The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or, CARES Act, was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020. This bill allotted $2.2 trillion to provide economic aid to the American people negatively impacted by COVID-19. Some of that money then used to establish the Office of Postsecondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, or HEERF.

More information is available from the U.S. Department of Education.