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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III)

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) 

Pearl River Community College received an additional $7,503,617 for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds through a formula from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As with the CARES Act (HEERF I) and the CRRSAA (HEERF II) funds already released, these grants are provided to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Eligible fees under a student’s cost of attendance, such as tuition, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare, are included.

What is different with HEERF III?

Students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education on or after the date of the declaration of the national emergency due to the coronavirus (March 13, 2020) are eligible for emergency financial aid grants from the HEERF, regardless of whether they completed a FAFSA or are eligible for Title IV. The CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or are undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances, in awarding emergency financial aid grants to students.

Which students are eligible to receive HEERF III emergency financial aid grants?

As announced in the Department’s final rule, “Eligibility To Receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Under HEERF” (May 14, 2021, 86 FR 26608) (final rule), the term “student,” for purposes of the phrases “grants to students,” “emergency financial aid grants to students,” and “financial aid grants to students” as used in the HEERF programs, is now defined as any individual who is or was enrolled (as defined in 34 CFR § 668.2) at an eligible institution (as defined in 34 CFR § 600.2) on or after March 13, 2020, the date of declaration of the national emergency due to the coronavirus (85 FR 15337). Thus, students are no longer required to be eligible for Title IV student financial aid in order to receive HEERF grants to students.

  • Students must be enrolled for the semester they are applying for emergency grant funds. Students taking non-credit courses are not eligible.
  • Students must complete an online HEERF III Emergency Relief Grant Application through their RiverGuide account by the established deadline.
  • Have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, including the eligible fees under a student’s cost of attendance such as tuition, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care, mental or health expenses.
  • Students must not be enrolled in a dual enrollment or middle college program.

How do students receive their HEERF III emergency financial aid grants?

Pearl River Community College is working to distribute HEERF III Emergency Relief Grants to eligible students who have been impacted by the COVID 19 Pandemic. Students who wish to apply for the free HEERF III Emergency Relief Grant must submit an application by September 3, 2021 for the fall semester and February 4, 2022 for the spring semester.

HEERF Grants (free) will be available to all PRCC students. The application opened Monday, August 16th, and MUST be completed in RiverGuide (locate the HEERF piggy bank) by September 3, 2021 for the fall semester and February 4, 2022 for the spring semester. Students have two options if found eligible to receive the grant funds:

(1) Students can authorize PRCC to apply the HEERF III Emergency Relief Grant to their student account and any current institutional charges.  Any excess funds remaining after applying to eligible charges will be distributed to the student. 

(2) Students can choose to have HEERF III Emergency Relief Grant distributed directly to them.

How will the amount of HEERF III Emergency Relief Grants be determined?

  • HEERF III Emergency Relief Grants will be based upon need.
  • The number of applications received and the amount of available funds will determine the amount of each grant award. Grants may be up to $813 and will vary based off established need.

Students can find details regarding HEERF III at http://prcc.edu/heerf. If you have questions or concerns about HEERF III Relief Grant funding or the application process, please contact one of our PRCC Chat Agents by using the Chat Feature on the website or email questions to heerf@prcc.edu

Fall 2021

The HEERF III Relief Grant funding application closed on September 5, 2021.

An extension was provided due to Hurricane Ida to extend the deadline for the HEERF application for an additional week. All students were notified via text and email that the application deadline was extended until September 13. Applications were reviewed the weeks of September 13th and 20th.  Based off the answers on the application completed by the student in their RiverGuide Student Portal, the following disbursements were sent out. 

September 31, 2021 Quarterly Report: 

  • Funds were disbursed to student accounts for the student portion of Heerf III funding totaled $753,895.00, which included 1,104 students as of 9/30/2021
  • Funds disbursed as refunds to students for the student portion of Heerf III funding totaled $1,389,697.00, which included 1,863 students as of 9/30/2021.  

Updated for 2021 year-end quarterly reporting:

December 31, 2021 Quarterly Report:

  • Funds were disbursed to student accounts for the student portion of Heerf III funding totaled $759,620.19, which included 1,123 students as of 12/30/2021.
  • Funds disbursed as refunds to students for the student portion of Heerf III funding totaled $1,485,021.71, which included 2,023 students as of 12/30/2021

The application for the fall 2021 semester has closed. 
Additionally, if you, or your spouse or parent(s) where applicable, have had a decrease in your 2020 or 2021 income or benefits due to the Covid pandemic, you may qualify to have your federal aid eligibility re-evaluated. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information at finaid@prcc.edu

Spring 2022 January 9, 2022
The application for the spring 2022 semester will open on January 17th and remain open until February 4th. Students should check their RiverGuide and student email for instructions on filling out the secure HEERF application which is required to receive emergency grant funds. The same requirements for the fall 2021 semester apply. All students are encouraged to have a FAFSA on file before applying. 

The application for spring 2022 has closed.

March 31, 2022 Quarterly Report:

  • Funds disbursed to student accounts for the student portion of HEERF III funding totaled $1,345,155.10, which included 1,498 students as of 3/31/2022.
  • Funds disbursed as refunds to students for the student portion of HEERF III funding totaled $3,145,866.53, which included 2,892 students as of 3/31/2022.

CARES Act - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I (HEERF I)

CARES Act - Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II)