Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund

Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund

The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund is intended to help higher education institutions in Illinois overcome challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of Illinois allocated $48 million in funding for higher education.

The GEER funding was allocated for Illinois higher education institutions for services to enroll and retain high-need students that might otherwise not enroll or return due to the pandemic. Public institutions (universities and community colleges) received a direct allocation of GEER funding. 

Illinois College and other Illinois private colleges and universities did not receive a direct allocation of GEER funding. Illinois College submitted an application to the GEER competitive grant program, which awarded $3 million in grants in fall 2020. 

Illinois College was not initially selected when grants were awarded in fall 2020. However, in summer 2022, the Illinois Board of Higher Education contacted the college to offer funds that had become available. Illinois College was granted $160,589 in GEER funds, on the condition that the funds be expended by September 30, 2022.

The grants awarded under the GEER program to institutions of higher education were supported by federal funds as authorized by Section 18002 of Division B of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Ace (CARES Act), Pub.L.No. 116-136 (March 27,2020), and subject to all other applicable laws. The funds are to be used to provide emergency support through grants to colleges and universities serving students within the State that the Governor determines have been most significantly impacted by COVID-19 to support the ability of such institutions to continue to provide educational services and support the ongoing functionality of the institution.

Illinois College is distributing the GEER funds in August 2022 in the form of $1,460 Retention Scholarships for 110 Pell-eligible students from rural areas of Illinois, prioritized by amount of unmet financial need. 

Students selected for scholarships met the following criteria:

  • Pell Grant Eligible 
  • State of Illinois MAP Grant recipient, from a rural area
  • Enrolled in on-campus classes for fall 2022
  • Returning student (i.e., not a first-year student)
  • Financial need (as determined by the FAFSA) minus total grants >= $0

Grant funds were not sufficient to provide scholarships to every student who met these criteria. Scholarships were prioritized by students’ amount of unmet financial need.

The Illinois College Office of Student Financial Services has identified students according to their eligibility and need. Scholarships are applied directly to students’ fall 2022 financial aid packages, with the goal of reducing students’ out of pocket costs or allowing students to incur less loan indebtedness. These one-time scholarships are available only for the fall 2022 semester. All scholarship funds will be fully distributed before the grant end date of September 30, 2022. 

For information on Illinois College's use of CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) funding also known as Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF I) and Quarterly Report information, click here.

For information on Illinois College's use of CRRSAA (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act) also known as Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II), click here.

For information on Illinois College's use of the ARP Act (American Rescue Plan Act) funding also known as Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III), click here.

Updated August 19, 2022