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HEERF III ARP Emergency Student Funds Information

HEERF III ARP Emergency Student Funds Information

From Office of Financial Aid
September 2, 2021
COVID-19

PURPOSE

Doane University has received funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III American Recovery Plan (ARP), enacted on March 11, 2021. We will use the student portion of the funds to provide direct emergency aid to Doane students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The ARP requires institutions to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, to award financial aid grants. However, students do not need to be only Pell recipients or even eligible for Pell grants. Also, the ARP explicitly provides that student emergency relief aid funds may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education. Many Doane students above the Pell-eligibility threshold have exceptional financial need. Therefore, Doane prioritized undergraduate, graduate, and online students with an Estimated Family Contribution of up to $15,000 for student emergency relief aid funds.

Student emergency relief aid funds provide emergency aid directly to Doane students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Students may use emergency relief aid funds for any component of a student's cost of attendance or emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care. An emergency relief aid recipient is welcome to apply their funds to their student account balance with Doane, but they are not required to do so.

A committee at Doane, including vice presidents, directors, and staff from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Financial Aid; Student Experience; Finance and Administration; and Grants and Foundations Relations, has reviewed all legislation's guidelines and requirements. We realize we are still in unprecedented and challenging times for everyone. Many of our students and families continue to deal with issues they could not have imagined. We also recognize that the ARP awards for students may not cover all the qualifying expenses you have incurred related to the disruption in your education caused by the coronavirus outbreak. We are aware of the pressures you face currently. We do not wish to place an additional burden upon students and families by requiring an application process requiring individual review of applications and determination of award amounts. Therefore, the Committee established a process where emergency aid will be distributed efficiently while considering all our students' financial needs.

ARP FUNDS

Doane University received a total of $2,196,625 through the ARP as emergency financial aid for students in May 2021. The ARP requires the University to spend all of its funds in one calendar year and report to the federal government on the method of use of institution funds, the distribution of student funds, and information shared with students about distributing funds.

DISTRIBUTION METHODS

Group 1: Eligible students through May 31, 2021 who completed a FAFSA.

  • Doane will distribute 81% of available student aid funds ($1,777,200) to students determined to be eligible according to federal guidelines AND who completed the 2020-21 FAFSA (to determine exceptional need) who were enrolled in the following semesters/terms: Spring 21 semester, Crete campus, and the 21/WIN2 and 21/SPR terms, Lincoln and Omaha campuses, and online. See eligibility guidelines below. The Financial Aid Office conducted an extensive communication campaign in May and June 2021 encouraging all students to complete the 2020-21 FAFSA by mid-June. This included messaging informing students of the opportunity to complete Doane’s Special Circumstance Professional Judgment process if they felt their FAFSA EFC did not accurately reflect theirs or their parent’s current financial situation.
  • No action was required to determine eligibility. Using the information we have on file, we have determined eligibility for funds and the amount of funds students will receive. Doane University will not require students to complete an application to receive ARP emergency aid funds.
  • Following guidance from the federal government, Doane will distribute aid to eligible students with exceptional need based on a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). See the distribution summary below.
  • No action is required to receive these funds. The Business Office will disburse Group 1 funds between September 1 and September 10, 2021. If a student is set up for direct deposit, the funds will be deposited into the student's bank account. If not, the Business Office will mail a check to the address listed in the student's account.

Group 2: Fall 2021 eligible students with exeptional need.

The HEERF committee will distribute the remaining ARP funds by December 2021. Information about Group 2 ARP awards will be available on this page.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for ARP funds students must meet the following criteria:

  • The ARP has fewer eligibility restrictions than the CRRSSA and CARES Act. The ARP explicitly provides that emergency relief aid funds to students may be provided to students exclusively enrolled in distance education and non-degree seeking, non-credit, dual enrollment, and continuing education students.
  • Unlike CARES Act and CRRSSA funds, undocumented students (citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students) and international students ARE eligible to receive ARP funds. The Financial Aid Office worked directly with eligible students in these categories to determine exceptional need which required the completion of a FAFSA-like form to determine their EFC. These students were also able to complete the Special Circumstance Professional Judgment process if they felt their FAFSA EFC did not accurately reflect theirs or their parent’s current financial situation.
  • Doane used information on file with the University to determine individual eligibility for ARP emergency aid for students.

DISTRIBUTION SUMMARY: Group 1

To determine ARP funding levels, Doane examined five tiers of Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Doane uses these tiers within our financial aid practices for the University. The following table includes the five EFC tiers.

TIERS ESTIMATED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION
Tier 5 Equal to or more than $30,001
Tier 4 $15,001-$30,000
Tier 3 $6,001-$15,000
Tier 2 $1-$6,000*
Tier 1 Less than $1*

*Includes Pell-eligible students with an EFC of $5,711

Students in Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are typically those with the highest financial need. Students in Tier 3 are sometimes particularly in need, as they are not eligible for Pell grants. Like the CRRSAA, the ARP requires institutions to prioritize students with exceptional need in awarding student emergency relief aid funds. In reviewing the data of eligible students, the committee determined that students in the EFC range between less than $1 to $15,000 would be prioritized as having exceptional need. The following table shows the distribution of ARP funds according to EFC Tiers and undergraduate or graduate-level status.

DISTRIBUTION TIERS (Amount awarded: $1,777,200 - 81% of Total) Percent Distribution INDIVIDUAL AWARDS PER TIER BASED ON ENROLLMENT AND ELIGIBILITY
Tier 3 Undergraduates: 19% of funds ($345,000) $1,500
Graduates: 9% of funds ($153,000) $1,000
Tier 2 Undergraduates: 24% of funds ($430,200) $1,800
Graduates: 12% of funds ($211,900) $1,300
Tier 1 Undergraduates: 24% of funds ($417,900) $2,100        
Graduates: 12% of funds ($219,200) $1,600

A Committee, including the following individuals, developed this process:

Jason Cottam, Director of Budget and Post Award Administration
Heather Kester, Associate Director of Financial Aid
Nancy Murphy, Financial Aid Counselor, Financial Aid Office
Fred Pena, Director of Financial Aid
Kelli Schweitzer, Bursar
Luis Sotelo, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Sarah Zulkoski, Director of Grants and Foundations Relations