CHA-CHING: Final HEERF grant to be distributed to Sac State students

Disbursement will occur through check or e-refund direct deposit


Elaine Vang, who is majoring in public health studies at Sacramento State, studies at the AIRC at Sac State on Feb. 21. Vang said she used the previous HEERF grant funds to pay for bills and textbooks. (Photo by Laura De la Garza Garcia)

Laura De la Garza Garcia

Sac State will be distributing the fourth round grant payments from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to students beginning Feb. 28. 

The HEERF grant is a federal award that was approved in March 2020. The first grant was distributed to students in the spring 2020 semester and will be disbursed for a fourth and final during this semester.

Payments are to be disbursed to students via check or e-refund direct deposit. The goal behind the HEERF grant is to financially relieve students that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an announcement from Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Ed Mills.

The Spring 2022 semester grant will be paid to all students that are enrolled in a degree program at Sac State, according to Mills.

This semester’s HEERF grant will be the fourth and last one that will be distributed to Sac State students and is significantly larger than the previous semester, according to a Sac Send message from Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Ed Mills. (Chart made by Laura De la Garza Garcia)

A SacSend video message from Mills said that the last HEERF grant that will be paid to students is larger than the previous one and will not be counted as taxable income.   

Sarah Rembacz, a junior majoring in interior architecture at Sac State, said she was informed of the grant through her Sac State student portal and decided to get her money electronically deposited.  

“Honestly, I didn’t even know about it [the grant] until I got money in my account in the middle of the semester,” she said.

Rembacz also said she is looking forward to receiving the last round of federal money from the government since the last round of money helped her get through her semester. 

Sarah Rembacz poses in front of Mariposa Hall at Sacramento State on Feb. 21. Rembacz had previously received the HEERF grant during the fall 2021 semester when she transferred from a community college in Chicago. (Photo by Laura De la Garza Garcia)

“Any amount of money is helpful,” Rembacz said. “I mostly just use it for food and stuff because I am not working right now, I am just looking for an internship.”

Elaine Vang, a third year student majoring in public health at Sac State works part-time and is taking 15 units this semester. Vang said she has found the first round of the HEERF grant extremely helpful given her continuously busy student schedule.

“[The grant] has helped me with mainly bills and also textbooks,” Vang said. “It’s appreciated to know that they are giving that to us, even though we are not entitled to receive that or anything really. I am just appreciative.”

Antonio Ramirez is a student in the English graduate program who is pursuing his master’s in composition, rhetoric, and professional writing. 

Ramirez received the HEERF grant unexpectedly last semester, and ever since then made an effort to continue staying informed about any upcoming grants through Sac State.  

“It was helpful in the sense of just having an extra financial amount to help with anything,” Ramirez said. “In my case, it helped me with tuition.” 

Ramirez said he feels that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic messages about any financial help to students should be additionally communicated through professors and other university platforms in order to ensure transparency and timeliness of important dates.