ARP - Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) as authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, was 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. 

For the Summer award cycle, any student currently enrolled at USA during the Summer 2021 semester, in a degree-seeking program, was eligible to apply. 

SUMMER HEERF 3 Funds Distribution

Date Total # of students eligible to receive HEERF  Grant Total Applications Received  Total number of students who have received a HEERF Grant Total Amount of HEERF Funds Awarded
August 4, 2021 7423 3796 3642 $3,850,300


The ARP funds are intended to, among other things, support vulnerable students, monitor and suppress the coronavirus, and reengage students whose education was disrupted by the pandemic.  These emergency grants may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance, for costs that have arisen due to coronavirus such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care. And, per the Department of Education and the policies established in the ARP, institutions were required to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or are undergraduate students with extraordinary financial circumstances. 

To be eligible students must, as of the Summer 2021 term, and at the time of the application completion:

  • Have been enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student;
  • Have been enrolled in a degree-seeking student;
  • Have indicated that they have experienced unexpected financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic related to any component of their cost of attending school - such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

USA distributed information about the ARP program, application access, and important deadlines across multiple mechanisms, including the university student email system (JagMail), USA's Daily Digest system, automated phone messages to the student's selected contact phone of reference, USA social media outlets, and electronic billboards across campus.  USA also partnered with student organizations to assist with information dissemination across their media/communication outlets.

USA distributed the HEERF funding in a way that prioritized students with the greatest demonstrated need and ensured that funds were distributed as widely as possible. 

For more information on the USA HEERF programs please see the USA Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Program (ARP) website here.