In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) appropriated approximately $39.6 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and represents the third stream of funding appropriated for HEERF to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. HEERF III is structured like the HEERF II programs under the CRRSAA. Specifically, students that are eligible for HEER III funds include those:
“… who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency … regardless of whether they completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or are eligible for Title IV. … institutions are directed with the ARP funds to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or are undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances in awarding emergency financial aid grants to students. Beyond Pell eligibility, other types of 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 (either for themselves or their families), reduced income, or food or housing insecurity."
NDSCS will receive $4,766,294 in HEERF III funds that must be utilized no later than May 12, 2022.
- $2,417,157 must be used directly for student aid
HEERF III, much like the HEERF II and CARES Act, also enables flexibility to current regulations through professional judgement. NDSCS will continue to evaluate students’ evolving circumstances and accepting special circumstance forms.
PHASE 1 - HEERF III Student Allocation: Summer 2021 Distribution Process
In line with HEERF III expectations, funds will be used for students in exceptional need; NDSCS will be distributing some of the HEERF III funds to students enrolled Summer 2021. All disbursements will be tracked by Financial Aid and will be reported in conjunction with the Grant office, in accordance with the guidance in HEERF III.
- $100/credit (all students)
- Pell-eligible = +$400 additional stipend
Estimated  Summer 2021 Student Assistance (as of 6/2/21): $358,400
- 171 Pell-eligible students @ $400/each = $68,400
- 2,900 credits @ $100/credit = $290,000
PHASE 1 - HEERF III Institutional Allocation: Summer 2021
NDSCS is proposing to utilize the HEERF III institutional allocation to reduce critical need students’ financial burden through eliminating past due balances (debt) for Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021 (as of August 23). Eligible students would have their outstanding balances paid through utilizing the HEERF III Institutional Funding. This utilization strategy is referred to as ‘revenue recoupment’ to NDSCS; it is important to note, these payments cannot be categorized as ‘waivers’ or ‘removal of fees’.
 Student allocation will be assessed based on Financial Aid Census date (6/10/21). Students starting for the 2nd 4-week summer session, will be assessed July 8.
HEERF III Phase 1 funding to date for actively enrolled degree seeking summer students = 548 students were sent an email notification of their HEERF III funding for a total of $357,000 disbursed on June 14, 2021.
Updated as of June 16, 2021
Updated as of July 8, 2021
Second 4-week summer session: $9,400 was disbursed to 49 students on July 9, 2021.
PHASE 2 - HEERF III Student Allocation: Fall 2021 Distribution Process
In line with HEERF III expectations, funds will be used for students in exceptional need; NDSCS will be distributing some of the HEERF III funds to students enrolled Fall 2021. All disbursements will be tracked by Financial Aid and will be reported in conjunction with the Grant office, in accordance with the guidance in HEERF III. Disbursement of HEERF III funds for students enrolled Fall 2021 (1st 8 weeks and 16 weeks) will be around September 3, 2021 – students enrolled on Financial Aid census date as of 9/2/21; students enrolled (2nd 8 weeks) as of 10/22/21 will be awarded.
Proposed Allocation by student:
- $25/credit (all degree-seeking)
- Pell-eligible = +$400 additional stipend (degree seeking)
Estimated Fall 2021 Student Assistance (as of 8/3/21 ): $771,025
- 543 Pell-eligible students @ $400/each = $217,200
- 22,153 credits @ $25/credit = $553,825
Actual Fall 2021 Student Assistance (as of 9/28/21 ): $831,550
- 447 Pell-eligible students @ $400/each = $178,400
- 26,126 credits @ $25/credit = $653,150
Updated as of October 4, 2021