May 11, 2021

U.S. Department of Education Releases $36 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funds

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is providing information regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s release of $36 billion in emergency grants for postsecondary education under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. These grants will help over 5,000 institutions of higher education, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), provide emergency financial aid to millions of students.

ARP funding adds on to the relief already authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). This funding is provided by ARP’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III), with a new formula that requires at least 50% of the funding be used by each institution to provide direct relief to students.

ARP will invest in the most under-resourced institutions that educate students that have been acutely affected by the pandemic. Over $6 billion will go to Minority-Serving Institutions, including HSIs and AANAPISIs, with more than $5.4 billion going to HSIs. Additionally, $10 billion will go to community colleges, more than $2.6 billion to HBCUs, and $190 million to TCUs.

All students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for financial aid grants from HEERF III, regardless of whether they completed a FAFSA or are eligible for Title IV. This includes citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, Dreamers, and similar undocumented students.

HACU is grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for issuing this guidance and urges the Administration to release these funds as quickly as possible. HACU will continue to advocate for additional equitable COVID-19 relief funding for HSIs in future relief packages.

Information is available on the Department of Education’s new guidance on how institutions can use HEERF III funds. For more information on HEERF III and the APR, including institution funding allocations, please visit the Department’s website.

HACU Member Advisories are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)