Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III)

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (Pub L. 117-2) The ARP appropriated funds for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and represents the third round of funding appropriated to provide higher education institutions funds to support students, and the institution itself, with expenses and financial needs related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The ARP includes additional Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) funds, referred to as HEERF III, in the amount of $39.6 billion in emergency funding to higher education.

Student Aid

On May 11, 2021 the Department provided allocations to colleges and universities and instructed colleges and universities to prioritize distribution to students with exceptional need. These funds must be reserved to provide students with financial grants, which may be used for any component of a student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care. Accordingly, Fairfield University acknowledges the following:

  1. On May 17, 2021, Fairfield University received notice that a supplemental award has been made to the university under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP notifying institutions of the minimum amount each institution must reserve for emergency grants to students.
  2. The total amount of funds that Fairfield University will receive from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to 2003(a)(1) of the ARP for emergency grants to students is $3,122,114.
  3. The total amount of emergency grants to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP as of August 31, 2021 is $44,000.
  4. Presently, it is estimated that there were 5411 total enrolled students at Fairfield University as of February 01, 2021 and thus eligible to receive emergency grants to students under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP.
  5. As of August 31,2021, 100 students have received an emergency grant under Section 2003(a)(1) of ARP.
  6. Fairfield University used the following method to determine which students may receive emergency grants under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP:
    1. $440 in the form of direct emergency cash grants to any undergraduate, graduate and doctoral student whom was enrolled at Fairfield University, as of the February 01, 2021 census date.
    2. Remaining funds will be eligible for distribution based on an application process in which the main criterion is the demonstration of a genuine financial hardship that occurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the result of that hardship may jeopardize the student’s capacity for continued enrollment at Fairfield University. View the full awarding policy.
    3. Students seeking additional HEERF III funds may submit the following HEERF III Covid Appeal Application to the Office of Financial Aid via email at CaresAct@fairfield.edu.
  7. The following information was provided by Fairfield University to students concerning the emergency grants, view the letter mailed to students and families.

The guidance for the HEERF III grant provides the option for a student with an outstanding balance to apply the grant amount to the balance with written authorization. If you have an outstanding balance on your account and would like to opt-in to this choice, please complete the authorization form enclosed with your grant approval notification and return it to the Office of Financial Aid via email at CaresAct@fairfield.edu within 14 days of your approval notification.

Forms not received by the deadline will have the grant funds automatically refunded in the form of a check to the mailing address on file with the University.

If you have questions, please contact CaresAct@fairfield.edu for assistance.

Institutional Aid

On May 11, 2021 the Department provided allocations to colleges and universities which allow institutions to use these supplemental grant funds for costs to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll), and make additional emergency financial grants to students, which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care. Institutions must use a portion of their institutional funds under this award to (a) implement evidence-based practice to monitor and suppress coronavirus in accordance with public health guidelines and (b) conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants about the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or other circumstances, described in section 479A of the HEA (20 USC § 1088tt). Accordingly, Fairfield University acknowledges the following:

  1. On May 17, 2021, Fairfield University received notice that a supplemental award has been made to the university under section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP.
  2. The total amount of funds that Fairfield University will receive in institutional aid from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to 2003(a)(1) of the ARP is $3,121,641.
  3. The total amount of funds received by the university for the institutional portion under Section 2003(a)(1) of the ARP as of September 30, 2021 is $1,050,000.

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