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Overview

On March 11, 2021, the President of the United States signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The Department of Education received additional funding to distribute to institutions of higher education in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Phase III (HEERF III).

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a beneficiary of $4,761,375 in funding through HEERF Phase III. At least $2,396,150 will be used to provide direct aid payments to students. CUI acknowledged the certification and agreement that the instruction has used the application amount of funds designated under CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Approximately 4,600 students are eligible to receive emergency grants, 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. These funds may be used to pay tuition.

Eligible students:

All students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF, regardless of whether they completed a FAFSA or are eligible for Title IV. That includes citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, other DREAMers, similar undocumented students, and international students.

However, institutions must ensure that funds go to students who have exceptional need, prioritizing domestic students, especially undergraduates, in allocating this funding. Student with exceptional need includes students who receive Pell Grants or other federal or state need-based aid. Students with exceptional may also include undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances, such as loss of employment, reduced income, or food or housing insecurity.

If eligible, students will receive the funds either by direct deposit to the bank account on file or by check. The payment will be sent in the same manner as the student currently receives payments from CUI currently (i.e. payroll, reimbursement or refunds). 

To expedite receipt of funds, we recommend students sign up for direct deposit and/or verify that your mailing address is accurate in MyRecords.

ARP Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ARP?

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law on March 11, 2021 by the President, which authorized $39.6 billion in support for education. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students now total $76.2 billion between ARP, CRRSAA, and CARES.

How is ARP different than CRRSAA?

Unlike the CRRSAA definition of “student” which excluded international, DACA, DREAMers, and undocumented students, ARP broadened student eligibility for emergency financial aid grants to all students who were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency, regardless of completion of a FASFA or eligibility for Title IV. However, institutions must continue to ensure that funds go to students who have exceptional need.

ARP also increased the share of funds that must be used for emergency grants to students compared to CRRSAA requirements. A portion of the institutional grant must be used for implementation of evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordance with public health guidelines and 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, independent student, or other circumstances, under ARP as well.

Do I need to apply for the ARP (HEERF III) emergency grants?

A portion of the funds will be automatically distributed to those students identified as those with exceptional need in August based on a block funding distribution.

Once the initial block grant funds are distributed, the university will determine the methodology for distributing the remainder of the HEERF III student grants. More information regarding this process will be available shortly. In the meantime, we recommend student sign up for direct deposit to expedite the receipt of funds.

Are international students eligible for ARP (HEERF III) grants?

Yes, under the ARP definition of “student,” all students enrolled on or after the date of the declaration of the national emergency due to the coronavirus (March 13, 2020) are eligible, including international students. Priority will be given to students with exceptional need.

Are DACA or undocumented students eligible for ARP (HEERF III) grants?

Yes, under the ARP definition of “student,” all students enrolled on or after the date of the declaration of the national emergency due to the coronavirus (March 13, 2020) are eligible, including DACA recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students. Priority will be given to students with exceptional need.

Are student enrolled in an exclusively online program eligible for ARP (HEERF III) grants?

ARP explicitly state that emergency financial aid grants to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education provided the institution prioritizes exceptional need.

How much emergency grant can I expect to receive?

An initial block grant will be distributed to students with Pell eligibility in August. The amount for these grants has not been determined.

For all other emergency grants awarded, CUI will give priority to students with exceptional need on a case-by-case basis.

How will students receive funds?

Eligible students will receive the funds either by direct deposit to the bank account on file or by check. The payment will be sent in the same manner as the student currently receives payments from CUI currently (i.e. payroll, reimbursement or refunds). 

Please be aware that the USPS is experiencing many challenges at this time and mail delivery can be slower than usual.

Are there enrollment requirements?

Yes. You must have been enrolled as a student during the COVID-19 national emergency to be eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF, regardless of completion of a FAFSA or are eligibility for Title IV.

Will emergency cash grants be applied to my current fall 2021 bill?

While CUI is not allowed to automatically apply the emergency grant to the student account, the student can use the funds to pay tuition in this semester if they have an outstanding balance. If the student does not currently have an outstanding tuition balance, the grant can also be used to pay tuition in future semesters.

Do students have to repay ARP (HEERF III) emergency grants?

No. Emergency grants are a grant from the federal government. It is not a student loan and does not have to be repaid.

Will ARP (HEERF III) funds be taxable income for students?

No. Similarly to the CARES Act and CRSAA emergency grants, these emergency funds provided to students will not be considered as taxable income. As stated by the IRS pertaining to the CARES Act: "Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic … are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income".

Where can I find additional information regarding ARP (HEERF III) funds?

Please visit the Department of Education’s website, which lists frequently asked questions regarding ARP (HEERF III).

Funding & Expenditure Reporting

Under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Concordia University Irvine received $4,761,375 in funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Phase III (HEERF III), committing to provide no less than $2,396,150 of the funding in emergency grants directly to students whose lives and education have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, prioritizing those students with exceptional need.

In an effort to distribute funds quickly to the students with exceptional need, block funding will be used for the distribution of HEERF III grants. To determine which students receive initial, block emergency grants and how much they would receive under Section 314(a)(1) or ARP, Concordia University Irvine will create a distribution formula for Pell Grant eligible students enrolled on or after March 13, 2021. Exceptional need will be determined using the following Formula: Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) minus Total Gift Aid from all sources = remaining need. Once Pell Grant eligible students are determined at the beginning of August, emergency grants will be awarded, 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.

Once the initial, block emergency grants are distributed to the students identified with exceptional need, the university will determine the methodology for distributing the remainder of the HEERF III student grants.

Emergency Grants to Students under Section 314(a)(1) of ARP
Total Amount of Funds Received $2,397,892
Total Amount of Funds Distributed $2,396,150
Estimated Total Number of Eligible Students 4,600
Total Number of Students Who Have Received an Emergency Grant

690

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting

Originally posted on July 9, 2021
Updated on October 7, 2022

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