The U.S. Congress allocated funding to colleges and universities to assist students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was created to enable colleges and universities to provide cash grants to current students for educational related expenses and for costs that students incurred because of disruptions to their education due to COVID-19.
To access the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), AU signed and submitted to the Department of Education a certification affirming the university will distribute no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, Section 314(d)(5) of CRRSAA and section 2003 of the ARP to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The Secretary of Education advises colleges and universities to prioritize students with the greatest need, but also establish a maximum funding threshold for each student to ensure the widest possible distribution of funds.
At AU, 3.16 million dollars was allocated to assist students through HEERF I. An additional 3.16 million was provided in HEERF II. In mid-May AU received an additional 8.3 million to assist students during the 2021-2022 academic year. Eligible students are considered and approved based on financial need.
As of June 30, 2021, approximately, 6,300 AU students meet the minimum federally established eligibility criteria. Over 2,100 have been offered 3.16 million through HEERF I. Over 1,400 students received 3.16 million in HEERF II grants.
As of September 30, 2021, 1189 students received nearly 3.3 million in HEERFIII funds. An additional 370 students were offered approximately $900,000 in HEERFIII grants as of December 31, 2021. As of March 31, 2022, AU fully expended the remainder of HEERFIII funding as $4.16 million was allocated to 1,500 students.
For comprehensive information regarding American University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit AU's COVID-19 Resources page.