American Rescue Plan (ARP)
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds total $76.2 billion.
Students cannot apply for assistance directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Institutions have the responsibility of determining how grants will be distributed to students, how the amount of each student grant is calculated, and the development of any instructions or directions that are provided to students about the grant.
Institutions must make financial aid grants to students, which can be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or childcare. The ARP grant requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional financial needs, such as students who receive Pell Grants. However, students do not need to be only Pell grant recipients or students who are eligible for Pell grants.
Bluefield University acknowledges that the institution signed and returned to the Department of Education the certification and agreement for HEERF III Funds under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (ARP). Bluefield University received $961,806 from the Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
Bluefield University decided to award the student funds with a portion in the form of a grant application to assist students whose financial needs may have not been met by their HEERF II award. The remainder of the funds will be awarded in the fall of 2021 in the form of a weighted financial aid matrix similar to its HEERF I & II student awards with the emphasis of the highest awards being based on the students with the highest documented Pell need.
At the end of Quarter two of the 2021 reporting period, student funds awarded through the grant applications for this period totaled $109,473 assisting 48 students.
At the end of Quarter three of the 2021 reporting period, student funds awarded through the grant applications for this period totaled $252.87 assisting 1 student.
At the end of Quarter four of the 2021 reporting period, student funds awarded through the grant applications for this period totaled $73,108 assisting 44 students. The College also made a distribution to 455 students totaling $350,000.63 based on the below matrix:
||Amount to Each Student Per Category
|Level 8 – received $6,000+ in Pell funds
|Level 7 – received $5,000-$5,999 in Pell funds
|Level 6 – received $4,000-$4,999 in Pell funds
|Level 5 – received $3,000-$3,999 in Pell funds
|Level 4 – received $2,000-$2,999 in Pell funds
|Level 3 – received $1,000-$1,999 in Pell funds
|Level 2 – received $1-$999 in Pell funds
|Level 1 – received $0 in Pell funds
|Level 0 – Non-Pell
At the end of Quarter one of the 2022 reporting period, student funds awarded through the grant applications for this period totaled $8,156.57 assisting 6 students.
At the end of Quarter two of the 2022 reporting period, student funds awarded through grant applications and the award matrix total $430,945.11 assisting a total of 402 students.
At the end of Quarter three of the 2022 reporting period, student funds awarded through the grant applications for this period totaled $19,106.75 assisting 3 students.