HEERF III - The American Rescue Plan

The latest HEERF news, plus links to needed forms, new FAQs and allocation tables

Public and private nonprofit institutions that received HEERF II funds under CRRSAA will not need to take action to receive HEERF III funds. The Department of Education will automatically provide supplemental awards to these institutions.

If a public or private nonprofit institution didn't receive HEERF II funds provided by CRRSAA, the institution will need to apply through grants.gov to receive HEERF III funds.

Proprietary institutions that received HEERF II funds provided by CRRSAA will need to submit a Required Proprietary Institution Certification form. The certification form must be signed by the proprietary institution’s President or CEO and any owners with at least 25 percent ownership in the institution and then emailed to HEERFARP4@ed.gov. The Department of Education will then provide the supplemental award for HEERF III funds.

If a proprietary institution didn't receive HEERF II funds provided by CRRSAA, the institution must apply for HEERF III funds through grants.gov.

For allocation tables for HEERF III, click here.

For the Department of Education's new posted FAQs on HEERF III, click here.

In addition, the department is in the process of publishing a federal register to provide updated regulations on HEERF III funds, including which students are eligible for the funds. Click here to access the unofficial version of this federal register.

Awarding Emergency Aid Grants

Emergency financial aid grants to students from HEERF III funds may be made to online students, undocumented students such as DACA/Dreamers, and international students. However, institutions must prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or are undergraduates with extraordinary circumstances, in awarding the emergency financial aid grants to students.

The Department of Education encourages institutions to prioritize domestic students, especially undergraduates, in allocating these emergency financial aid grants, which may be made to any student enrolled on or after the date of the declaration of the emergency on March 13, 2020. The student may use these funds for any component of their cost of attendance or emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus. Students may also provide written authorization for the institution to apply the grant funds to any outstanding balance they may owe the school.

New Requirements for HEERF III

For HEERF III funds, two new requirements are applicable to public and private nonprofit institutions. These institutions must use a portion of the institutional funds (if not used entirely for emergency financial grants to students) to implement evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress coronavirus and conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants about the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment (PJ) due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student or other circumstances.

The Department of Education has updated the quarterly reporting forms now used for HEERF I provided by the CARES Act to include HEERF II (CRRSAA) and HEERF III (ARP). Schools will follow the same reporting requirements used for HEERF I (CARES Act). The next quarterly report is due to be posted no later than July 10, 2021. These updated forms are available on OPE’s HEERF Reporting and Data Collection page.

Schools that would like to decline some or all of the HEERF III (ARP) allocation should complete and submit the Voluntary Decline of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) form.

The Department of Education recently posted this new information on HEERF III funds, which are part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021.