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

June 10, 2021

Dear Students,

While we are making great strides toward returning to our normal campus operations, the effects of coronavirus pandemic continue to be felt. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is committed to supporting our nation’s students and institutions of higher education (IHEs) through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). These funds support the recovery efforts of students and institutions so that we can emerge from this pandemic even stronger. 

To support our students, Husson University is receiving $3,881,473 according to this federal legislation.  This award is to be distributed directly to students. The ARP requires that we prioritize distributions to students with exceptional need, such as those who receive Pell Grants or undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances. Institutions are expected to establish a transparent process for assessing need. Beyond Pell eligibility, other ways of prioritizing exceptional need could include students who may be eligible for other federal or state need-based aid or have faced significant unexpected expenses, such as the loss of employment, reduced income or food or housing insecurity. The Department’s guidance on student eligibility states that all students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants, regardless of whether they completed a FAFSA or are eligible for Title IV financial aid.

We have been working to develop standards for the distribution of these funds based on federal guidance.  We also took into consideration student feedback. In particular, we considered how to best meet the requirement that we identify and prioritize students with “exceptional need.”

Thus, we will start the identification process with an application.  All students who were enrolled on or after March 13, 2020 are eligible and encouraged to apply if you have/had unexpected expenses, are dealing with (or dealt with) a loss of income, or are experiencing food or housing insecurity due to the pandemic. 

Here is what you need to do to receive a HEERF-ARP grant.

If you have experienced significant unexpected expenses due to the pandemic, please complete this application and submit by Friday, July 9th.  Please note that by filing an application you are certifying that these expenses are true and accurate.  Depending on the applications received, the University may consider a maximum award based on Pell Grant limitations. While all students with demonstrable need are encouraged to apply, the University may give preference to undergraduates, domestic students, and those with a low EFC. We reserve the right to require further documentation prior to making awards, particularly for requests in excess of $5,000, and to deny any application received.

Applications will be reviewed by a campus committee. Depending on the number of applications, you will receive notification of your award by Friday, July 30th.  Based on your election on file with the University, distributions will be electronically deposited to the specific account you have designated.

If you have questions or need to receive the application in a different format, please contact The Office of Student Life at studentlife@husson.edu or 207-941-7107. If you have questions regarding where your distribution will be deposited, please go here to check your current election. 

In addition, we want to remind you that if you have experienced any major change in your family’s financial or household circumstances that are not reflected in your 2021-22 FAFSA application, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss options at finaid@husson.edu or 207-941-7156.

With over 3,500 students and grant distribution limitations, we recognize that these awards may not meet all of your added expenses; however, we hope they will help lighten some of the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Please continue to stay safe and healthy. For those of you still attending Husson, we look forward to welcoming you back to campus in the fall. With adherence to our vaccination requirement, we are anticipating a return to a more normal college experience! 

 

Robert A. Clark, Ph.D., CFA
Husson University President