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HEERF III: ARP Act Grants for Students (Fall 2021)

On March 11, 2021, the Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations (ARP) Act was signed in to law. Similar to the CARES Act passed in March 2020 and the CRRSA Act passed in December 2020, this act included funding to institutions of higher education, referred to as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).  This fund provides students with grants to offset the unexpected expenses they may have incurred as campus operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary of MINIMUM Student Eligibility Requirements for Block Grants

Note: Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee a block grant award.

  • The student is enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester as of the semester census date.
  • The student has completed a FAFSA for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • The student’s academic load is at least half-time either by credits enrolled at NDSU, total credits enrolled as a Collaborative NDSU student, or met for financial aid purposes (e.g., internship).

The eligibility requirements for the ARP Act vary from the criteria that were established for CARES and CRRSA Act grants distributed in Spring 2020 and 2021. The receipt of a CARES and/or CRRSA Act grant does not guarantee the receipt of an ARP Act grant.

Examples of Eligibility Exclusions

  • Benefitted employees taking classes that are receiving (or have received in this calendar year) an employee tuition waiver.
  • Students less than half-time as of the fall semester census date.
  • Students who are non-degree because of being Collaborative or Tri-College students.
  • Spring Only—Students who had their Fall grant check cancelled because it was not cashed/deposited will not receive a Spring disbursement, as this demonstrates there is not a financial need.

Distribution of Funds

If you are selected to receive an ARP Act Grant, you will receive an email notifying you of the distribution when the funds are released. Students enrolled in direct deposit will have their funds delivered directly to their bank accounts. Students not enrolled in direct deposit will have a paper check mailed to their home address in Campus Connection. Uncashed checks may be cancelled at the discretion of the University.

WARNING!
Please be aware that the distribution of the ARP Act grant funds may bring forward scams targeting college students. If you receive an email that appears to be from NDSU but are unsure that it is legitimate, please contact NDSU One Stop at (701) 231-6200 for verification.

HEERF III Student Fund Reporting Requirements

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was signed in to law. Similar to the CARES Act passed in March 2020 and the CRRSA Act passed in December 2020, this act included funding to institutions of higher education, referred to as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This fund provides students with grants to offset the unexpected expenses they may have incurred as campus operations continued to be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. North Dakota State University received notification of the new ARP funds via a supplemental CARES Act Grant Award Notification from the U.S. Department of Education on May 21, 2021. Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP requires the institution to provide at least the same amount of funding in financial and grants to students as was required under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
     
  2. The amount allocated to North Dakota State University in ARP Act Grant funds is $10,759,296. This amount is designated for emergency financial aid grants for students.
     
  3. Of these funds, $5,321,576.54 has been disbursed to students as of September 30, 2021. According to the US Department of Education, students with financial need should be prioritized. Therefore, NDSU prioritized students who submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and who were enrolled for Fall 2021 semester as of September 20, 2021.
     
  4. As of September 30, 2021, 7,910 undergraduate, professional and graduate students representing approximately 62.1% of the census student population received ARP Act Grant funding under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP Act.
     
  5. NDSU must pay ARP Act grants directly to students and may only apply the grants toward outstanding institutional charges with the student’s written consent.

See HEERF Reporting Page

Other ARP Act Grants

Block grants (discussed above) are awarded based on a pre-determined formula and do not require an application from the student; preference is given to Pell grant recipients. Other grant awards include the following:

  1. Emergency: Available to students that were not eligible to receive the Block grant. Apply here Student Emergency Fund Application 
  2. Special Circumstances: Students impacted by COVID deemed to be eligible based on financial aid professional judgement protocols, and
  3. Continued Enrollment: Used to alleviate the student’s outstanding financial burden so that they may continue enrollment.

Frequently Asked Questions


Will all students receive a grant?

No.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Block grant?

Minimum eligibility requirements are as listed below.

  • The student is enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester as of the semester census date.
  • The student has completed a FAFSA for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • The student’s academic load is at least half-time either by credits enrolled at NDSU, total credits enrolled as a Collaborative NDSU student, or met for financial aid purposes (e.g., internship).

Reminder! Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee receipt of a grant.

How was the amount of my Block grant determined?

Multiple offices within NDSU worked together to develop a formula to, as fairly and reasonably as possible, distribute the funds based on a variety of factors, giving preference to students with the greatest financial need (e.g. Pell grant eligibility). 

May students receive multiple grants?

Students that received a Block grant may receive a Special Circumstances grant but not an Emergency or Continued Enrollment grant. Students that received a Continued Enrollment grant may not receive a Special Circumstances or Emergency grant.

Is a FAFSA required?

Yes, the FAFSA is required for the Block and Special Circumstances grants. However, the FAFSA is not required for the Emergency or Continued Enrollment grants.

Do I have to pay the grant back?

No.

When will the funds be distributed?

Late September for most students.

My parents are paying my tuition and other school expenses. Will they receive the grant funds?

No, all grant funds will go directly to the student or, if requested, will be applied to their student account.

Will there be funds in the Spring 2021 semester?

Probably. However, the amount of funding available has yet to be determined. Students should not assume that the grant received in the fall will be the same in the spring. 

What happens if I do not cash my grant check?

The check will be cancelled and the funds redistributed. Also, you may not be eligible for future funding.

Will this grant impact my financial aid for next semester/year?

No. Aid received by victims of an emergency by either a federal or state entity for purposes of providing financial relief will not be counted as income for the calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Will the grant appear on my 1098-T tuition tax statement?

No.

Will I have to pay taxes on the funds received?

Please consult a tax professional for a conclusive answer, however, as of May 7, 2020 the IRS stated that HEERF grant funds should not be included in an individual’s gross income.


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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-6200 / Fax: (701) 231-8297
Campus address: Memorial Union 176
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2836 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager:One Stop

Last Updated: Monday, October 11, 2021 2:31:14 PM
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