2021 HEERF III Emergency Relief Fund

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) allocates funds to support individuals and businesses/organizations, including colleges and universities, affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. UT has received funds under HEERF II and HEERF III and is working to provide emergency assistance to students with exceptional need to help them meet their emergency financial needs during this challenging time.

Per Federal regulations, funds will be distributed prioritizing students with exceptional need. The award amount may be used to help cover expenses related to tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health care), or childcare, or for other emergency costs.

HEERF III Edquity Grant Application

Edquity Logo Students who did not receive a HEERF III block grant may be eligible for funding through a grant application process. The University is using a firm called Edquity to review and process applications. Eligible students will receive a communication via email between October 11, 2021 – October, 27, 2021 with instructions on how to submit their grant application to Edquity.

Who can apply?

  • Doctoral, Masters, International, Professional, and Option III students.
  • Undergraduates who did not receive a block grant for the fall 2021 semester.
  • Students who have not previously applied for financial aid with the FAFSA or TASFA.

Eligible students will receive a communication via email with the link to the Edquity application.

How do I apply?

Eligible students can apply for the emergency aid funds using Edquity. Follow the steps below to apply:

  • You can find the Edquity app in the App Store, Google Play, or apply for emergency funds online. Simply download the app or head on over to the website and follow the instructions on how to get started.
  • When creating your Edquity account, be sure to select the University of Texas at Austin as the school you attend in order to access our Emergency Funds application in the “Funds” tab of the mobile app. The application for funds shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to fill out. You don’t have to worry about writing answers or finding references. The only thing you need is your official student ID.
  • Wait for your application to be processed.
  • Edquity will review your eligibility for emergency aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and notify you via your UT Austin email address regarding the status of your grant application. If you are eligible for funding, you will receive an email to your UT email address from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid regarding the processing and distribution of your payment.

When does the application open and close?

The application opens in phases beginning on October 11, 2021 and closes on December 3, 2021.

How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application for funds? How will I be notified?

Within seven to ten days, you will be notified if your application was approved or denied via the email you used when signing up. You can also log into the Edquity app to check for updates about your application.

How does Edquity determine who receives emergency funds?

At Edquity, we want to make sure students in need of emergency support have the funds and resources they need as soon as possible. To do so, we’ve worked with Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Edquity’s Chief Strategy Officer and the nation’s leading researcher on basic needs challenges and emergency funds, to develop an evidence-based approach to determining funds distributions.

After students apply for emergency funds through the Edquity app, all submissions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis using our research-driven, evidence-based evaluation system. The goal of the system is to ensure students demonstrating significant need that may cause unenrollment will receive funds.

How do I receive my emergency funds?

If you have been approved for funds, you will receive an email to your UT email address from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid regarding the processing and distribution of your payment.

Do I have to pay back my funds?

No, emergency funds do not require repayment and will not interfere with your current financial funds.

Do I need to report financial aid or grants on my federal tax return?

Each financial award you receive from the federal government and other sources will have separate and unique tax consequences for your federal tax return. Funds received from Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students will be treated as taxable income.

Funds received through the HEERF/CARES Act emergency assistance from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will be treated as non-taxable and is not considered a resource or counted as income for calculating a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

For more information, visit the IRS website.

I was not approved for emergency funds, but I am still in need of assistance. What should I do?

While every student who applies for emergency funds will not receive it, Edquity and UT Austin still want to help however we can.

Please contact Texas One Stop for further assistance. We also suggest that you check out the resources page on the Edquity app to find other organizations and service providers in your area.

Can I reapply for Emergency Funds?

Students at UT Austin can apply for Emergency Funds once per term.

Can College Administrators at the University of Texas at Austin view the personal or financial information that I submit?

Administrators at UT Austin cannot view the personal or financial information you submit. They are, however, able to see de-identified, aggregated behavioral trends of students applying for funds overall, and general information regarding the usage of resources.

HEERF III Student Debt Discharge

UT Austin has received funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These funds, appropriated for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), allow institutions like UT Austin to discharge student debt or unpaid balances for eligible students. UT Austin is using part of its HEERF institutional grant to do this, so that we can help students overcome the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and assist them in continuing their education.

Eligible students will receive an email to their UT Austin mail regarding the amount of debt that has been discharged.

At this time, the IRS has characterized HEERF emergency grants to students as nontaxable. There is nothing in the COVID-relief laws stating that these emergency discharges of debt are taxable scholarship/grant income. Therefore, we have not withheld or reported federal tax on the amount of your discharged debt.

Unenrolled Students Who Have Not Graduated

Students who are not currently enrolled and have not graduated are invited to apply for readmission to The University of Texas at Austin using a streamlined process. Students can reapply by completing only the required fields in the ApplyTexas application – no essay is required – and may be eligible for an application fee waiver. Learn more about eligibility for readmission, and contact Graduation Help Desk for tailored support on the path to graduation.

For additional information, please contact Texas One Stop at 512-232-6988 or email at onestop@utexas.edu.

HEERF III Student Debt Discharge - October 7, 2021

Students who were enrolled on or after March 13, 2020, and still had an outstanding institutional debt to the University had their debt discharged. The debt discharged was either for an outstanding student account balance at UT Austin or outstanding UT Austin institutional loan (such as an emergency or short-term loan). Federal or private loans were not eligible for this program. Any debt created in fall 2021 was not included. 

HEERF III Student Debt Discharge - December 15, 2021

Undergraduate students who were enrolled on or after March 13, 2020, and still had an outstanding institutional debt to the University will have their debt discharged on December 15, 2021. This debt discharge is either for an outstanding student account balance at UT Austin or outstanding UT Austin institutional loan (such as an emergency or short-term loan), and includes any debt created in Fall 2021. Federal or private loans are not eligible for this program.

Block Grants

This emergency fund is being distributed as a block grant. Eligible students will receive a communication via email beginning on September 2, 2021. Please note, students who do not receive a HEERF block grant may be eligible to apply for funding when the University application process opens. The target date for the application process is scheduled to open near the end of September.

Eligibility criteria

The Fall 2021 HEERF III non-reoccurring emergency funds are directly distributed to undergraduate students who meet the criteria determined by University leadership. All students, whether they have received HEERF/CAREs funds before, are eligible for HEERF III funds and have been reviewed for eligibility at the time of disbursement. Block grants vary between $250-$2,500 depending on demonstrated financial need.

Students must meet these general eligibility requirements:

  • Be an enrolled undergraduate student, graduate nursing student or Texas international student in Fall 2021
  • Have filed a 2021-22 FAFSA/TASFA at time of awarding
  • Be a degree seeking student
  • Have confirmed attendance by 5 p.m. on 9/1/21

Distribution of funds

  • No additional actions need to be taken to receive these funds. Eligible students will receive an email from the University beginning September 1, 2021 regarding the distribution of funds.
  • Distribution of funds will begin on September 2, 2021, with refunds processed on September 3, 2021.
  • You can view these funds in “Where’s My Check” on September 3, 2021.
  • If you have direct deposit set up, the funds will then be sent to your bank in 3-5 business days after appearing in “Where’s my Check”.
  • If you do not have direct deposit set up, the funds will be mailed to you in the form of a check to the permanent address on record.

If you need assistance in making a spending plan or budget, contact Texas Financial Wellness at financialwellness@utexas.edu.  We are here to support you with the resources you need to keep your degree plan on track to graduation. If you are in need of financial aid or support, please reach out to Texas One Stop at 512-232-6988 or email at onestop@utexas.edu to see what resources are available to you.

HEERF III Block Grant Disbursement Chart

HEERF III Block Grant Disbursement Chart

2021 HEERF II Emergency Relief Fund

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II)  allocates funds to support individuals and businesses/organizations, including colleges and universities, affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. More information below.

2021 HEERF II Emergency Relief Fund

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II)  allocates funds to support individuals and businesses/organizations, including colleges and universities, affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. UT has received funds under HEERF II and is working to provide emergency assistance to students with exceptional need to help them meet their emergency financial needs during this challenging time.

Per Federal regulations, funds will be distributed to students with exceptional need as identified by their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). The award amount may be used to help cover expenses related to  tuition,  materials,  technology,  food,  housing,  healthcare,  childcare, or  other emergency costs.

No Separate Application

This emergency fund is being distributed as a grant, according to the new federal guidelines. There is no separate application for the HEERF II grant. Eligible students will receive communication via email.

Summer 2021 funds have been disbursed. Students who are enrolled in summer session II courses will be reviewed for eligibility after courses begin.

Eligibility Criteria

The HEERF II non-reoccurring emergency funds are directly distributed to undergraduate students who meet the general criteria below:

  • Pell grant eligible students who have not received CARES Act funds under the HEERF program previously will receive a non-reoccurring award of $750.
  • Pell grant eligible students who have previously received CARES Act funds under the HEERF program previously will receive a non-reoccurring award of $500.
  • Students who are not Pell grant eligible, have a family AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) of up to $65,000,  and who have not  previously received CARES Act funds will receive a non-reoccurring award of $500.
    Students must also have $1000 “remaining financial need”:
    Cost of Attendance (COA) – Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) – Gift Aid = remaining financial need (must be over $1000)
  • Undocumented students who have submitted a TASFA are eligible.

Students in the above categories must also meet these general eligibility requirements:

  • Be an enrolled undergraduate student
  • Be a Texas resident or non-Texas resident
  • Have filed a FAFSA or TASFA at time of awarding
  • Be a degree seeking student with no prior degrees completed

Distribution of Funds

  • No additional actions need to be taken to receive these funds. Eligible students will receive an email from the University regarding the distribution of funds.
  • You can view these funds in “Where’s My Check”.
  • If you have direct deposit set up, the funds will then be sent to your bank in 3-5 business days after appearing in “Where’s my Check”.
  • If you do not have direct deposit set up, the funds will be mailed to you in the form of a check to the permanent address on record.

If you need assistance in making a spending plan or budget, contact Texas Financial Wellness at financialwellness@utexas.edu. We are here to support you with the resources you need to keep your degree plan on track to graduation.

Unfortunately, funding is not available to all students due to UT’s limited funding through HEERF II and the requirement that the university prioritize funding for students with documented exceptional need.  If you are in need of financial aid or support, please reach out to Texas One Stop at 512-232-6988 or email at  onestop@utexas.edu to see what resources are available to you.

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