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, $27.5 million of Penn State’s allocation was 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 distributed the CRRSAA student grants via two rounds of funding. In the first round, the University awarded grants totaling nearly $25.6 million to approximately 23,000 students. These first-round grants prioritized 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 were each offered $1,200, and all other students identified for an award were offered $1,000 each. Students who were offered grants in the first round had until 5 p.m. on June 1 to accept or decline the aid.
The University opened an application-based second round of funding on June 7 to disburse the remaining $1.9 million to students in need who were not identified to receive funding during the first round. As of June 10, all CRRSAA student grant funds have been awarded and the application has closed.