financial aid grant through CRRSA funds:

6,020 students

  1. How the institution determined which students did, or will receive emergency financial aid grants and how much funding they did, or will receive.

Austin Community College convened a committee with membership from the president’s cabinet, the business office, the financial aid office, the ACC foundation office, student affairs communication, ACC marketing, student support advocates, and enrollment management. The following brief was developed:

Overview: On April 20, 2021, ACC received $6,953,900 from the Department of Education as part of the CRRSA Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. ACC will distribute these emergency funds to students who have experienced or are faced with disruptions of education due to COVID-19. The coronavirus has negatively impacted the health and wellness of ACC students and their families, as well as the regional economy. ACC is keenly aware that the COVID-19 impact has exacerbated pre-existing systemic inequalities and has affected Central Texas’s marginalized communities more deeply than others. In a coordinated effort, ACC will swiftly distribute funds in such a way that it empowers students to use them for their greatest priorities, such as food, housing, health care, child care, learning materials, and more. With the distribution of funding, students will have access to ACC’s full social support resources. ACC has limited the award to $2,500 per student per semester.

Student Eligibility(updated 12/27/20):

  • Must have FAFSA on file to determine citizenship status
  • Must be actively enrolled in ACC courses
  • Excludes dual credit, international, continuing education, or adult education
  • Students may request funds once per semester

On May 11, 2021, ED issued the following updated guidance regarding student eligibility for any remaining CRRSA HEERF II funds:

  • The definition of “eligible student” for all HEERF funding was changed to be any student who is or was enrolled at an eligible institution on or after March 13, 2020 opening eligibility up to students who were, but may not currently be, enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ED’s changed it’s opinion about applying the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) to emergency funds making undocumented, international, and DACA students eligible for all HEERF funding.
  •  If students are ineligible for CRRSA Act Student Aid, their application will then be considered for ACC’s Student Emergency Fund. Students will not be required to complete an additional request.
  • FAFSA no longer required


  • CRRSA Act Student Aid Website:…
  • The application is hosted on a secure Client Resource Management (CRM) system, Maxient, which our teams use to process and follow-up on requests.
  • ChatBot implemented to answer student questions on a 24/7 basis.
  • Processing and Distribution of Emergency Funds
  • The new online application for Student Aid is a single point of entry for CRRSA Act and Student Emergency Funds.
  • After a student submits their CRRSA application, it is be routed for funding based on the eligibility status of the student
  • It may take 3 – 5 days for disbursements of funds once an application is complete (during peak)
  • ACC Business Office processes disbursements 5 days a week

 7) Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the emergency financial aid grants.

CRRSA Act Student Aid Design

Below, is an example of the CRRSA Act Student Aid design used across multiple web and social media channels to build awareness of and promote access to the CRRSA Act funds for students.

CRRSA Student Aid - Financial Help During COVID-19

Student Communication

Spring 2021
Communication Mode Student Population # students Google Doc Message Constant Contact Link Date Proposed to send Date Sent Open Rate on CC Email Subsequent Nudges (Date)
Email 220F Pell Students: Not registered for S21 (Good standing/Probation) 2,009 View View 1/26/2021 1/26 @ 9am Resend to non-openers: 1/29/20 @ 9am Results: 1/28: 34% Open, 10% Clicks Week of February 8th
Email 220F Pell Students: Not registered for S21 (Ineligible SAP – still qualify for CRRSA) 780 View View 1/27/2021 1/27 @ 9:30am Resend to non-openers: 2/1 @ 9:30am Results: 1/28: 33% Opens – 18% Clicks Week of February 8th
Email Pell-eligible enrolled 221S (eligible & ineligible SAP – still qualify for CRRSA) 6911 View View 1/27/2021 before 5 pm 1/27 @ 4:45pm Resend to non-openers: 1/31 @ 4:45pm Results 1/28: 65% Opens – 48% Clicks Week of February 8th
Email All Spring 21 Trad Students 36,290 View View Before 11:00 AM 1/28/2021 1/28 @1:15pm Resend to non-openers, 2/1 Results: 2/4: 58% Opens – 7% Clicks
Text Opt-In Text – Financial Aid Students 8,547 total (3,547 pell eligible) View NA From 10AM – 2PM (in batches) 1/28/2021 From 10AM – 2PM (in batches) 1/28/2021 Results: 366 Inbound texts on 1/28 (4% of population)
SA NL All Spring ‘21 Students 36K View 1/30/2021 Results: 40.3% Open Rate
Email Zero EFC Students enrolled 221S (have not applied for CRRSA or CARES) 150 View Through Colleague 4/12/2021 4/12/2021 NA
Email Zero EFC Students enrolled 221S (have not applied for CRRSA or CARES) 300 View Through Colleague 4/13/2021 4/13/2021 NA
Email Zero EFC Students enrolled 221S (have not applied for CRRSA or CARES) 300 View Through Colleague 4/14/2021 4/14/2021 NA
Email Zero EFC Students enrolled 221S (have not applied for CRRSA or CARES) 800 View Through Colleague 4/21/2021 4/21/2021 NA
Mass Comms
(Shared by Jessica)
External Community / Prospective Students Ongoing View
CRRSA Web Traffic from March 31, 2021 through June 30, 2021:

Analysis: Major spikes in CRRSA web[age traffic correlate to the opening and closing of the CRRSA application form on ACC’s website. Smaller spikes have been attributed to communication pushes such as emails to current students and other alerts.

How they found it: Search Query top 10:

Query Clicks Impressions
acc cares act 130 206
acc covid relief 111 124
acc crrsa 87 134
crrsa austin community college 85 153
cares act acc 41 51
crrsa acc 18 21
acc covid relief fund 13 16
cares acc 12 24
coronavirus response and relief supplemental appropriations (crrsa) act 9 197

Media Advisory

  1. April 5: Summer registration begins for current students:
  2. May 3: Extra support paying for college and life expenses
  3. May 10: Extra financial support helps students persist
  4. May 24: ACC works to remove financial barriers of paying for college
  5. June 3: ACC fully reopens campuses this fall with options for all students

Media Coverage

  1. June 3: Austin Local News | Austin Neighborhood School Will Absolutely Reopen Within The Fall Semester
  3. June 3: Fox 7 Austin | Austin Community College fully reopens for fall semester
  5. June 3: KXAN | Austin Community College offers new learning options for the fall

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