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CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund FAQ

 

Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF III) – Student Aid

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021 was signed by the President on March 11, 2021, in response to COVID-19.  This legislation included a third round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF III).  The University of Central Missouri was awarded HEERF III support from the US Department of Education on 5/21/2021, in the amount of $10,699,104, for direct student aid disbursement as part of this Act.

Domestic undergraduate and domestic graduate students who were deemed eligible to receive funds will receive an email through their UCM student email account in August of their pending aid payment.

International, dual credit, and certificate students will be notified for their aid payment by UCM student email on August 26th.

Payments will be made on a predetermined formula based on Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 enrollment with priority placed on students with the highest need. A link to the aid amounts can be found below. There will not be an application process. The Federal HEERF III Emergency Aid is awarded on a one-time basis, and is not renewable. Due to limited funding, award amounts are not negotiable.

Students who are set up with direct deposit will receive an email through their UCM student email accounts notifying them that their payment has been processed. Please allow up to 3 business days from the email notification for the funds to hit your bank account.  If you do not set up a direct deposit, you will receive a check in the mail to your permanent address and will not receive an email notification.

Direct deposit is the fastest method for you to receive aid and refunds. 

Payment Methods:

Direct Deposit/ACH - Students are strongly encouraged to make sure they are set up to receive direct deposit (ACH) from UCM to speed up the receipt of all reimbursements and any financial aid funds.  Students who are set up with direct deposit will receive their funds first.  If you are already set up for direct deposit, this is how you will receive your funds.  UCM does not use this information to process automatic withdrawals for account balances.

 

Check - Students not set up for direct deposit need to review their primary mailing address to determine where the check will be sent.  If this is an old address, please ensure that you are having your mail forwarded through the USPS to a current address. Please allow at least 2 weeks for the check to arrive at the address on file with UCM through USPS.

 

HEERF III does allow students to use their aid funds to pay down their outstanding account balances with UCM.  UCM will not directly apply the student aid to a student’s account. If you have a balance owed against your UCM account, you may use the funds to pay down the balance.

HEERF III Student Aid Eligibility and Amounts

 

For additional information about these funds, please visit the US Department of Education’s website for this program: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/arp.html

 

Any additional updates of information regarding HEERF III will be posted on this page.

Last modified: August 5, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive the HEERF III student aid?

The August 5th and September 2nd HEERF III student aid payments are for students who were enrolled in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters.

How will I know if I qualify to receive aid?

You will receive an email to your UCM student email account notifying you of your eligibility.

How much will I receive?

Refer to the HEERF III Aid Eligibility and Amounts table to determine how much you will receive.

Can I dispute my aid amount?

No. The aid amount is based on predetermined criteria, so cannot be disputed.

How were eligibility and aid amounts determined?

Priority is placed on students with highest need, with an emphasis on undergraduate students, per guidance from the US Department of Education. Level of need is based on Pell eligibility and estimated family contribution (EFC) from FAFSA records as well as the number of credit hours a student was enrolled in per semester.

How will I receive my payment?

Students who are already enrolled in direct deposit will receive their payment through ACH. Students who are not set up for direct deposit will receive their payment by check.

When will I receive my payment?

Domestic undergraduate and graduate students: payments issued August 6th (wait 3 business days for ACH/Direct Deposit posting and 2 weeks for mailed checks)
International, Dual Credit, and Certificate students: payment issued September 2nd (wait 3 business days for ACH/Direct Deposit posting and 2 weeks for mailed checks)

Will HEERF aid impact current or future financial aid?

No. These and past HEERF support are emergency relief payments for students, and this is not part of your traditional financial aid.

Are these funds taxable income?

No. Like prior HEERF support, these funds are not part of your gross income.

I have a balance on my UCM student account. Will this grant be applied towards the balance?

No. These funds are being issued directly to students and will not be applied towards outstanding balances.  Students may use these funds, once they have received them, to pay down their balance.  To check your student account balance and make a payment, please login to MyCentral.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please email any questions to cares@ucmo.edu and a staff member will get back with you as quickly as possible. This webpage will also be updated with any additional information regarding current and future aid payments.

How do I make a financial aid appeal?

A provision included in the American Rescue Plan requires institutions receiving aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) to make financial aid applicants aware of the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member, or themselves.  Students facing this situation may complete the Recalculation of Federal Financial Aid Eligibility form found here: https://www.ucmo.edu/future-students/financing-your-education/financial-aid-forms/

These requests are reviewed by a University of Central Missouri Financial Aid Administrator.  Students seeking a review of FAFSA information must complete this form.

NOTE: This form must be filled out completely and the student must provide third-party unrelated professional documentation to support the request.  The Recalculation Form mentioned above provides a list of the necessary documents required in each specific situation.

For example, a change in employment or unemployment would require the following documents (additional documentation may be requested): 

  • Personal (signed) Letter of Explanation detailing circumstances 
  • 2019 W-2(s) (student, spouse, and/or parent(s))
  • Final pay-stub showing YTD earnings for whomever the income has been reduced or lost (if applicable)
  • Termination Letter on company letterhead with signature and contact information
  • Unemployment Benefits Statement (if applicable) 
  • Current pay-stub showing YTD earnings for whomever the loss occurred (if applicable)   

Once the Financial Aid Administrator receives a completed application and documentation, requests are typically reviewed and a decision made within 7 to 10 business days. Students are notified by the Financial Aid Administrator of the decision.  Filing of the request does not guarantee a change in the FAFSA results.

If students believe they qualify for a Professional Judgment, or if they have questions or need additional information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 660-543-8266 to discuss their situation.


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