Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) contained the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III which provides emergency funding to universities to assist students in need during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Per guidance from the federal government, these grants will be distributed to our students with exceptional need, which will be identified by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  

UNI has received HEERF III funding and will establish an award to distribute grants ranging from $1,250-$1,750 to eligible students to help cover expenses related to the cost of attendance (e.g., food, housing and utilities, health insurance, including mental health care, transportation, or child care) or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus. 

  • Funds from the HEERF III are not considered financial aid and do not affect a student's current or future financial aid eligibility. 

Eligibility and Awarding

Eligible students will meet the following requirements: 

  • You must be an enrolled graduate or undergraduate student for fall 2021.

  • You must demonstrate need, which is measured by the 2021-2022 FAFSA (those completed by September 6, 2021 will be fully considered).  No additional application is necessary.

    • Award ranges are still being determined, however an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0-15000 was utilized previously.  Final eligibility will be determined based on the number of eligible students.  

    • International students (and those unable to complete a FAFSA) will have “financial need” determined by a referral process, including a review on a case by case basis. 

  • If awarded funds will credit directly to a student’s u-bill and will not pay existing charges, unless the student has granted permission by September 6.  See below for details on how to grant permission for HEERF III funds to credit towards existing university charges. 

  • It is highly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit for timely receipt of any overpayment. 

Granting Permission to Use HEERF III Funds Toward the U-Bill

Students will have the opportunity to direct these funds towards payment of their university bill by following these instructions on granting permission: Granting Permissions for Federal Aid or HEERF III.

If students choose not to grant permission to use these funds toward their U-Bill, students would receive the entire balance in the form of a refund.  Any overpayment of the U-Bill would be refunded normal.  The refund would need to be used for educational expenses such as tuition, food, books, housing, health care, child care, or other expenses related to the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency. 

Students not eligible for HEERF III funding and in need of financial support can reach out to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to determine what additional financing resources exist for them. 


Are HEERF III funds taxable income?

No, HEERF III funds are not considered taxable income (as of 2/22/21), however with regard to student emergency grants, the notice states that there is no requirement to report those amounts on the Form 1099-MISC; however, it states that “the waiver does not apply to the requirement to file and furnish Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, with respect to any payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses, including qualified tuition and related expenses paid with grants described in this notice.”  Information provided by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.  Full news release.