Students May Now Apply for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Valencia College has opened applications for the first round of student aid made possible by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II).

In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was signed into law. Under CRSSAA, the United States Department of Education (ED) made available $21.2 billion to distribute to institutions of higher education to ensure learning continues for students during COVID-19 through the HEERF II. Valencia College will receive $59.5 million in CRSSAA funds from the ED. Of this amount, at least $13.8 million must be used for student aid.

The College has identified potentially eligible students who are registered in at least one course in the Spring 2021 term, completed a 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and are classified as degree-seeking.

In addition, per CRRSAA requirements that institutions must prioritize students with exceptional need, students who completed the FAFSA and have an estimated family contribution of zero will receive a grant in the amount of $500. The estimated family contribution is an index number used to calculate how much financial aid students are eligible to receive. CRSSAA aid-eligible students who submit the FAFSA but do not have an estimated family contribution of zero will receive a $300 grant.

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Student Affairs team sent potentially eligible students one of six targeted emails regarding the application process. For an example of an email sent to potentially eligible students who have an estimated family contribution of zero, click here. The deadline for students to apply is Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

Degree-seeking students enrolled this spring who could not be eligible for HEERF II funds were notified about an opportunity to apply for financial support through the Valencia Support Fund, which has been made available by the Valencia College Foundation and other College funds. For a sample email sent to students about support through the Valencia Support Fund, click here.

Just one day after opening the application, more than 4,600 students completed the HEERF II application. This represents nearly 19% of those eligible.

Details on the plans for additional rounds of financial aid distribution for students and institutional funds will be shared when they become available.

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