Students enrolled for summer 2021 invited to apply for COVID-19 relief grants

August 09, 2021

Editor's note: The application for summer 2021 American Rescue Plan student emergency grants has closed. Details on American Rescue Plan student grant funding for the fall 2021 semester will be shared on Penn State News as soon as possible. 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students who were enrolled at any point during summer session 2021 and who are experiencing financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are now able to apply for an emergency financial aid grant from the University’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III allocation. 

As authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, Penn State’s HEERF III allocation includes nearly $76.2 million for student emergency financial aid grants. Penn State is awarding $10 million of these funds to summer enrollees via two rounds of funding. In the first round announced on Aug. 2, the University awarded grants worth up to $1,000 to more than 8,000 students with exceptional financial need, as determined by data from the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Knowing that not all students have filed a FAFSA and that some students and their families are experiencing unanticipated financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State will disburse all remaining ARP funds allocated for this summer — approximately $2 million — during an application-based second round of funding. Students in need can apply for a grant online now through the Office of Student Aid.

Grants will be worth up to $1,000 per student and do not need to be repaid. The funds can be used to cover any component of a student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs due to COVID-19, including tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care, provided that the expense was incurred on or after the start of the national COVID-19 emergency on March 13, 2020. Submission of an application serves as affirmation that a student will use the grant for eligible expenses in accordance with the American Rescue Plan.

Penn State students at all campuses, including World Campus students, who were enrolled during summer session 2021 can apply. Under U.S. Department of Education guidelines, all students, regardless of citizenship status, are eligible to receive these federal funds. 

Funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until all ARP funds allocated for summer 2021 have been awarded. To help as many students as possible, priority for grant application requests will be given to those students who have not already received an American Rescue Plan grant. Students who are awarded funding will receive notification via their Penn State email account, and all ARP second-round awards will be refunded directly to the student. 

Following the summer awards and to help meet anticipated ongoing student financial need due to the pandemic, Penn State will allocate all remaining ARP student funds during the 2021-22 academic year. 

For more information about the summer 2021 American Rescue Plan grants and to apply for aid, visit the online application. Answers to frequently asked questions about the emergency grants can be found on Penn State’s official coronavirus information website.

Last Updated September 08, 2021