Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)
Southwestern University is pleased to announce the availability of emergency grants for students from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III). These funds have been made available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act., and provides direct emergency financial aid grants to students. In total, the university was allocated $1,617,561 in HEERF III funding for direct grants to students.
Guidance from the US Department of Education indicates that these funds are intended to assist students with any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.
The guidance directed Southwestern to prioritize students with the greatest need, and develop policies that help to distribute these funds as widely as possible. In addition, the guidance indicated all students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants. This includes international students or other non-US citizens.
At Southwestern, this means that to be eligible for a HEERF III Grant a student must be enrolled (in person or online) at Southwestern in the Fall of 2021 or be participating in an approved study abroad/study away program in the Fall of 2021. New students who enroll at Southwestern in the Spring of 2022 may also be eligible, pending the availability of funding.
What do I need to do to receive a HEERF Grant? Students must complete a Payment Preference Form to indicate how they want their funds paid.
How will I know how much HEERF III funding I can receive? Students will be assigned to a tier using the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined through the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The amounts awarded in each tier, and application requirements, are as follows:
|Group||Eligibility criteria||Award Amount per student||Action Required?|
|Tier 1||EFC range: 0 - 5,846||$1,500||Complete a Payment Preference Form|
5,847 - 22,600
|$1,100||Complete a Payment Preference Form|
|Tier 3||EFC above 22,600 or FAFSA not filed||
Complete a Payment Preference Form
How can I confirm the amount for which I am eligible?
Beginning September 10, 2021 students will be notified of their award amount via their SU email account. Instructions for completing the Payment Preference Form will be included.
What are the options for receiving funds?
HEERF III Grants may be applied to student accounts with written permission from the student or the student may choose to have their funds sent directly to the same bank account where their student account refunds are sent. Therefore, students must indicate their choice using the Payment Preference Form.
Students may select from the following options:
- Apply the total award to the SU student account
- Apply a portion of the award to pay off the SU student account balance and send the remaining amount via E-check using the student account refund direct deposit information on file.
- Send the total award amount via E-check using the student account refund direct deposit information on file.
When and how will I receive my funds?
Payments made using direct deposit will be sent based on the schedule below.
May I apply HEERF funds to my outstanding balance on my SU Student Account?
Yes. You may use these funds to help pay the remaining balance on your student account, using the Payment Preference Form.
Southwestern is pleased to be able to assist students during this challenging time. Questions regarding the HEERF Grants may be directed to the following offices:
Questions regarding general HEERF eligibility and the FAFSA.
SU Financial Aid Office: 512-863-1259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions regarding general HEERF eligibility, direct deposits, and student refunds
SU Business Office: 512-863-1928 or email@example.com