FAQ: What you need to know about Sac State’s HEERF grant distribution


Chris Wong

President Robert Nelsen announced that grants will be distributed to every student at Sac State after the university received $17.8 million in HEERF funds. Graphic made in Canva.

Colin Madigan

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Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen announced in a SacSend email Thursday that Sac State had received $17.8 million in HEERF funds to provide grants to students.

The State Hornet compiled this FAQ regarding how students can access their HEERF grants.

Question: What is a HEERF grant?

Answer: According to the U.S. Department of Education, HEERF stands for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. The fund provides $81.88 billion in support of education and to support students’ learning through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Q: How much money will students get from these grants? 

A:  According to Nelsen’s email, Pell Grant-eligible students who are enrolled in 7 or more units will be receiving $850. Pell Grant-eligible students who are enrolled in 6 or less units will receive $700. 

Students enrolled in 7 or more units who are not eligible for Pell Grants or who do not have a FAFSA on file will receive $750. Non-Pell-eligible students or students not receiving FAFSA who are enrolled in 6 units or less will receive $600. 

Q: How can students get the money?

A: The fastest way for students to get their money will be through eRefund. To set up eRefund, go to My Sac State, go to the Student Center, click “Account Inquiry,” then click the button, “Sign up for eRefund (direct deposit).” Students that have already set up eRefund are encouraged to double check their eRefund bank account info to ensure it is still the correct account.

If students are not signed up for eRefund or would prefer to receive a check, Sac State encourages making sure their directory information is updated in their Student Center, as whichever address is listed will be where the check is sent. 

Q: When will grants be disbursed?

A: Nelsen said that the administration is aiming to have eRefunds disbursed by the end of next week but that checks by mail won’t go out until the week after that. 

Q: Do students need to apply to get the grant?

A: No. Students will not have to apply to receive this grant. They will automatically receive it. 

Q: Can undocumented students or international students receive these grants?

A: Nelsen said that the HEERF funding cannot be used by undocumented or international students but said that the administration has set aside funds from other university sources so that these students will still receive the same amounts as students who are U.S. citizens.

Q: Can students who were enrolled in fully online programs before COVID-19 receive these grants?

A: Nelsen announced that the restriction preventing students who were already in fully online programs before the pandemic from receiving HEERF funds last May had been lifted by Congress and that those students will be eligible to receive this grant. This includes students in the College of Continuing Education.

Q: What can I spend the money on?

A: Anything!  

Got another question not listed here? Comment below or tag us on Twitter @TheStateHornet or DM us on Instagram @statehornet.