The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provided $40 billion in COVID-19 aid to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), accessible through Sept. 30, 2023. Below are details on how ARPA/HEERF funds will be allocated, how they must be used and helpful resources to learn more about what this could mean for your institution.

Funding breakdown:

  • $36 billion for public and private not-for-profit institutions
  • $3 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, and Strengthening Institutions Program institutions
  • $198 million for institutions that the Department of Education determines have the greatest unmet needs related to COVID-19
  • Approximately $396 million for proprietary institutions

How ARPA/HEERF funds must be used

  • Student portion of received funds:
    • At least 50% of received funds must be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students, which may be applied toward:
      • Any component of the student’s cost of attendance
      • Emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19, such as tuition, food, housing, child care or health care – including mental health care
  • Institutional portion of received funds (This portion is most applicable for academic libraries seeking funding for technology support):

Learn more

Want to learn more about APRA/HEERF funding? We’ve compiled the resources below to help you navigate what’s possible for your institution:

Contact your institution’s development office to kick off the ARPA/HEERF funding process for your library. Happy reading!