On January 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) announced $198 million in American Rescue Plan funds that will primarily support community colleges and other institutions to meet the basic needs of students – especially those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supplemental Support under American Rescue Plan (SSARP) program will require institutions to submit applications to receive funding.  The Department plans to prioritize community colleges and rural institutions that serve a high percentage of low-income students and have continued to experience enrollment declines.  SSARP funds are to be used toward evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress Coronavirus, strategies for addressing students’ basic needs, supporting students in continued and re-enrollment, forgives of institutional debts, and expansion of programs that lead to in-demand jobs.

As part of the announcement, the Department also released additional guidance surrounding meeting students’ basic needs.  The guidance provides specific examples for areas of insecurity with housing, food, and childcare.  The guidance can be found here.

Additionally, the Department reminded institutions that they can now use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) data to communicate other federal programs for which they may qualify, like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Affordable Connectivity Program at the Federal Communications Commission.  Find the letter from the Department here.

Dean Dorton’s Higher Education team is monitoring all updates from the U.S. Department of Education and will update you if there is new information released. Find additional information about the latest release below.

HEERF FAQGEN-22-02Read More

Megan Crane, CPA
Assurance Associate Director
mcrane@deandorton.com • 859.425.7643