American Rescue Plan (ARP)
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 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. This new law gives the U.S. Department of Education funding to distribute to institutions of higher education in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus through the HEERF III.
Students cannot apply for assistance directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Institutions have the responsibility of determining how grants will be distributed to students, how the amount of each student grant is calculated, and the development of any instructions or directions that are provided to students about the grant.
The University of Rhode Island has received $15,594,308 for student grants under the HEERF III allocation.
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 childcare. The HEERF III (ARP) grant requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional financial need, such as students who receive Pell Grants. However, students do not need to be only Pell grant recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants. Additionally, students do not need to file a FAFSA or be eligible for Title IV funds in order to be eligible for the ARP grant.
The University of Rhode Island acknowledges that the institution signed and returned to the Department of Education the certification and agreement for HEERF III funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The University has used, or intends to use, at least 50% of their total allotment for student grants.
As required, the University of Rhode Island has conducted direct outreach by providing an email notice to financial aid applicants and current financial aid recipients that they may be able to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or due to other special circumstances. Students should fill out and submit a 2021-22 Special Circumstances form, located on the Enrollment Services “Forms” website for review and consideration.
Students who are enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF III, regardless of whether they completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or are eligible for Title IV aid. Institutions are directed with the ARP funds to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or are undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances in awarding emergency financial aid grants to students.
The ARP emergency financial aid grants may be used by students for any component of their 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. Students determine how they may use their emergency financial aid grant within the allowable uses. Institutions must receive affirmative written consent from students before using emergency financial aid grants to satisfy a student’s outstanding account balance.
Distribution of Funds
The University of Rhode Island has received and will distribute $15,594,308 in emergency grants for eligible students experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are one-time grants from the federal government and do not require any repayment. The HEERF III (ARP) emergency grant provides temporary, short-term, emergency financial assistance to eligible students who are experiencing an unforeseen hardship that could adversely affect their educational success.
Block Grant: The University of Rhode Island will begin distributing grants to eligible students in late November 2021. Funds will be distributed through a block grant, similar to the HEERF II (CRRSA) distribution process at URI. Priority for the block grant will be given to enrolled and matriculated undergraduate students with exceptional need as determined by the 2021-2022 official Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated from the FAFSA application. The amount of these grants for undergraduate students will be $2500 for full time (12+ credits) Pell grant eligible students, $2000 for those students with an EFC of $5847-$9999, and $1500 for students with an EFC of $10,000-$14,999. These grants will be pro-rated for part time (6-11 credits) enrollment.
Graduate students that are enrolled and matriculated with an official 2021-22 FAFSA on file at URI and an EFC of $0- $14,999 will receive a $1500 grant for full-time enrollment. These grants will be pro-rated for part time (4.5-8 credits) enrollment.
As of 11/30/21, Block Grants have been awarded to 5622 students for a total amount of $11,852,750.
Application for Grant: The University recognizes that additional students may have cost of attendance or coronavirus related expenses and were not awarded through the block grant process. If a student does not receive funds through a block grant, they may file an application for a HEERF III ARP grant December 1, 2021- January 31, 2022.
1/31/22 Grant Application Update: Applications for the ARP grant have been suspended at this time as we have depleted funding for the Application portion of our allocation. The University is preparing to award another Block grant to eligible students. More information will be posted as soon as it is available.
The ARP grant amounts through the application process are prorated for enrolled and matriculated students for the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 semester as follows: $1000 (12+ credits), $750 (9-11 credits), and $500 (1-8 credits).
As of 12/14/21, block and application grants have been awarded to 6336 students for a total amount of $12,542,500.
As of 1/12/22, block and application grants have been awarded to 8073 students for a total amount of $14,203,000.
As of 1/31/2022, block and application grants have been awarded to 8391 students for a total amount of $14,519,250.
As of 3/3/22, 9209 students have been awarded the URI total ARP student allocation of$15,594,308.
HEERF III (ARP) grant funds will not be applied to a student’s URI billing account even if there is an outstanding balance, unless the student specifically directs the University to apply the funds directly to their bill. If not directed to be applied to the current bill, the ARP funds will be refunded via the refund preference that the student has chosen.