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.

Status of Grants Distribution
The University will post on this webpage the number of awards made and the total amount of grant funds disbursed no later than 7/26/2021.

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

The Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report for the quarter ending 6/30/2021 for HEERF II and HEERF III Award Numbers 20119 and  200311 can be viewed HERE.

Application Form HEERF III Grants FAQs