Time Sensitive: Additional Federal Stimulus Funds for Students (HEERF III)

November 5, 2021

To:  All Students
From:  Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University
Subject: Time Sensitive: Additional Federal Stimulus Funds for Students (HEERF III)
Date:  November 5, 2021

I write today to announce the availability of additional federal funding for eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students. Pursuant to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), enacted on March 11, 2021, the University of Chicago has been allocated additional federal funding under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III).

Of the HEERF III funds allocated to the University of Chicago under the Act, approximately $8.1 million will be directed to eligible UChicago students in the form of financial grants. The ARP requires the University to prioritize students with “exceptional need” when distributing these funds and expands the eligibility pool to UChicago students regardless of citizenship status. This means that U.S. citizens, permanent residents, international students, refugee and asylum seekers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, and students who are undocumented are eligible to apply for HEERF III student grants.

In order to prioritize distribution of HEERF III funds to students with exceptional need, the University will award and disburse grants as follows.

HEERF III Block Grant

The University will make an initial award of $1,500 via grants to undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students who have been identified based on reported 2019 income provided on their 2021-2022 FAFSA.

  • Eligibility is based on 2021-2022 FAFSA-reported 2019 income,
  • Enrollment in Autumn Quarter 2021, as of October 22, 2021,
  • Eligible grant recipients do not need to submit an application to receive the funds, which will be distributed by the Office of the Bursar starting November 15, 2021 via direct deposit or, if students are not enrolled in direct deposit, by paper check to the address on file with the Bursar.

HEERF III Application Process

All students, including those who have received a block grant, who meet the eligibility requirements described below (and in the HEERF III FAQ) are welcome to submit an application for HEERF III funding.

Please be sure to read the following carefully. The HEERF III application will be available starting on November 8, 2021 via my.UChicago.edu under the “Finances” tab.

  1. For students who are eligible to receive federal student aid (i.e., U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, U.S. nationals or other Title IV-eligible non-citizens as described here):
    1. Students who meet the eligibility requirements will need to submit a HEERF III application, a 2021-22 FAFSA (if they have not already), as well as any supplemental materials needed, by 12:00 PM CST on November 22, 2021.
      1. In order to be eligible for HEERF III funding, students must meet the following requirements:
        1. Income threshold, equal to or less than:
          1. $175,000 USD parent income for undergraduate students
          2. $35,000 USD student income for graduate/professional students
            • If you or your family’s 2019 income as noted on your FAFSA exceeds the income threshold, you will be able to upload documentation of changes in financial status to your HEERF III application.
        2.  Students must be enrolled in Autumn Quarter 2021.
        3. HEERF III funds must be used for students’ cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus.
      2. A full list of eligibility requirements, as well as information on accepted forms of supplemental documentation, can be found in the HEERF III FAQ.
  2. For students who are not eligible to receive federal student aid (international students, refugee and asylum seekers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, and students who are undocumented):
    1. Students who meet the eligibility requirements will need to submit a HEERF III application by 12:00 PM CST on November 22, 2021.  Students who are ineligible to receive federal student aid should not attempt to file a FAFSA, as it could delay the processing of your HEERF III application.
  3. In order to be eligible for HEERF III funding, these students must meet the following requirements:
    1. Income threshold, equal to or less than:
      1. $175,000 USD parent income for undergraduate students
      2. $35,000 USD student income for graduate/professional students
    2. Students must be enrolled in Autumn Quarter 2021.
    3. HEERF III funds must be used for students’ cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus.
  4. For more information on applying for HEERF III funding, please review the FAQ questions related to non-FAFSA filer applicants.

Depending on availability of HEERF III grant funds and the number of eligible students who apply, students may or may not be awarded the full amount of funds requested.  Maximum award amounts for applications are anticipated to be approximately $1,000 or less.

For further information on HEERF III, including specific eligibility requirements, details on the application process, and information about HEERF III block grants or funding, please visit the University’s HEERF III FAQ or email studentheerf@uchicago.edu.