In accordance with Section 2003 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARP” or the “Act”), The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (“HEERF III”), Section 314 of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) and the guidance issued by the United States Department of Education, including Office of Postsecondary Education’s guidance dated May 6, 2020, Allegheny College submits this report concerning the award Allegheny College received under HEERF III consisting of funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
1. Acknowledgement of Funding and Certification
Allegheny College reviewed, signed and returned the U.S. Department of Education’s Certification and Agreement for HEERF I (CARES Act) funds on April 14, 2020, and we received a grant award notification for ARP funds on May 11, 2021. We reviewed and sent confirmation of receipt of the ARP funds on May 24, 2021. As required by the certification, Allegheny College will use at least half of its allocation under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act to make emergency financial aid grants to students.
2. Funds Awarded for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students
Allegheny College received $2,315,191 under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act designated for distribution to students, which may be used for cost of attendance components or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19.
3. Emergency Financial Aid Grants Distributed to Students to Date Under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act
Of the $2,315,191 Allegheny College received under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act designated for distribution to students, which may be used for cost of attendance components or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19, Allegheny College has distributed $1,156,900 as of the date of this report.
4. Eligible Students
Allegheny College has had approximately 2,200 students as of the date of this report who have been enrolled as students at Allegheny College since March 13, 2020, the date of declaration of a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak and who, thus, are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act.
5. Eligible Students Receiving ARP Act Aid
As of the date of this report, Allegheny College has distributed to 1,125 students $1,156,900 of the funds it received under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act designated for distribution to students, which may be used for cost of attendance components or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19.
6. Distribution Method
Allegheny College chose to provide various levels of funds based on demonstrated need to students previously enrolled at Allegheny College prior to the start of the fall 2021 semester. The highest-need students who qualified for a Federal Pell Grant received $1,500 each. This group consisted of 310 students. Students who did not qualify for a Federal Pell Grant, but still demonstrated a significant level of financial need as determined by their 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), received $1,400 each. This group consisted of 98 students. An additional 264 students who demonstrated a moderate level of need received $1,000 each, and 402 students who did not demonstrate need received $600 each. The remaining 51 students were foreign students who were awarded $900 each. There was a processing error that awarded three students two awards each, which resulted in an additional $3,600 being awarded, thus bringing the total awarded to $1,156,900. For those three students, the extra funding awarded this fall will impact their potential awards when evaluating how to allocate the remaining $1,158,291.
The eligibility criteria for the remaining $1,158,291 of the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act has not yet been determined for Allegheny College students.
7. Communication to Students Concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants
In order to distribute this grant according to the student’s wishes, on August 2, 2021, Allegheny College emailed all students designated to receive HEERF III funds at that time, requesting that each student complete a Student HEERF Award Option to Receive Funds agreement by August 31, 2021. On this agreement, students indicated if they wished to have their HEERF III funds pay down their Allegheny student bill or if the funds should be issued directly to them. If a student did not complete the Student HEERF Award Option to Receive Funds agreement by August 31, 2021, his or her HEERF III funds were issued directly to the student.
For the remaining HEERF III funds, once Allegheny College administration has determined the best method for providing as much financial assistance to the highest need Allegheny students through the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 2003(7) of the ARP Act, information regarding these funds will be disseminated to Allegheny students accordingly.