College Student? You Can Get Up To $3,000 Relief Checks

Back in March, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan set aside nearly $40 billion for the third tranche of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which was first set up by Congress in March 2020 to provide relief to students and higher education institutions during the coronavirus crisis.

Universities all over America are permitted to distribute the money however they see fit. 

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Department of Education Under Secretary James Kvaal told lawmakers that HEERF funding had helped keep students — including those who were housing or food insecure — afloat and enrolled in school during the crisis.

He said the program enabled 93% of colleges to provide emergency scholarships to students who were at risk of dropping out.

Here’s how some of the universities distributed the aid to their students: 

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William Paterson University planned for grants of between $300 and $1,800 per student, though it noted that some students could receive more if fewer students than expected applied for the money.

The average grant at Howard University was $834, with 11,949 students receiving checks. At St. Francis College, third round HEERF grants could be as much as $3,000.

At Bushnell University, the average grant as of the end of September was $3,120, while the maximum grant was $6,500.

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The Duke and Florida State universities are allocating the money based on financial need using FAFSA information.

Last month, Florida State University distributed $17.7 million to more than 16,000 students.

Eligible students at the City University of New York will also see payments in the next few weeks, as will students at the University of Rhode Island.

Others, like Molloy College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, required applications from students seeking a grant.

Some schools, like Penn State, are doing both. Penn State sent out the majority of its $50 million in grant money to some 31,000 students in increments between $1,000 and $1,800, based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA.

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The school finished sending out that round of grants this week, but it also reserved $5 million for $1,000 grants that students who did not qualify for the first round of grants can apply for.

As of last week, colleges had spent 65% of their total student HEERF funding.

Inquire at your university on how much financial aid you can get as a student. 

Stay updated for more news here at the East County Gazette. 

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