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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

ARPA: American Rescue Plan Act (HEERF III)

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 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds total $76.2 billion.

Hagerstown Community College received supplemental funds under ARP via the Education Stabilization Fund, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF III) under Section 314(a)(1) to support students and the institution:

  • Student Portion: Institutions must make financial aid grants to students, which can 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 (including mental health care), or child care. Unlike the CARES Act, the ARP requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, and authorizes grants to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.
  • Institutional Portion: Institutional portion funds may be used to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll), and to carry out student support activities authorized by the HEA that address needs related to coronavirus. Institutional funds may also be used to make additional financial aid grants to students.
  • Strengthening Intuitions Program (SIP): Institutions may use this award to defray expenses associated with the coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll); carry out student support activities authorized by the HEA that address needs related to the coronavirus; and make financial aid grants to students, which 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 (including mental health care), or child care.

 

CRRSAA, 2021 (HEERF II)

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $81.9 billion to the Education Stabilization Fund.

Hagerstown Community College received supplemental funds under CRRSAA via the Education Stabilization Fund, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) under Section 314(a)(1) to support students and the institution:

  • Student Portion: Institutions must make financial aid grants to students, which can 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 (including mental health care), or child care. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, and authorizes grants to students exclusively enrolled in distance education.
  • Institutional Portion: Institutional portion funds may be used to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll), and to carry out student support activities authorized by the HEA that address needs related to coronavirus. Institutional funds may also be used to make additional financial aid grants to students.
  • Strengthening Intuitions Program (SIP): Institutions may use this award to defray expenses associated with the coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll); carry out student support activities authorized by the HEA that address needs related to the coronavirus; and make financial aid grants to students, which 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 (including mental health care), or child care.

 

CARES Act (HEERF I)

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. It is a $2 trillion package of assistance measures, including $30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund. Four grant programs were created through the CARES Act: Education Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants; Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund; Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund; and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Hagerstown Community College received three allocations of CARES Act Funding via the Education Stabilization Fund, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I (HEERF I) under Section 18004(a)(1) and 18004(a)(2) to support students and the institution:

  • Student Portion: to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
  • Institutional Portion: to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus so long as such costs do not include payment to contractors for the provision of pre-enrollment recruitment activities, including marketing and advertising; endowments; or capital outlays associated with facilities related to athletics, sectarian instruction, or religious worship (collectively referred to as “Recipient’s Institutional Costs”).
  • Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP):  grants to students for any component of the student’s cost of attendance, including tuition, course materials, and technology. Institutions may also use these funds to defray institutional expenses, which may include lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with the transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll.

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Fall 2021 HEERF III COVID-19 Student Relief Grants

We know the pandemic has altered life for students. HCC is committed to helping students during these uncertain times. The Department of Education issued Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) funds to HCC as part of the American Rescue Plan. During the fall semester, these funds will be issued as COVID-19 Relief Grants to all enrolled credit students, non-credit students enrolled in Adult Basic Education classes, and Workforce Solutions & Continuing Education students enrolled in classes leading to employability. Fall 2021 students need not apply to receive a COVID-19 Relief Grant. Grants will be allocated until funds are depleted.

Credit students can expect to receive their COVID-19 Relief Grant per the following timeline:

  • Students enrolled in 15 week classes or 1st 7.5 week classes - by early October
  • Students enrolled in only 12 week classes (with possible 2nd 7.5 week classes) – by the end of October
  • Students enrolled in only 2nd 7.5 week classes - by the end of November
     

Students signed up for direct deposit will receive grant funds up to 1-2 weeks quicker; credit students can sign up for direct deposit using Self-Service. Those not signed up for direct deposit will receive a check in the US mail; use your HCC student email account to send an email to admissions@hagerstowncc.edu to update your mailing address.

Non-credit students enrolled in Adult Basic Education classes and/or Workforce Solutions & Continuing Education classes that lead to an employment credential will receive COVID-19 Relief Grants as soon as their enrollment and attendance can be verified; note that these programs have various start and end dates between August and December, 2021.

COVID-19 Student Emergency Assistance Fund amounts will be based on student enrollment. At this time, amounts are anticipated to range from $500-$1200 per student.