HEERF III Emergency Grant – American Rescue Plan
About the American Rescue Plan
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Through this fund, Benedictine University has $4,656,376 to use for emergency financial aid grants to students who are struggling financially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is eligible for ARP funding?
To be considered for a HEERF III Emergency Grant, the student must meet two criteria. First, all eligible students must be enrolled during the fall 2021 term. Second, all eligible students must demonstrate financial need as measured by the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). In the event that a student’s FAFSA arrives with any comment codes (C-Codes) or is selected for institutional verification, the codes and verification must be cleared to make the EFC official.
Unlike the CARES Act and early implementation of the CRRSAA Act, the U.S. Department of Education allows international, undocumented and DACA students to use the emergency grant funds under the ARP program. If you are a student from one of these groups and you are able to file a FAFSA, a FAFSA will be required to determine your Emergency Grant eligibility. If you are a student from one of these groups and you are unable to file a FAFSA, a HEERF III Emergency Grant Application will be required to determine your need.
HEERF III Emergency Grant Applications will be made available by mid-November 2021.
How are Emergency Grant amounts determined?
Benedictine University uses a hybrid approach when allocating to its students HEERF III Emergency Grants under the American Rescue Plan. With this approach, Benedictine University will provide all students who have filed a FAFSA by October 5, 2021 and who have passed the EFC threshold implemented by the institution, with an Emergency Grant. Students who have not filed a FAFSA by October 5, 2021 but who are eligible to file a FAFSA may receive an emergency financial aid grant after their FAFSA is processed and they pass the criteria outlined above. Emergency grants offered to applicants who file a FAFSA after October 5, 2021 will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis as determined by a student’s 21-22 FAFSA received date. HEERF III Emergency Grant amounts offered under the ARP program are determined by a student’s citizenship status, EFC, and program with an emphasis on higher awards being allocated to domestic undergraduate students who have a low EFC.
Benedictine University has also set aside ARP Emergency Grant funds for eligible students who continue to experience financial hardship after receiving their HEERF III Emergency Grant. Students can request additional emergency funds through an appeal application process.
All appeals applicants are advised to review and fully complete the appeals application. Students approved for additional funds via the appeals process will be notified of their eligibility via their Benedictine University email account. Awards are dependent on a student’s eligibility, financial need, the overall applicant pool, and available funds.
HEERF III appeals will begin to be reviewed in December 2021.
ARP Emergency Grant Quarterly Report
As of December 31, 2021, $2,352,750 in CRRSAA Emergency Financial Aid Grants have been distributed to a total of 1,585 students within the total potential pool of 3,174 students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP).
For more information on Benedictine’s plans with the American Rescue Plan, please contact us at [email protected] or (630) 829-6100. Our office is located on the main floor of Lownik Hall.