American Rescue Plan (ARP): Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III)
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan. The ARP requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students 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 final rule on student eligibility for HEERF 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.
CAPSTONE COLLEGE signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. The institution has used, or intends to use, 100 percent of the funds designated under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. Capstone has received $32,821 in emergency grants for eligible students experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We estimate that 112 students are eligible for HEERF II and HEERF III funds. These are one-time grants from the federal government and do not require any repayment. The HEERF III emergency grant provides temporary, short-term, emergency financial assistance to eligible students who are experiencing an unforeseen hardship that could adversely affect their educational success. The main criteria for a grant are the demonstration of a genuine need and that the capacity for continued study may be in jeopardy due to financial hardship.
CAPSTONE COLLEGE received our allocation of HEERF III funds from the U.S. Department of Education on July 15, 2021.
CAPSTONE COLLEGE has distributed $20,289 of these funds to 37 students as of September 30, 2021.
CAPSTONE COLLEGE has distributed the entire grant of $32,821 to 66 students as of December 31, 2021.
- Currently enrolled and active CAPSTONE COLLEGE students who are not on an LOA.
- Students that subsequently enroll are also eligible until funds are exhausted.
We will begin distributing grants to eligible as quickly as possible, and anticipate checks will be available to pick up at the school in August. Recipients will be notified in class and via school email. We will mail out the check for any student that requests it. Students that return from LOA become eligible and students that begin class in May or later may have to wait until a month or so has passed to receive their grant payment.
CAPSTONE COLLEGE will provide funds in 3 groups.
Group 1: Your 2021/22 FAFSA EFC is 0. You can expect to receive $900.
Group 2: Your 2021/22 FAFSA EFC is 1 or higher. You can expect to receive $400.
Group 3: You do not wish to complete a FAFSA. You can expect to receive $400.
If you are currently attending Capstone there is no need to apply. Checks will be calculated and disbursed beginning in August 2021. If you have not completed a 2021/22 FAFSA you still qualify.
CAPSTONE COLLEGE received our allocation of HEERF III funds from the U.S. Department of Education on July 15, 2021. We will begin distributing grants to eligible as quickly as possible, and anticipate an initial round of checks will be available to pickup at the school in August. Recipients will be notified via school email. We will mail out the check for any student that requests it.
CAPSTONE COLLEGEexpects to distribute 100% of the funds within 1 year of the award (July 14, 2022).
Current and Graduated Students in Groups 1 and 2 will have their grants released in August. Students who begin in June or subsequently will receive their awards after approximately one month of attendance. Students who begin their program of study after the initial awards are disbursed are also eligible. They will receive their awards after approximately one month of attendance. Checks will be prepared and students notified via email to come by the office or request to have the check mailed. In order to distribute the funds as widely as possible, students who have already received HEERF II funds are not eligible for additional HEERF grant funds.
Priority will be given to students with exceptional need, determined by the 2021/22official Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
All currently enrolled CAPSTONE COLLEGE students activeand not on an LOA. Students that subsequently enroll are also eligible until funds are exhausted.
Students who have graduatedfrom July 2021 onward.
Students who have completed a 2021/22 FAFSA, and have a valid EFC may be considered for emergency grants funded through HEERF III.
To determine your eligibility to receive a HEERF III Emergency Grant, you shouldcompleteany FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov if you have not already done so. Once your FAFSA is processed by Federal Student Aid, your information is sent to CAPSTONE COLLEGE within 10 days. The amount of the HEERF III Emergency Grant will be based on Group assignment determined by official Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
To prioritize rapid support of students with the most exceptional need, CAPSTONE COLLEGE will automatically award the initial emergency grants to current and active students as well as graduates in 2021 who have an official Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0, as calculated through the 2021/22FAFSA process. Students on an LOA are not eligible. Students in Group 1 will automatically receive the highest initial grant awards and do not need to request the grant funding. Group 1 students will receive $900. Students who have already received HEERF II funds will not receive HEERF III funds.
To prioritize rapid support of students with the most exceptional need, CAPSTONE COLLEGE will automatically award the initial emergency grants to current and active students as well as 2021 graduates who meet the eligibility criteria in Group 2. Students on an LOA are not eligible. Students in Group 2 have an official Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 1 or greater, as calculated through the 2021/22FAFSA process. Students in Group 2 will automatically receive the second-highest initial grant awards and do not need to request the grant funding. Group 2 students will receive $400.
Students who have started classes July 1, 2021 or later and are not on an LOA are eligible for HEERF III funds even if they do not choose to fill out a FAFSA. This group will receive funds after the first 2 groups have been processed.
Even if a student has a current financial hold or owes the campus fees or fines is still eligible to receive a grant. Funds are disbursed directly to the student. Any debts or fees owed to CAPSTONE COLLEGE will not be deducted from the emergency grant unless the student specifically authorizes it.
Group 1: Your EFC is 0. You can expect to receive $900.
Group 2: Your EFC is 1 or more. You can expect to receive $400.
Group 3: You do not wish to fill out a FAFSA. You can expect to receive $400.
The EFC number is a way to gauge a student’s financial need. Your nine-month (academic year) EFC is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education when you submit your FAFSA and is what determines your eligibility for all federal and state grant assistance. Even if you attend school for fewer than nine months, your eligibility for grants is still required to be based off your nine-month EFC.
You should complete a FAFSA if you have not already done so.
If you have not yet filed out a 2021/22 FAFSA, go to studentaid.gov to complete one. Once completed and received by CAPSTONE COLLEGE, which takes 7 to 10 days, and your EFC is calculated you will be notified of the award.
Your grant is not taxable income
No, your grant is not taxable income. Emergency financial aid grants are for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code.
YYour grant will have no effect on your other financial aid
If you receive an emergency grant and later withdraw from CAPSTONE COLLEGE, you are not required to pay it back.
Contact CAPSTONE COLLEGE if you still have questions
For questions regarding any of the 3 HEERF grants, I, II, or III call the Financial Aid Office at CAPSTONE COLLEGE. Or email Bridget Baumgartner: Bridget@CapstoneCollege.edu