HEERF III Student Emergency Fund Information

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed by Congress and signed into law March 11, 2021, and is the third round of funding under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) during the coronavirus pandemic. The funding package provides aid to higher education students to cover components of cost of attendance and emergency costs associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The total award made to WPUNJ is $29,113,267.

The total award amount includes $14,610,467 for student awards, and WPUNJ estimates that approximately 14,000 WPUNJ students are eligible to apply for emergency grants in this pool. Eligibility has been expanded under HEERF III (since HEERF II) to include all students enrolled since the start of the pandemic (3/13/20). HEERF III eligibility also includes international, undocumented, and DACA students. Students are not required to be Title IV eligible to receive this funding. Students are not required to have a completed a FAFSA to apply, however, to be considered an “exceptional need” award recipient, a completed FAFSA must be on file because students’ expected family contribution (EFC) is used to determine “exceptional need”.

The total also includes $14,502,800 for Institutional costs. The use of these funds will be in keeping with allowable costs as defined under ARP for defraying expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with transitions to distance education, staff and faculty training, and payroll), carrying out student support activities that address needs related to coronavirus and making additional financial aid grants to students. Part of these funds will be used to implement evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordance with public health guidelines; also to conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants about the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student or other circumstances.

The HEERF III application process was closed at 11:59pm on 7/9/21.  Awards were processed and completed on 7/19/2021.

 Standard Award Amounts*:                 Amount             # of Awards 
 FT - Main Campus - exceptional need                  $3,395                  2,328
 FT - Main Campus - non-exceptional need                  $2,207                  1,894
 FT - WPOnline - exceptional need                  $1,882                     100
 FT - WPOnline - non-exceptional need                  $1,223                     242
 PT - Main Campus - exceptional need                  $1,698                     912
 PT - Main Campus - non-exceptional need                  $1,103                   1,341
 PT - WPOnline - exceptional need                  $   941                     109
 PT - WPOnline - non-exceptional need                  $  612                     207

Distribution of Funds to Students
Students may apply for a HEERF III funding grant beginning June 7, 2021. All students who indicate eligible expense in the application form and submit the form by the final application due date will receive a grant.

The application period will be open from 6/7/2021 to 7/9/2021.

Application Start Date Final Application Due Date Grant Payout or Credit Dates Amount of Funding to be Distributed Amount of Grant Per Student
HEERF III AWARDS 6/7/2021 11:59pm Friday 7/9/2021 Between 7/12/2021 – 7/22/2021 $   14,610,467 $300-$1,800*

* Funding will be awarded to the pool of students who have applied as of the Final Application Due Date, and all awards will be made at the same time (there will be no rolling award periods). If all eligible students apply, the per-student award amount is estimated to range between $300 and $1,800. Actual award amounts will be higher if fewer students apply than the currently estimated eligible pool.

Actual award amounts will be limited to the actual amount of expense in the eligible categories that applicants report. Applicants who submit forms with no amount of expense will not receive an award. 

HEERF III requires that institutions prioritize students with “exceptional need”. WPUNJ uses the FAFSA data point of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as the indicator for exceptional need, whereby all students who are Pell eligible based on their EFC number are eligible for an award in the exceptional need category. This is an acceptable methodology for determination of exceptional need under the ARP. 

Award Amounts
There are eight categories of award amounts:

  • Full time + exceptional need
  • Full time + non-exceptional need
  • Full time + WPOnline + exceptional need
  • Full time + WPOnline + non-exceptional need
  • Part time + exceptional need
  • Part time + non-exceptional need
  • Part time + WPOnline + exceptional need
  • Part time + WPOnline +non-exceptional need

The exceptional need award amounts are approximately 50% higher than non-exceptional need, and awards for part time students are approximately half of those for full time.

“Exceptional need” is defined as demonstrating via the FAFSA an expected family contribution (EFC) number within the Pell eligible range. For HEERF III awards, an EFC of less than 5,710 demonstrates exceptional need. Students who have not completed a FAFSA will qualify for an award, however they will not receive the “exceptional need” level of award.

To be eligible to receive a HEERF III award students must be enrolled in the spring 2021 semester, or must have been enrolled in another semester from spring 2020 through spring 2021.

Under HEERF III, eligibility includes:

  • Both on-campus students and WP Online students
  • Full time and part time students
  • International, undocumented, and DACA students

WPUNJ employees (not including student workers) are not eligible for the award.

Student Application Process

To apply for the HEERF III emergency grant, students must complete the application form by 11:59pm of July 9, 2021.

HEERF Institutional Portion and Minority Serving Institutions Grants

HEERF III (a)(1) and (a)(2) Institutional Grants

WPUNJ was allocated a total of $29,113,267 under Section 2003 of the American Rescue Plan Act of2021 (ARP) (Pub. L. 117-2). The Certification and Agreement for the Institutional Portion allows the non-student portion of $14,502,800 to be used for institutional costs associated with the coronavirus. During July 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021, WPU applied $14,502,800 of the non-student portion of the award to lost revenue of Auxiliary Revenue and to defray payroll expenses associated with coronavirus and the associated indirect costs.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) participating institutions who receive funds from the HEERF-Minority Serving Institutions under Section 18004(a)(2) of the CARES Act (grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)) must post the information that follows on the institution’s primary website in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public. WPUNJ acknowledges that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement.

Section 18004(a)(2) funds may be used to defray expenses incurred, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance learning, faculty and staff training, and payroll.

WPUNJ was awarded $1,786,603 under Section 2003 of the American Rescue Plan Act of2021 (ARP) (Pub. L. 117-2). These funds were applied to a portion of Lost revenue for Room and Board, Tuition and Auxiliary Revenue.

The Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the quarter ending 9/30/2021 for HEERF II and HEERF III Award Numbers P425F20119 and  P425L200311 can be viewed HERE.

Application Form HEERF III Grants FAQs