As postsecondary institutions nationwide continue to contend with hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and seek to assist their students, the Department of Education (ED) is reopening the application period for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, as well as a supplementary program.
According to an ED notice, eligible institutions have until March 7 to submit the following:
- A complete SF-424
- The Supplemental Information for the SF-424 form
- The applicable Certification and Agreement (C&A)
- A complete Required Proprietary Institution Certification Form (RPIC)
The funding comes from the third round of HEERF grants (HEERF III), made available through 2021’s American Rescue Plan (ARP). This would be for institutions which didn’t previously apply for HEERF III.
Along with that assistance, ED is accepting applications for grants from the Supplemental Support under the American Rescue Plan (SSARP) program. This additional $198 million in funding is meant for institutions that meet one of the following five priorities:
- Underfunded (a)(1) grantees due to technical errors or application issues,
- Underfunded MSI or SIS grantees due to technical errors or application issues,
- Underfunded grantees due to institutional merger or change in PPA,
- Community College and Rural IHEs serving a high percentage of low-income students and experiencing enrollment declines.
- Institutions serving high percentage of graduate students.
The deadline for SSARP applications is April 7. Find more on SSARP eligibility and how to apply here.
SSARP award amounts will depend on the absolute priority or priorities under which an institution is applying, as well as the number of applications received under each priority. Following the application process, ED will post an allocation table with award amounts and use-of-funds restrictions.
ED is encouraging institutions that receive SSARP grants to use the funds for:
- COVID-19 mitigation measures
- Addressing students’ basic needs related to the pandemic
- Supporting continued enrollment and re-enrollment
- Forgiving institutional debts and ending transcript withholding
- Expanding programs that lead to in-demand jobs
If your institution will be applying for HEERF III or SSARP grants, pay close attention to the deadlines and please reach out to our staff with any questions about the process and use of such funds