On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). This plan provides $1.9 trillion in additional relief to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Of the $1.9 trillion, $39.6 billion was allocated to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as the third round of funding. The $39.6 billion is being referred to as HEERF III.

On May 11, 2021, the Department of Education released more information regarding HEERF III, including allocation tables with apportionment for student and institutional funds and frequently asked questions.

Major changes from HEERF II, funded by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), to HEERF III  include the following:

  • Supplemental funding under the CRRSAA
  • New required uses of institutional portion of grant funds including implementation of evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress COVID-19 and conducting direct outreach to financial aid applicants regarding the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment
  • Modified share of funds that must be used for emergency financial aid grants
  • Maintained a separate program for proprietary institutions
  • Eliminated the CRRSAA requirement for institutions paying the endowment excise tax

The FAQ from the Department of Education also provided clarity and updates to several areas, including:

  • the eligibility of students who can receive grants and, as with the CRRSAA, institutions are required to prioritize those students with exceptional need.
  • A portion of the institutional award must be used for the two required uses, unless the institutional portion is used solely for student grants
  • The quarterly reporting requirements for HEERF III will follow the requirements under HEERF I (CARES Act funding).
  • Consequences for misuse of all HEERF grant funds

For more information about HEERF III click the link below:

HEERF III Information

Dean Dorton is hosting “Higher Education: Current Issues and Trends” on May 20, 2021. One session will include a look at all HEERF grant funds and their requirements.  The day will also include topics around cybersecurity, accounting, and other industry updates.  Register for the event at the link below:

Register Here

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