Explained: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III


Julia Balli, Executive Editor

On Oct. 4, 2021, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students received an email from the Provost Office regarding information about the recently approved financial aid grant Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) available to aid students struggling financially from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“HEERF III is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Similar to the HEERF II grant available to students in the spring 2021 semester, the HEERF III grant is to help UWL students with financial needs brought on by COVID-19, including tuition, housing, education, living expenses, etc. All currently enrolled degree or certificate-seeking students are eligible to apply.

With its $9.1 million allocations from the HEERF III, UWL is awarding all Federal Pell Grant recipients (as of Sept. 20, 2021) a $2,000 financial aid grant. These awards represent $2.8 million and will benefit roughly 1,400 students. 

UWL’s remaining $6.3 million in HEERF III funding will be awarded to students with an exceptional need through a grant application process. This is expected to help around 4,200-plus students.

As stated by the Provost Office, “Students who received the Federal Pell Grant this fall have automatically been awarded this emergency grant to ensure assistance to those most in need. This award is already in WINGS and you do not need to apply.”

For those not receiving the Federal Pell Grant, students are able to request financial support in the form of a one-time $1,500 grant. As stated in the email, “Upon submission, a decision will be made based on the funding available and the eligibility criteria. A member of the Financial Aid Office team will respond to applicants within five business days.”

According to the UWL Provost Office, all eligible applications will be considered, and the grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the funding is exhausted.

To apply for the HEERF III grant, click here. For more information or questions, contact the UWL Financial Aid Office at [email protected] or call (608) 785-8604.