How is Penn State awarding student emergency grants from its federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III/American Rescue Plan allocation?

Penn State received more than $150 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III as part of the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP), which was signed into law on March 11, 2021. As prescribed by law, approximately $76.2 million of Penn State’s allocation will be awarded to students with exceptional financial need.

To help meet anticipated ongoing student need as a result of the pandemic, Penn State began disbursing the funds in summer 2021 and will continue awarding student emergency grants during the 2021-22 academic year. The University has until May 2022 to distribute all funds to students.

Penn State awarded summer 2021 ARP student grants via two rounds of funding. In the first round, the University awarded grants worth up to $1,000 each to more than 8,000 students enrolled for summer 2021. These first-round grants prioritized students with exceptional financial need, as required by the American Rescue Plan, based on data from the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The University opened an application-based second round of funding on Aug. 9 to support students with financial need who were not identified to receive a grant during the first round. Nearly 1,000 students enrolled for summer 2021 were awarded grants totaling approximately $1 million during the second-round process. While the summer 2021 application has closed, details on fall 2021 ARP student grant funding will be announced in the near future.