American Rescue Plan (ARP) (HEERF III) Funding
On March 11, 2021 the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) was authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds total $76.2 billion.
DCTC received $2,569,369 in Direct Student Aid grants. Following the HEERF guidelines for Direct Student Aid Grants, we split the American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant funds by allocating 50% to Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. Recognizing that the historical FAFSA is not a strong predictor of current or future financial conditions, we made an initial $400 distribution to all students in the form of a Student Success Grant.
Our theory was that starting day one with course textbooks and supplies enhances overall student success and persistence. Experience has shown that less successful students tend to defer textbook purchases until they can save up enough to make the purchase later in the term. Lacking the tools and data to discern the current economic effects of the pandemic on students starting the term, our goal was to provide an equitable starting point for all students.
The assumption is that the Student Success Awards will allow all students to start the term equipped with books and essentials necessary to be successful, day one. This ensures that all students start the term fully equipped with textbooks and supplies, rather than deferring until they have saved up enough to make those purchases.
We are prioritizing students experiencing the greatest financial needs by making a supplemental distribution to all Pell-eligible students after the last day to drop classes (week 3). This distribution will result in Pell-eligible students receiving a supplemental ARP grant of $725.
The $2,569,369 ARP Award received in May 2021 was distributed per the table below as direct distributions of $400 to all students, a $725 Pell=eligible supplemental grant, and Emergency Grant Requests. We will continue to offer need-based grants, using an application process, through the Summer and Fall of 2021, and Spring 2022.
In addition to investments in infrastructure social distancing protocols and student loaner technology (laptops and internet hotspots) we have used HEERF Institutional Funds to pay off student balances incurred between Spring 2020 and Spring 2021. We are also using Institutional Funds to hire additional academic advisors and mental health professionals to provide counseling support to address the needs expressed by our students.
More Information about Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds