How is Penn State awarding student emergency grants from its federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II allocation?

Penn State was allotted nearly $85 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II as part of the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. As prescribed by law, at least $27.5 million of Penn State’s allocation will be awarded to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants, matching the dollar amount Penn State students received last year under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Penn State will again distribute the student grants via two rounds of funding. In the first round, the University will award grants to more than 23,000 students. These first-round grants prioritize students with exceptional financial need, as required by the CRRSAA, based on data from the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who are Pell Grant-eligible will each be offered $1,200, and all other students identified for an award will be offered $1,000 each.

The University also will award grants via a second round of funding that will use an application process to support students in need who were not identified to receive funding during the first round. Details about this application-based second round of funding will be shared broadly in the near future.