A Primer on Institutional HEERF Grant Reporting

By David B. McClintock, CPA | October 20, 2020

No tricks, a major deadline looms for postsecondary educational institutions just before Halloween. The first round of quarterly reporting for the institutional portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) Grant is due October 30, meaning institutions cannot delay in preparing and posting their reports.

Check out this rundown concerning the basics of this reporting, and don’t miss our upcoming webinar on the topic.

When to report

The first report is due Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, and should include HEERF institutional expenditures through Sept. 30, 2020. Subsequent reports covering expenditures for each calendar quarter are due within 10 days of each quarter end.

A separate annual report will be due for all HEERF grantees in early 2021. A comment request period ended recently, and more information is expected soon.

Where to report

The reports must be publicly posted to each institutions’ website in the same location where required disclosure for HEERF student grants are located. Institutions are also encouraged to email the link to the webpage hosting their respective reports to ED at HEERFreporting@ed.gov.

How to report

  • Use the Department of Education’s (ED) final form, which can be found here in Word format or here in PDF format. This form has been updated since its initial release on September 28, so be sure to use the proper form.
  • Subtotal expenses by category. (See the “What to Report” section below for more on these categories.)
  • Reports are to be specific to expenditures for each quarter — not For example, a report posted by Jan. 10, 2021, will include only expenditures from Oct. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Whether it is with the initial report or a future report, once all HEERF institutional funds have been expended, check the “Final Report” box in the top right corner of the form.

What to report

ED’s reporting form contains sections for the total amount of funds awarded and how much the institution has spent in a number of categories, including but not limited to:

  • Additional emergency financial aid grants to students to cover expenses caused by COVID-19 disruptions
  • Reimbursements to cover refunds to students for tuition, room and board, and other fees
  • Reimbursements to cover costs associated with changes to delivery of instruction because of COVID-19 (e.g., equipment and software, simulators to replace hands-on instruction or clinical work)
  • Costs for preparing infrastructure to meet social distancing requirements (e.g., reimbursements for the cost of high-speed internet to students or faculty, additional instructor time, cleaning supplies, PPE, etc.)
  • Subsidizing off-campus housing costs due to dormitory closures or decisions to limit housing

As the reporting form indicates, HEERF institutional grants must be used in specific ways, so see this list of Do’s and Don’ts and view our full COVID-19 resources page for more information.

Why you need to report

The reports will be public knowledge and, as noted, the above information will be directly reported to ED. Thus, ED officials, the general public and auditors could ultimately review and scrutinize the information. Therefore, institutions need to ensure their expenditures are supportable and the reporting form is as accurate as possible.

With the first quarterly report due soon and more to come, all grantees will need to be aware of just what is required when and how to report it. For any assistance, feel free to reach out to the experts at McClintock & Associates.

Still have questions about HEERF Financial Reporting?

Reach out to one of our experts and let us know how we can help!