In March 2021, the federal government passed the ARP: American Rescue Plan (HEERF III), which allocated funds to higher education institutions across the nation. Similar to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with HEERF I funds, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) with HEERF II funds, the ARP HEERF III funds are distributed in grants with appropriate use stipulations and require institutions to disburse a portion of these funds in direct support to eligible students. Century College signed and returned the Certification & Agreement with the US Department of Education to accept the allocated funds from the American Rescue Plan. The funds must be used to cover expenses related to students’ cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), child care, course materials, or technology. Institutions cannot require students to use funds to pay tuition or past due balances; however, students may choose to apply the funds toward tuition.
Statutory guidance requires Century College to distribute HEERF III funds to students with exceptional need. Century College will distribute approximately $9M of HEERF III funds to its students. Century College will disburse funds directly to eligible students, starting with disbursing $4.5M in Fall 2021 and the remaining amount of funds of $4.5M will be disbursed in Spring 2022. In addition, up to $500,000 will be available for need-based emergency grants available to students via ARP HEERF III Special Circumstance application using the same guidelines as CRRSSA funds.
The U.S. Department of Education required Century and all higher education institutions to prioritize the funds to support students with exceptional financial need. In Fall 2021, Century College identified Pell grant eligible students in which funds were directly disbursed to students, prorated based on Fall 2021 enrollment/credit load. Student’s whose EFC is not eligible for Pell grants but is lower than the Cost of Attendance are eligible for reduced ARP grants, prorated based on Fall 2021 enrollments. Exceptions for ARP eligibility include concurrent enrollment high school students, postsecondary enrollment option students (PSEO), those being assessed senior citizen tuition rates or those enrolled in non-credit, those incarcerated, or those whose tuition is covered by a third-party (tuition waiver). The students considered ineligible for the grant cash distributions are also considered ineligible for the portion set aside for emergency grants.
As of October 12, 2021, 3,765 students received $4,355,000 of ARP Base funds and 13 students received ARP Special Circumstances grants of $13,500.
As of November 8, 2021, 3,756 students received $4,346,250 of ARP Base funds and 989 students received ARP Special Circumstances grants of $494,500.
ARP HEERF III FAQs
What is the ARP HEERF III Base Award (Grant Aid)?
Century College will disburse the majority of ARP HEERF III student funds to students with exceptional financial need. The funds disbursed as ARP Base Awards are meant to help students pay expenses related to students’ cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), child care, course materials, or technology.
Institutions cannot require students to use funds to pay tuition or past due balances; however, students may choose to apply the funds toward tuition.
How will I know if I am eligible or will receive ARP HEERF III Base Award?
According to the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Century College will disburse the majority of ARP HEERF III student funds to students with exceptional financial need.
ARP HEERF III eligible students include citizens, permanent residents, international students, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students.
Who is ineligible for ARP HEERF III Base Awards?
Institutions must use the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be eligible to receive the ARP funds. Unfortunately, that means that not all students enrolled in higher education institutions across our nation can receive ARP HEERF III Base Awards.
Using the U.S. Department of Education and Minnesota State guidelines, Century College students excluded from receiving ARP HEERF III Base Award funds (according to current definition of student and student eligibility) are students:
- concurrent enrollment high school students,
- postsecondary enrollment option students (PSEO),
- enrolled in non-credit,
- incarcerated students,
- being assessed senior citizen tuition rates,
- students eligible for a tuition waiver
- withdrawn from Fall semester courses and were not enrolled as of October 4, 2021.
The students considered ineligible for the grant cash distributions are also considered ineligible for the portion set aside for emergency grants.
Although Century is unable to provide all students with support through these funds, qualifying students should still apply for student financial aid by filing a FAFSA. Century College allows students to replace their 2019 income reported on their FAFSA with more current income information when families have seen a significant reduction of income.
In addition, Century’s Counseling Services and the Resource and Support Center connects students to community resources for food, housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, etc. The Century College Foundation provides emergency assistance grants and scholarships that students can apply for. Visit the Resource and Support Center for more information and to access basic needs resources. You can also schedule an appointment through Starfish with a counselor to discuss other emergency funding options or contact the Advising, Counseling, and Career Center at email@example.com or 651-779-3285.
All Century students, regardless of eligibility, have received communications regarding ARP HEERF III funding based on all the guidelines listed above and those communicated by the federal government and Minnesota State.
How will the ARP HEERF III Base Awards be distributed?
To expedite distribution of these funds, eligible students will receive their cash funds through direct deposit provided by BankMobile, the system that Century College uses to process funds to students. Students who already have their direct deposit in place with BankMobile will receive funds within 5-7 business days after receipt of a direct communication (Century College email) from Century College. Students who currently do not have direct deposit set up with BankMobile should take immediate action to visit the BankMobile web page for more information and to set up a direct deposit preference. Students who do not set up a BankMobile direct deposit will delay receipt of their funds up to 2-3 weeks or more to allow for a paper check distribution process. If direct deposit is not set up, students will forfeit their funds and the money will be redistributed to other students through the ARP Special Circumstance Awards.
Students who receive ARP HEERF III Base Award aid should note that the federal government has issued guidance regarding the tax status of this disbursement and the funds are not considered taxable income.
What is the ARP HEERF III Special Circumstances Awards (grant)?
Similar to CRRSAA Special Circumstance Awards that were available with HEERF II funds, Century College will create an application process for students to apply for a ARP HEERF III Special Circumstances Award. These funds will be available to eligible Century students to cover expenses related to COVID-19. These need-based emergency grant awards will be granted to students providing documentation of special circumstances in which these additional funds can help support and ensure students’ ability to continue their education at Century.
Student Eligibility Criteria
- Must have current registration and be enrolled at Century College in the semester for which the student is requesting aid.
- Must be a degree-seeking student.
- Must have received an ARP Base award.
- Must have a need for assistance with expenses related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are limited funds available to help support students and completed applications will be processed in the order they were received until funds have been exhausted. Special Circumstance/Emergency awards will be made up to $500 per student per semester ($1,000 per 2021-2022 academic year).
Funds can be used for income loss due to changes in employment, expenses for online learning, tuition, housing, food, childcare, health care, and caring for a family member impacted by COVID-19.
What is the process to apply for ARP HEERF III Special Circumstances Award?
Funds are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.
- Complete ARP Special Circumstances/Emergency Grant Award application
Award Amounts and Disbursement
- This is a first come, first served award until funds are no longer available.
- Award maximum is $500 per student per semester once during the 2021-2022 academic year.
- Must have received an ARP Base Award during the term you are requesting ARP Special Circumstances Emergency Grant Award.