Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) – Student Emergency Relief Grants

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 27, 2020 included $4.37M for the colleges of the Maine Community College System to provide emergency financial aid grants to their students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Students who have been adversely impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for funds granted to institutions of higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II established by the CRRSAA Act. CRRSA Act emergency relief grants may be used for any component of students’ cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition and fees, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care (including mental health) and child-care expenses.

CRRSAA Grant Frequently Asked Questions:

How are CRRSAA Grant Recipients Selected?

KVCC students who are enrolled in the current semester with a completed current academic year Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and financial concerns are encouraged to complete an application.

Applications will be prioritized based on “exceptional need.” Exceptional need will be determined as a student receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the semester of the CRRSAA Grant application. Additional “exceptional need” factors may be considered including:

  • Receiving a Federal Pell Grant during 2020-2021 academic year,
  • Being a dependent student whose guardian experienced a significant income change due to a layoff, business closure, or who has experienced a reduction in work hours due to the coronavirus.
  • Being an independent student who had a significant income change due to a layoff, business closure, or who has experienced a reduction in work hours due to the coronavirus.
  • Being a student with an overdue student account balance that was generated after March 13. 2020.

Unfortunately, international students do not generally qualify for a CRRSAA grant. Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act guidance precludes the distribution of CRRSA Act funds to DACA, undocumented and international students.

However, persons granted asylum or refugee status are considered eligible non-citizens for financial aid purposes. To be eligible to receive federal financial aid, and therefore CRRSA Act funds, a student must first receive an approved status designation of either “Refugee” or “Asylee” on their Arrival-Departure Record (I-94). FAFSA categories of eligible non-citizens include:

  • U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or “Green Card”)
  • Conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
  • Other eligible noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Indefinite Parole,” “Humanitarian Parole,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”
  • A citizen of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM).
How do I apply?

To apply, KVCC students must fill out the form at this link:, once they are signed in to the KVCC Student Portal at

Applications will be reviewed bi-weekly.

How will I receive funds, if I am awarded a CRRSAA grant?

Funds will be disbursed based on the award option selected on the student’s application.

Option 1: A refund check will be issued to the student and postal mailed to the student’s address on file.

Option 2: The grant will be applied to the student’s outstanding KVCC account balance ONLY if the applicant checks “yes” in response to “If you have a balance due to the College, do you wish to have Federal Cares and/or CRRSA Act funds applied to your balance due?”

Note:  Institutions may not use the CRRSAA funds to satisfy a student’s outstanding account balance unless the college has obtained the student’s written or electronic consent (via the grant application).

What is the maximum amount I may receive?

Qualified student applicants demonstrating “exceptional need” will be granted up to $1,000.

Qualified students determined to be eligible without “exceptional need” will be granted up to $500.

May I apply more than once?
  • Students who received a Cares Act Student Emergency Relief Grant prior to May 1, 2021 may also apply for consideration to receive a CRRSAA grant.
  • Students may only apply for a CRRSAA grant once per semester.
  • Funds will be awarded on an as-available basis, funds are not guaranteed to be available in a future semester.
  • Students submitting a second application in a subsequent semester may be awarded less than what they were granted at the time of their initial approved CRRSAA application. For example, if you are awarded a $1,000 grant in the Fall 2021 semester and experience another financial hardship during the Spring 2022 semester, you may only be awarded up to $500 after the second application, if funds are still available.
Will I need to pay back CRRSAA grant funds?

No, CRRSAA funds are considered a federal student aid grant which will not need to be paid back.

However, as of  January 19, 2021, the IRS notice does not waive 1098-T reporting requirement for payments received for QTRE (qualified tuition and related expenses) from CRRSAA grants. CRRSAA grant awards may be reported on your 2021 1098-T for tax filing purposes.



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