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Amid the coronavirus outbreak, SCHEV is exercising caution to protect employees and the public.
We are primarily communicating via email, telephone or video conference. Please be safe, be informed and be well.

For Institutions:

Reopening Guidance

On June 11, Governor Northam issued reopening guidance for institutions of higher education. Read the Governor’s press release.


On April 30th, U.S. Department of Education issued the final allocation under the Higher Education Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) component of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The updated SCHEV Memo includes the distribution of funds to Virginian institutions for each of the three primary funding sources.

The Department of Education COVID-19 HEERF page contains resources necessary for institutions to receive HEERF funds. The page includes the Certification of Agreements, Cover Letters with the Secretary’s guidance, methodologies and other resources (with a consolidated list below). 

Section 18004 (a)(1) - Student AidSection 18004 (a)(1) -  Institution AidSection 18004 (a)(2) – HBCU/MSI/SIP AidSection 18004(a)(3) - FIPSE
Certifications and AgreementCertifications and AgreementCertifications and AgreementCertifications and Agreement
Cover LetterCover LetterCover LetterCover Letter

Virginia will also receive $66 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF) fund of the CARES Act. The governor will split the fund between higher education, local education agencies and/or other education entities. SCHEV will provide updates when award amounts become available.

The following includes resources to assist institutions in making emergency aid distributions, and navigating COVID-19 disruptions more generally:

  • The HOPE Center provides numerous resources to institutions navigating COVID-19, including information about general best practices in distributing emergency aid, and recommendations specific to distributing CARES Act direct student aid.
  • NASFAA provides a similar resource page, and also publishes a “Q & A” center addressing legal and regulatory issues surrounding emergency student aid.
  • SHEEO has compiled a directory of state responses to COVID-19, including a “state innovation in action” section.

Financial Aid Guidance

In accordance with Governor Northam's signing of Executive Order Number 51, SCHEV developed temporary emergency guidance for the administration of state financial aid programs.  (Amended Dec. 16, 2020)

Guidance for Higher Ed Institutions Administering Health Care-Related Instruction

Under Executive Orders 53, 55, 61, 62 and Related Orders, Secretary Qarni issued updated guidance for institutions providing health care-related instruction.   

Federal Guidance for Interruptions of Study Related to Coronavirus

The latest guidance from the federal government addresses some of the unique challenges and circumstances postsecondary institutions face resulting from the coronavirus. The guidance is related to existing legislation (HEA,Title IV, Clery, ADA, OCR) and changes as a result of COVID. It includes a range of topics such as distance education, enrollment calendar flexibility, satisfactory academic progress and more. 

Licensing of Health Care Professional in Response to the Coronavirus

Governor Northam issued Executive Order #57 as a way to meet increased demands on the Commonwealth’s health professional workforce with additional personnel. 

Guidance for Private Postsecondary Institutions

SCHEV provides guidance to SCHEV-certified postsecondary schools related to distance education.

Equity During COVID-19

SCHEV offers the following resource links to help guide equity-minded decision-making that directly affects students:

Other Resources for Higher Education Institutions: 


SCHEV values honesty, quality, diversity, inclusion, growth-orientation, personal well-being, equity, transparency and accountability.
Through these values, we create a welcoming work environment that represents the best of who we are as an agency and as individuals.

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