Texas Community Colleges

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III)

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Funds for WTC Students

The deadline to apply for aid for the Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 ARPA Act was Thursday, April 14, 2022. 

The deadline has passed to submit an application. This page remains for informational purposes only.


Frequently Asked Questions

View a copy of the HEERF III Online Application
(
for informational purposes only)

Western Texas College students who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for a new wave of financial relief funding. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), a third coronavirus relief bill signed into law on March 11, 2021. The ARPA provides $1.9 trillion in federal stimulus funding, including approximately $39.6 billion for higher education. 

Western Texas College (WTC) will distribute government grant funding via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These funds are from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III), a federal grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide financial aid grants to students who experienced unexpected expenses related to the disruption of Western Texas College campus operations to the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

These expenses can include tuition, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, transportation, and childcare. The financial aid grant funds awarded to students under this grant do not need to be paid back to WTC. The amount a student receives is determined by the number of students applying for aid and the amount allocated to WTC.

The Financial Aid Office and the Vice President and Dean of Student Services of Western Texas College are administrators of the funds. Applications will be accepted until all the WTC allocation has been expended.

The HEERF III requires all colleges participating in the program to provide the following information:

  • Western Texas College (WTC) has signed and returned to the Department of Education the HEERF III funds Agreement. This document guarantees that WTC intends to use HEERF III funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act as Financial Aid Grants to students to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. 
  • The estimated total number of students at WTC eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Financial Aid Grants through the HEERF III is currently being determined. 
  • To determine which students receive Financial Aid Grants, WTC evaluates eligibility based on the student being Title IV eligible and on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  

 

HEERF III Frequently Asked Questions 

What is HEERF?

In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed, creating the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III. This fund provides colleges and universities the means to provide support to students who saw financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. Hardships include added technology expenses, lost wages, overdue charges on student accounts and unexpected childcare expenses, among others.

Will HEERF aid have to be paid back?

The aid is a grant; therefore, students will not have to pay back the federal government. Funding received can be used to assist students with financial needs such as educational costs, housing, food and health care expenses. 

How do I apply?

Complete and submit the application found here. 

Which students are eligible to receive HEERF III emergency funds?

Institutions are required to prioritize grants to students with exceptional financial need, such as those who receive Pell Grants. The HEERF III funds can be awarded to online students as well. Eligible student groups include citizens, permanent residents, international students, refugees, asylum seekers, DACA recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students.

  • Must have been enrolled in Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 at WTC.
  • Must be in good academic standing.
  • Must complete application in full. 

How much will I receive? 

Awards are based on your needs as identified on the application. Each eligible student's actual amount is determined by the number of applications received and the funds available. While the award is based on need, awards will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to apply for the HEERF III funds is Thursday, April 14, 2022. 

How will I receive the money? 

Funds will be distributed to the student by check. Please ensure that the address you provide on your application is correct, as this is where your check will be mailed. 

Do I need to repay the money I receive? 

No, this grant does not need to be repaid; it is meant to provide financial assistance to those impacted by COVID-19 during the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters. 

Does this funding affect my other financial aid?

No. The federal grant will provide financial assistance to students who experienced unexpected expenses related to COVID-19. It will not have any impact on other financial aid you have or may be eligible to receive.  

What if I still have an account balance at WTC? 

Funds will be paid to the student directly, regardless if the student has an outstanding balance on their WTC account. Any due balance will remain the student's responsibility and will need to be paid in full before enrolling in a future semester. With the student's consent, the funds could be used to pay outstanding balances to WTC. 

Are the HEERF III Grant funds included in my gross income? 

No. The financial aid grant funds under the HEERF III  are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. The grant funds are not included in your gross income.

 

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