American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act
In a third round of emergency funding, the US Congress passed legislation in March 2021 funding the highest appropriations so far to help students and schools suffering financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this point, the aid from previous coronavirus relief packages has helped but still has fallen short of offsetting the significant losses, providing colleges and universities enough to only cover a fraction of the costs they have incurred due to the pandemic.
Funding has been made available to students through the Higher Education
Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP)
Act. The ARP provides funding to support postsecondary education students and
This HEERF III funding includes an allocation specifically for emergency cash grants to students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, including things like tuition, course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare.
MSP was awarded $66,291 to award as emergency grants directly to students,
and another $66,290 for institutional support. MSP has spent $54,042 of the institutional award during September 2021 for technology upgrades in
classrooms to better serve students who are learning remotely, and for enhanced
air purification and disinfection supplies in classrooms for in-person students
attending on campus.
Students made application for the emergency grant from November 17 through
December 1, 2021. The student emergency grants were disbursed December 10, 2021 during the first semester of the 2021-22 academic year. All 209 MSP
students were eligible to apply for the student emergency grant. MSP received
and awarded all 91 applicants. Award amounts ranged from $500 to $1,225 – and
a total of $66,275 was awarded in this round.
Funds were awarded based on the following considerations:
- Student need as determined from their ARP HEERF III emergency grant application
- State or Federal assistance recipient
- Loss of employment
- Reduced income
- Food insecurity
- Housing insecurity
- Increased expenses related to COVID
- Mental health expenses
- Unexpected medical expenses
- Other exceptional need as defined by the student
- Student’s intended use of the funds
MSP received these funds after signing and submitting the HEERF
Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education (ED). Funds
are utilized pursuant to section 2003 of the American Rescue Plan (ARP)
and section 314 of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental
Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA).