American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA): Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III

Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), The College of Wooster has been awarded additional funds by the U.S. Department of Education to make emergency financial aid awards to assist students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to continue their education.

ARPA emergency financial aid awards are prioritized for students with exceptional financial need to cover costs, such as tuition and fees, food assistance, housing assistance, health care (including mental health care) emergencies, childcare emergencies, and other educational-related expenses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

What is the American Rescue Plan Act?

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is federal legislation that provides a variety of financial support to individuals and organizations affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.

The ARPA includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERFIII) that provides more than $39.6 billion in emergency funding to higher education.  The College will distribute at least $1,834,623 in student-designated ARPA funding in a way that prioritizes students with the greatest demonstrated need and ensures that funds are distributed as widely as possible.

Am I eligible to receive HEERF III funding?

You may be eligible for HEERF III funding if you:

  • Are or were enrolled, in a degree-seeking program at the College during the COVID-19 national emergency (on or after March 13, 2020);
  • Exclusion criteria: College of Wooster employees and their spouses who are using a faculty/staff tuition benefit are not eligible for this emergency grant funding.

What expenses can be considered for HEERF III funding?

The following expenses can be considered for HEERF III funding:

  • Tuition;
  • Food;
  • Housing;
  • Course Materials;
  • Technology;
  • Health Care;
  • Childcare expenses;
  • Technology

How do I apply?

Students are able to apply using the college’s Emergency Aid Request Form, available in the Dean of Students’ Office.  Once an application is received, the Emergency Aid Review Committee reviews each request individually and will be in touch with students.  Students are able to indicate on the application form how they would like the funds disbursed, either applied to their student account to support their tuition charges, or directly to them.

How much will I receive?

We are committed to assisting all eligible students that may have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to the greatest extent possible with the available HEERF III funds. You should request funds based on your actual financial need for expenses due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, childcare, and tuition. The actual amount each student will receive is based on need, the number of applications received and the funds available.

How will I receive this money?

The amount for which you were approved will be indicated in an e-mail sent to your College of Wooster email address by the Financial Aid Office. The funds will be disbursed according to the option you selected at the time of your application, either a credit to your student account, a direct deposit to your bank account, or a check mailed to your on-campus mail box.  If applied to your student account, the description will read Emergency Grant/COVID.

Do I need to repay this money?

No, you will not need to repay any money received through this fund.

Will I be eligible for future government funding?

If you receive HEERF III funding, you are still eligible to receive future government funding if it becomes available.

Does this funding affect my other financial aid?

No, this is a special grant to help you continue your education despite the impact of the coronavirus; it will not have any impact on other financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

What if I still have an account balance?

If you receive HEERF III funding, and you have an outstanding account balance, you may choose to utilize these funds to satisfy the balance.

Are these grants taxable?

No. The IRS has announced that the funds do not need to be reported as taxable income at year end. Please see the IRS website for more information.

Further Questions

Please contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@wooster.edu or 330-263-2317 with additional questions.

Reports

HEERF III Quarterly Financial Report (09/30/21)