COVID19

ARP ACT OF 2021

Funding has been allocated under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act which was signed into law on March 11, 2021. These funds have been provided by the federal government to directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Helena College University of Montana has disbursed funds as emergency grants to students in accordance with federal guidelines for this funding.

Helena College received $1,243,261 from the U.S. Department of Education to support students. As of April 12, 2022, approximately $1,209,336 has been distributed to 870 students. This amount will be updated every fiscal quarter as prescribed by the Federal Department of Education.

Out of the College’s eligible population for the spring 2022 term, four tiers of approximately 630 students were eligible to receive Emergency Financial Grants under CRRSAA.

The methods used to determine which and how many students received in emergency fund grants under section 18004(a)(1) of the CRRSA Act follow:

  • Any student enrolled as of March 20, 2020.
  • Any student with an outstanding balance from the Spring 2020 term through the Fall 2021 term.
  • Students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs were included.
  • Dual enrolled students and Continuing Education students were included.
  • Eligible under section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
  • Awards will be prioritized based on the 2021/2022 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is the value calculated from the 2021/2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • Helena College has selected an approach to equitably help as many eligible students as possible, prioritizing need based on the calculated EFC and institutional cost of attendance with a four-tiered approach. This approach excludes dually enrolled students and those in the Continuing Education programs. However, monies have been set aside explicitly to assist these students.
  • Students will be contacted in need in order to allow for distribution and evaluation of resources.
  • Students will also be pointed towards other entities for assistance, such as SNAP, LIHEAP, and unemployment.
  • Approximately 72% of the ARP student funds were utilized for the auto awards within the four-tiered approach. Approximately 4% was reserved for continuing education students, and less than 1% was reserved for dual-enrolled students. The remaining 23% will be utilized to assist students who submit an emergency need application. These funds will be disbursed via an application or appeal process that has been distributed via email. 

Instructions, directions, and guidance were provided to eligible students by email and subsequent application. The application certifies that eligible students had a qualifying expense [1] or hardship related to COVID-19 campus disruption.

  1. Qualifying expenses include but are not limited to technology and connectivity needs related to distance learning, books and other instructional expenses for online modality, medical/healthcare costs, childcare, and food insecurity.


Last Updated: 4/12/2022

FAQS

The American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARP) is federal legislation that was signed into law on March 11, 2021. It provides a variety of emergency financial support to individuals and organizations affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. The ARP includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF3) that provides more than $39.6 billion in emergency funding to institutions of higher education. 
No, ARP grants do not need to be repaid.
No, ARP grants will not impact other financial aid. This is a special grant to help you manage unexpected expenses related to the coronavirus and continue your education despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will not affect other financial aid you may be eligible to receive.
No, these funds are considered emergency relief and therefore are not taxable.

Questions?

Please contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@helenacollege.edu with any questions about ARP funding.

If you have questions about your refund status, please contact the Business Office at 406-447-6921.

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