Updated as of June 10, 2021.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Relief Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021 for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III?

Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and who have exceptional financial need can be considered for these funds. The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) will use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA or WASA but have not yet filed for 2021-22 and need assistance, please file a FAFSA at studentaid.gov and a WASFA at https://readysetgrad.wa.gov/wasfa.

Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students enrolled at the UW. Students enrolled through Continuum College fee-based degree programs are eligible for consideration too.

What is a UW Federal Emergency Relief Fund III standard grant?

The federal government directed universities to prioritize students with exceptional financial need.  The UW wants to provide economic relief quickly to students who may have experienced additional expenses and/or a loss of income due to COVID-19.  Therefore, we have used the HEERF III emergency aid funds to provide a standard relief grant of $1,800 based on the family income reported on your FAFSA or WASFA in Spring 2021.

The specific criteria for the UW Federal Emergency Relief Fund standard grant awarded in Spring 2021 is as follows—

  • Undergraduate or graduate student in a degree program, enrolled at least half time for spring quarter 2021
  • Meet basic eligibility requirements for federal aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965
  • A 2020-21 FAFSA or WASFA on record with the UW’s Office of Student Financial Aid
  • Family income in the low- to low-middle income levels based on FAFSA or WASFA information.

When will Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds III be available?

Funds were disbursed starting June 10, 2021 and we continue to make awards to students. Recipients are notified via a message to their UW email account if awarded HEERF III relief funds.

How can I use the UW Federal Emergency Relief Fund III standard grant?

These funds are meant to help students pay expenses for technology, health care, child care, course materials, rent, food moving or other expenses incurred during the pandemic. If you have yet to experience financial stress due to COVID-19, these funds can help with unanticipated expenses or income loss that may occur throughout the summer and into future quarters.

Some students who file individual requests for assistance may also receive a grant from the UW Federal Emergency Relief III fund as we continue to provide assistance to students who encounter new financial challenges from the pandemic.

Why didn’t I receive a UW Federal Emergency Relief Fund III standard grant?

Students who did not meet the basic eligibility criteria for the standard grant as described above and/or did not demonstrate exceptional financial need are not eligible for federal HEERF III grants. However, the UW may be able to help you with emergency aid from other institutional or private donations. These funds are limited, but we encourage you to apply. We will review your request and determine if we can offer you assistance.

If you are eligible for aid through the FAFSA or WASFA or an international student, but did not receive the UW Federal Emergency Relief Fund III standard grant described above, you can notify our office for a review of your situation by submitting a request for emergency aid.  This application usually takes less than five minutes to complete.

When we award a standard grant, we must make some assumptions about students’ needs in order to award the funds quickly.  Sometimes these broad assumptions miss students that may have great financial need as well. We recognize that you may have need even if you don’t meet the standard grant criteria listed above. We know that many families’ income is in flux or there may be additional expenses associated due to the pandemic. We need to hear from you in order to determine if we can offer you funds too. Please file the emergency aid request to help with your immediate needs and consider filing a request for change in income or expenses for other financial aid funds for longer term and future needs. You can find more information about changing your financial aid information here.

What emergency relief funds are available for undocumented students?

HEERF III emergency grant funding is available to undocumented students.  Undocumented students who meet the criteria for standard grants as listed above received a standard HEERF III grant or a Washington Emergency Relief Grant.

If you have higher COVID-19 expenses than the standard relief grant amount, you can submit a request for emergency aid.

The information on your Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) form was used to establish your eligibility. If you have not filed the WASFA form for 2021-22 and you need assistance, please apply at https://readysetgrad.wa.gov/wasfa.

What emergency relief funds are available for international students?

International students can receive HEERF III emergency grant funding and are encouraged to file an emergency aid application if you need emergency assistance. These funds are limited and recipients must demonstrate exceptional financial need.  These funds are generally awarded to help with living expenses.

You may also want to review the resources page on the International Student Services website.

 

If you have any questions that are not addressed above, please contact our office.