What is HEERF III and who is eligible? – New
Students enrolled in higher education institutions can apply for the third installment of the Higher Education Emergency Fund. The eligibility requirements have changed, allowing more students to receive funding.
Higher education students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for a new wave of financial aid funding.
University of Alabama at Birmingham Tyler Peterson, Executive Director of Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, encourages students across the country to apply through their institution to receive the money now available through the third tranche of the Higher Education Emergency Aid Fund.
“So many students have been impacted financially by the pandemic, whether it’s losing their jobs or earning additional expenses, such as technology or unexpected childcare needs,” Peterson said. “The government has donated money to higher education institutions across the country to help alleviate some of the financial stress. Students do not have to reimburse the money. If they qualify, it’s up to them to help them through this difficult time. “
What is HEERF?
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed, creating the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. This fund provides colleges and universities with the means to provide support to students who have experienced financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. The difficulties include additional technology expenses, lost salaries, overdue student fees and unforeseen child care expenses, among others.
How is the third part of HEERF different?
In the previous two HEERF installments, eligibility was limited to students who had demonstrated need through financial aid applications such as FAFSA. The funds will be automatically distributed to student accounts or can be applied to their student account, as needed.
With HEERF III, the eligibility conditions have changed, allowing more students to receive funding. However, students must apply for funding for this tour.
Will HEERF aid have to be reimbursed?
Aid acts like a subsidy; therefore, students will not have to reimburse the federal government. Funding received can be used to help students with financial needs such as education, accommodation, food, and health care costs.
“We encourage students to apply,” Peterson said. “The payment goes directly to the students who qualify, and they choose how to use the money to help when needed. “
Who can apply?
Undergraduate and graduate students from public and private institutions who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic can apply to receive the funding.
Some financial expenses may include:
- Dropping out of classes due to job loss
- Buying a new laptop for online learning
- Internet upgrade for online learning
- Additional care costs
- And more
Active students, students who have not yet graduated, and those who were enrolled in college courses in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 online or on campus can apply.
Students who applied and received assistance during the first and second installment of HEERF are also eligible to apply for this round of funding.
How can a student apply?
Students and parents can contact their institution’s financial aid office to receive information on how to apply. If eligible, students will be asked to provide a brief explanation of how COVID-19 created emergency spending and select how they would like to receive their funding.
Priority funding will be given to students eligible for the Pell Scholarship and those with exceptional needs. Amounts may vary depending on needs and availability of funds. Most institutions will continue to offer HEERF-III grants until funds run out.
The approved HEERF-III Student Emergency Scholarships will be paid directly to eligible students. Students with unpaid balances can work with their financial aid offices to apply HEERF-III payments to their student account through the Emergency Relief form.
For more information on HEERF III, click here.