HEERF III - American Rescue Plan (ARP)

HEERF III American Rescue Plan - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund May 2022

Holy Cross continues to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis, many of whom may be facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.

In May of 2022, grants are being funded by the federal government through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III, established by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). In addition to the May 2022 grants, awards were offered through an application process during the 2021-2022 academic year to support economic relief to students who are experiencing on-going COVID-19 related emergencies.

About the American Rescue Plan - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III

The American Rescue Plan (ARP), which was signed into law in March 2021, provides economic relief in response to COVID-19. Included in the legislation is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III), which provides funding to higher education institutions across the country to distribute to students with financial need.

Eligible student groups include citizens, permanent residents, international students, refugees, asylum seekers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and similar undocumented students. The ARP requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need and authorizes grants to students enrolled in both campus and online programs.

ARP funds are in addition to funds previously authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), 2021, and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, 2020. These grants are separate from financial aid students may receive from the college.


Who is Eligible for a HEERF III Student Grant for May 2022?

Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for HEERF III funding through Holy Cross:

  • Were enrolled during the Fall 2021 term. 
  • Must demonstrate financial need with preference to students with exceptional financial need as determined by the 2021-2022 FAFSA on file. 

Students who meet the following eligibility will be provided an award, NO application is required if you meet these requirements, and you will receive a communication from the College with directions on how to accept your award.  The amount of the grant will be determined by considering your federal expected family contribution (EFC) and any appeals for financial aid made for the award year 2022 that resulted in additional funding.   Students with a Pell award will generally receive a sum equal $640.  Students with an EFC of $37,500 or less will receive a grant between $490 and $590; those with the lowest EFC will generally receive the larger grant.  Each criteria will be applied separately and summed to arrive at the total award for each student. 

The May 2022 awards differed from the application-based grants offered through the 2021-2022 application process in that the amounts were dependent upon exceptional need demonstrated as a result of expenses related to COVID-19.

What is the timeline for those who will receive an award without having to file an application?

The awards will be posted in the student billing portal, the week of May 23, 2022.  Once awards are posted, students will be sent an email directing them to view the offered award by selecting the TouchNet Billing+Payment link.  

  • Students will have the opportunity to accept or decline the grant award.
  • The offer will remain available until June 23, 2022. Awards not accepted by the deadline will be canceled.
  • By accepting the offer, each student is certifying that the grant award will be used for a component or components of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care including mental health care.

Do I need to repay this grant?

No. An emergency grant, funded by ARP/HEERF III does not need to be repaid. This grant does not impact or replace any financial aid you may currently receive, and it is a one-time grant.

What if I currently owe tuition or other expenses?

The full amount of the emergency grants will be given directly to students and will not pay outstanding balances owed unless a student elects to authorize the college to apply the grant the outstanding balance owed. Any outstanding balance remains the responsibility of the student.

If I receive a grant from the ARP/HEERF III Fund, is it taxable?

No. Per the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, emergency financial aid grants under ARP/HEERF III are qualified disaster relief payments and will not be taxable.

How will I receive the grant money?

In order to provide this grant to you in a timely manner, we are asking you to utilize the direct deposit option offered via your TouchNet account.

If you have not created a refund method in TouchNet, please do the following:

  • Go to STAR and click on the TouchNet Bill+Payment link
  • Go to Refunds
  • Enroll in Two-Step Verification
  • Click on Set up a new account under Direct Deposit
  • Enter the Name on the Account, select the account type, and enter the routing number and bank account number.
  • Finally, in the box that begins “Save payment method as...“, name the account, i.e., Mary’s checking, Dad’s checking, Mum’s savings.  Do not default to or enter “my checking” as we need to know the name of the account holder.

If you have created a refund method in TouchNet and need to edit either the name of the account or any of the previously entered information, please do the following:

  • Go to Star and click on the TouchNet Bill+Payment link
  • Go to Refunds
  • Go to My Profile
  • Click on Payment Profile
  • Click on the Settings icon (under Action) of the Payment Method you wish to edit/update/change.
  • Click on Edit, this will bring you to the Account Information where you can update the name or other information.

Please note:  These are federal funds that are made available for the student’s use.   If you do not have a bank account or if the identified refund account in TouchNet is not readily identifiable as your account, the grant will be issued to you via paper check.  For students who live on campus or are off campus with access to campus, checks will be sent to their Holy Cross PO Box. For students who are remote with no access to campus, checks will be sent to their home address.

Fall 2021 - HEERF III American Rescue Plan - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (PDF)

HEERF III ARP Reporting - June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022 (PDF)

HEERF III ARP Reporting – Institutional Portion

HEERF III ARP Reporting – Student Portion

  • March 31, 2022
  • December 31, 2021
  • September 30, 2021 
  • June 30, 2021 - On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, was signed into law, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Holy Cross acknowledges an additional award of $2,484,002 for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students and intends to distribute this award in the Fall of 2021 to eligible students who have an exceptional need due to the coronavirus.