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American Rescue Plan and HEERF III

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Recue Plan (ARP), signed into law on March 21, 2021.

This new law gives the U.S. Department of Education approximately $39.6 billion to distribute to institutions of higher education like Augustana College. The ARP requires that an institution receiving funding under section 314(a)(1) provide at least 50% in financial aid grants to students.

Augustana College received the funds with the assurance that the institution will distribute at the minimum $2,690,914 in emergency grants for eligible students experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HEERF III funds may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care, mental health care or child care.

The ARP requires that Augustana prioritize students with exceptional need and has extended eligibility to students enrolled exclusively in distance education. The ARP has extended eligibility to all students, including citizens, permanent residents, international students, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA recipients and similar undocumented students.

Grant eligibility and distribution

Grants will be distributed to all students enrolled during the spring 2020-21 semester at Augustana College with an emphasis on providing additional support to students with the most significant demonstrated financial as determined by Pell eligibility.

Augustana College determined that 2,335 undergraduate and graduate students were eligible for grants, and 2,335 grants were distributed.

Of these, 530 full-time Pell-eligible students received $2,123.54 each; seven part-time Pell-eligible students received a pro-rated grant based on the maximum award of $2,123.54 using 12 credits as full time; 1,784 full-time non-Pell students received $870.76; and 14 part-time non-Pell students received a pro-rated grant based on the maximum award of $870.76 using 12 credits as full time.

All Augustana College degree-seeking students who remained enrolled for the spring 2021 semester are eligible for the grant.

Students did not need to apply for the emergency grant or fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (Augustana College used the 2020-21 FAFSA to demonstrate Pell eligibility in order to prioritize students with exceptional need.)

Emergency grants will be disbursed to students via check or ACH direct deposit.

Grant amounts vary by student based on their demonstrated financial need. All eligible students were divided into two groups. Each group was allocated an emergency grant amount between $870.76 and $2,123.54, with the highest amount going to students demonstrating the greatest demonstrated financial need.

The amount of HEERF III funding that higher education institutions received varied based on the federal allocation formula. Each institution receiving HEERF III funds was required to develop its own method of disbursing the funds to eligible enrolled students, within the guidelines set out by the Department of Education.

That means that the amount of the emergency grants issued to students by Augustana College will not be the same as at other colleges.

Group 1: Pell Grant eligible received a grant of $2,123.54.
Group 2: Non-Pell Students received a grant of $870.76

Part-time students who fell within one of the above listed groups received a pro-rated grant based on the number of registered credits with 12 credits being considered full time.

Emergency grants will be distributed via check, ACH or wire transfer beginning on Friday June 18, 2021. Grants will be distributed directly to the bank accounts of students who have signed up for ACH direct deposit.

The emergency grant is not considered federal financial aid and is not considered a resource when determining financial aid eligibility.

For more information, contact