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Student Covid-19 Relief Awards Totaling $17.35 Million Will Be Distributed by Penn State This Spring.

Students enrolled in the spring 2022 semester will receive roughly $17.35 million in federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds from Penn State to help cover any portion of their tuition or other emergency expenses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic in that semester.

The $76.2 million granted to Penn State for emergency student financial aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III, as approved by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, will be awarded in the last round of grants in the spring of 2019. By the end of the 2021 academic year, Penn State has awarded ARP awards totaling more than $58.85 million to 36,126 students.

There will be two separate rounds of financing for Penn State’s spring COVID-19 assistance monies.

  • All 18,247 students at Penn State who are eligible for the federal Pell Grant will be given grants of up to $850 in the first round, based on data from (FAFSA). Penn State students, including those enrolled at the university’s Penn State World Campus, will be eligible for the grants.
  • There will be a second wave of funding for Penn State’s leftover ARP funds, which are expected to total around $2 million, following the initial round of funding. Students with severe financial need who did not or were not eligible to file an FAFSA or who otherwise did not qualify for a grant in the initial round will receive second-round grants worth $850 each.

All students, even those who are not citizens of the United States, will be able to apply for these federal funds once the application period begins. The application process for the ARP spring 2022 second round will be released in full in the following weeks.

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As of Monday, March 14, all first-round grants must be accepted by the students who received them, or they will be given to other students in the second-round application process. To comply with federal regulations, Penn State will distribute all ARP student monies by May 2022, as required by the university.

Students who are eligible for a first-round grant will shortly receive an email from the Office of Student Aid with instructions on how to accept or deny the aid in LionPATH. Subject line “American Rescue Plan Spring Award” will appear in the email. As long as the amount was incurred on or after March 13, 2020, the award can be used to cover any component of a student’s cost of attendance, including tuition (including fees), food, housing, health care (including mental health treatment), or child care.

Students who receive a grant from the American Rescue Plan must certify that they intend to utilise the funds only for expenses covered by the plan while collecting the award. If a student’s personal circumstances do not necessitate the full award amount, they will be entitled to request a smaller grant amount. It’s also possible that students will be allowed to pick whether or not they want the money refunded, applied to an outstanding balance on their student account for spring 2022, or a mix of both options. Students who prefer to have their refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts are urged to enrol in eRefund.

Students at Penn State have received over $114 million in federal COVID-19 assistance grants since the outbreak started. In addition, there will be roughly $8 million in ARP funds during the summer 2021 semester, $50.8 million in ARP awards during the fall 2021 semester, $27.5 million in CRRSAA grants in spring 2021 (HEERF II), and $27.5 million in CARES Act grants in 2020. (HEERF I).

Questions about the spring 2022 American Rescue Plan student emergency funding and the University’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund reporting information can be found on Penn State’s official coronavirus information website.