Coronavirus Federal Student Funding

HEERF III

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III), authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law on March 11, 2021. The ARP provided $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pomona College received funding through HEERF III to provide financial aid grants to students. These grants may be used for 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 childcare.

Which Students Will Receive HEERF III Financial Aid Grants?

Three groups of students are eligible for HEERF III funds:

  • Students who were enrolled at Pomona College on September 13, 2021 (fall census) and applied for and received need based financial aid; or
  • Students who previously received emergency student grants through HEERF I (CARES Act) or HEERF II (CCRSA Act) and graduated during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic years; or
  • Students who previously received emergency student grants through HEERF I (CARES Act) or HEERF II (CCRSA Act) and are active students on a leave of absence or nonenrolled senior status for the Fall 2021 semester.

How Much Will Students Receive?

There are three levels of payments: $250, $1,500, and $2,250. Currently enrolled students will receive either $1,500 or $2,250, depending on their amount of financial need. Higher grant funds were directed to students with exceptional financial need. Eligible students on leave, in a nonenrolled senior status or who have graduated will receive $250.

Will Undocumented, DACA, and International Students Receive Funds?

Yes, HEERF III funds are no longer restricted by eligibility for federal student aid (Title IV) or citizenship status.

When Will Pomona Disburse HEERF III Financial Aid Grants to Students?

Pomona released funding to currently enrolled students on November 3, 2021. Direct deposit payments were posted to student accounts and paper checks were printed and sent to student mailboxes. Funding to students on leave, nonenrolled seniors and students who have previously graduated will be released beginning in December 2021 once contact information has been verified.

Is The Grant Taxable?

The federal grant to students is not taxable income.

What Can I Use My Grant For?

Federal HEERF funds may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance such as tuition, fees, food, housing, books, personal expenses, health insurance or to cover any amount due to the student account for either this year or next. The funds could also be used for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care, mental health care or child care, which includes expenses that arise during the school year or school breaks.

What If I Have Additional Financial Hardship due to the Covid-19 Emergency?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, students and their families have experienced varying levels of personal and financial hardship. The Office of Financial Aid continues to be available to assist students when these hardships arise through the financial aid appeal process. Students are encouraged to seek a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or other circumstances that might present financial hardship. Students can reach out to their financial aid counselor or submit a Change in Circumstances form to initiate the appeal process.

Can I Return the Funds if I Cannot Use Them?

While the intended use of the funds is broad, if a student cannot use the funds for school expenses or other emergency costs, they may return the funds by emailing FinanceOfficeAP@pomona.edu.

HEERF II

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II), authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. The CRRSAA authorized financial support for education.

Pomona College received funding through HEERF II to provide financial aid grants to students. These grants may be used for 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 childcare.

Which Students Will Receive HEERF II Financial Aid Grants?

Student who have submitted a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2020-21 academic year and were enrolled at Pomona on Sept. 5, 2020 and/or Feb. 9, 2021 are eligible for HEERF II emergency grants.

How Much Will Students Receive?

There are three levels of payments: $400, $600, and $1,004 with higher fund levels directed to students with higher financial need as demonstrated through their application for financial aid.

Will Undocumented, DACA, and International Students Receive Funds?

Congressional funding did not allow distribution to undocumented, DACA and international students, but Pomona College has used college resources to provide emergency funds with the same award amounts as provided through the HEERF II funds.

When Will Pomona Disburse HEERF II Financial Aid Grants to Students?

Pomona begins releasing funds on May 14, 2021. Students who have previously enrolled in direct deposit with Pomona College will receive an automatic deposit of funds to their bank account. All others will receive payment by check mailed to their address on file with Pomona.

Is the Grant Taxable?

The federal grant to students is not taxable income.

What Can I Use My Grant For?

Federal HEERF funds may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance such as tuition, fees, food, housing, books, personal expenses, health insurance or to cover any amount due to the student account for either this year or next. The funds could also be used for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care, mental health care or child care, which includes expenses that arise in the summer or the upcoming school year.

Can I Return the Funds if I Cannot Use Them?

While the intended use of the funds is broad, if a student cannot use the funds for current or upcoming school expenses or other emergency costs, they may return the funds by emailing FinanceOfficeAP@pomona.edu.

CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is federal legislation that provides financial support to individuals and organizations affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The CARES Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), with a portion of those funds earmarked for student support and a portion earmarked for institutional costs.

Read more about the CARES Act reports and disclosures required under Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act for Pomona College regarding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

When will Pomona disburse CARES Act funds to students?

The CARES funding was issued to students on June 30 and July 1, 2020. The grant payments were issued to students through direct deposit or check.

The College provided CARES Act funds to those students who were enrolled as of March 13, 2020 with a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file.

Will graduating seniors receive CARES Act funds?

Yes. The pool of students who will be considered for eligibility to receive CARES funds or matching funds from private sources will include students enrolled as of March 13, 2020, including graduating seniors.

Which students will receive CARES Act funds?

Pomona College provided CARES Act funds to those students who were enrolled as of March 13, 2020 and who have a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file and meet Title IV eligibility requirements.

If you have not filed a FAFSA while enrolled at Pomona and need CARES Act funding, complete and submit the 2019-20 FAFSA application by June 12, 2020 and list Pomona as a recipient. (The federal school code is 001173.)

Pomona students who are eligible to participate in federal aid programs, and thus able to fill out the FAFSA but who have not yet done so can receive CARES Act funds once they submit this form.

Will undocumented, DACA, and international students receive CARES Act funds?

The CARES Act excludes undocumented, DACA, and international students from receiving these emergency funds. However, the College will provide emergency funds from its own resources to those undocumented, DACA, and international students who receive financial aid.