NAICU Washington Update

Expedited Approval Sought for Endowment Tax Waiver Form for COVID Funds

July 15, 2021

In the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) of December 2020, institutions that paid the endowment tax in 2019 had their Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) allocation limited to only half of their formulaic allocation.  Additionally, their use of funds were limited to student grants or to cover pandemic expenses related to the health and safety of the campus.  

The bill, however, also allowed these institutions to request a waiver from these limitations.

Earlier this month, the Department of Education requested emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the waiver form these institutions can use to request relief from the 50% limitation on receipt of HEERF funds. 

To receive a waiver, institutions must demonstrate a need for the additional emergency funds to cover pandemic-related expenses. According to the form, unmet need can include “need for additional funding for financial aid grants to students, payroll expenses, or other expenditures,” which the institution is asked to describe in writing. 

Public comments on the form and accompanying guidance are due July 23, 2021. The Department is requesting approval from OMB by July 26, so that it can issue the waiver option this fall.

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