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October 8, 2021

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) 2021 3rd quarterly report encompasses both HEERF II and HEERF III funding.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 included additional COVID-19 relief through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, also known as, HEERF II funding. The CRRSAA requires that institutions spend at least the same dollar amount on student grants as they were required to spend under the CARES Act. In addition, the allowable uses of funds are more flexible than in the CARES Act, meaning the funds may be used for any component of the cost of and emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus attendance (i.e., tuition, fees, housing, food, health care (including mental). Additionally, any unused CARES Act funds that an institution did not spend prior to December 27, 2020, may be spent in accordance with the allowable uses of the HEERF II Funds.

The University of Central Florida CARES Act allocation for student emergency financial aid grants totaled $25,535,625. Therefore, UCF will be awarded this same amount in emergency grant funding using HEERF II funding.

HEERF III funding is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing additional financial funding in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the CRRSAA, Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds.

The quarter ending September 30, 2021, budget, and expenditure report for the Institutional and Minority Serving Institute (MSI) Shares of HEERF funds was updated as of October 2021.

Read the entirety of the quarterly report.

HEERF II Application (Round 1)

An online application period opened February 11, 2021 and remained opened through 11:59 pm on February 20, 2021. To date the following number of awards have been made:

First CARES Act Application period FEBRUARY 11-20, 2021
Number of Applications Received 17,974
Number of Awards as of April 9, 2021 16,911 Awards
Total Amount Disbursed to Date $16,668,000 – Undergraduate/Graduate Students
$216,000 – Med Students
$16,884,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 63,708
Grant Award $1,000

For the first HEERF II emergency grant fund application cycle, the university assessed eligibility for this funding as outlined below.

  • 2020-2021 FAFSA on file at the time of award selections.
  • Degree seeking and enrolled in Spring 2021 classes
  • Students in exclusively online programs were eligible.
  • Not an international or undocumented student

The application asked students to select how COVID has negatively impacted them financially, thereby created emergency costs. Students were also allowed to select if they wanted the emergency funds to be applied to any current term outstanding balance.

A full review of HEERF II applications was conducted. Awards were posted and distributed directly to students via direct deposit or paper check. Students were notified via their official UCF email accounts.

The instructions informed students of eligibility requirements for receipt of HEERF II emergency grant funding. UCF expressed a desire to have students submit a FAFSA if they had not already done so. Students were provided information and instructions here.

NOTE: Prior to launching the 2nd HEERF II emergency grant application, additional HEERF II guidance was given that included non-degree seeking students as eligible for funding. UCF reviewed students from the HEERF II application who were denied for being admitted in non-degree seeking programs. Students however in non-degree programs through Continuing Education and Concurrent Nursing program would remain ineligible. Additional emergency grant funding awards were made to students in non-degree seeking programs, outside of Continuing Education non-degree programs and those in the Concurrent Nursing program.

HEERF II Application (Round 2)

UCF opened a 2nd HEERF II emergency grant application on April 1, 2021. The application will close at 11:59 pm of April 11, 2021. The application asked to students to select the emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus attendance (i.e., tuition, fees, housing, food, health care (including mental). Students were also allowed to select if they wanted the emergency funds to be applied to any current term outstanding balance. Eligibility criteria are listed below:

  • 2020-2021 FAFSA on file at the time of award selections
  • Degree seeking and enrolled in Spring 2021 classes.
  • Also including most non-degree seeking student as eligible.
    • Students enrolled in Continuing Education non-degree programs and Nursing Concurrent students are ineligible.
  • Not an international or undocumented student

An email notification was sent April 1, 2021 to all students enrolled in Spring 2021 classes, informing them of the online application. The notification included a link by which to apply.

UCF will maintain the maximum one-time award amount of $1,000. Students who already received the maximum $1,000 HEERF award in March will not receive an additional award. Pell-eligible students who have not received CARES or HEERF funding will be prioritized. Non-Pell eligible students who did not receive CARES or HEERF funding will be the next priority group along with Pell and Non-Pell students who did not receive funding from the first HEERF round and received less than the maximum CARES award. Awards were made based on additional criteria until the funds are exhausted. Funds were awarded beginning late April.

Second HEERF II Application Period APRIL 1–11, 2021
Number of Applications Received 13,704
Number of Awards as of June 29, 2021 5,661 Awards
Total Amount Disbursed to Date 5,206,000 – Undergraduate Students
$372,000 – Graduate Students
$83,000 – Med Students
$5,661,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 63,708
Grant Award $1,000

Over 7,000 students completed both HEERF II applications (1 and 2). Application #2 advised them to not complete the Qualtrics form if they had previously received the $1,000 HEERF award. Those students were denied an increase in HEERF funding.

The instructions informed students of eligibility requirements for receipt of HEEERF II emergency grant funding. UCF expressed a desire to have students submit a FAFSA if they had not already done so. Students were provided information and instructions here.

HEERF II Application (Round 3)

A third application was launched June 28, 2021, with an end date of July 16, 2021, to students enrolled Spring 2021 or Summer 2021. The amount of remaining HEERF II Emergency Grant funding was $2,790,625. The application was limited to domestic students who continue to meet the above eligibility criteria. The application link was made available online: https://www.ucf.edu/coronavirus/apply-now-for-emergency-financial-aid/.

We maintained the same eligibility requirements as with the previous HEERF II applications, but we included Summer 2021 term enrollment given the timing of the academic year.

  • 2020-2021 FAFSA on file at the time of award selections
  • Degree seeking and enrolled in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 classes.
  • Also including most non-degree seeking student as eligible.
    • Students enrolled in Continuing Education non-degree programs and Nursing Concurrent students are ineligible.
  • Not an international or undocumented student

UCF launched a separate application July 7, 2021, for international, DACA/TPS, and other undocumented students. An email communication was sent to students that included the link to apply: https://www.ucf.edu/coronavirus/apply-now-for-emergency-financial-aid/ and https://www.ucf.edu/coronavirus/heerf-funding-now-available-to-more-students/. UCF Global reviewed and selected students and Student Financial Assistance (SFA) placed the awards on the system for disbursement. This separate application closed July 30, 2021.

HEERF II Application (Round 3) – Domestic Students JUNE 28 – JULY 16, 2021
Number of Applications Received* 8,949
Number of Awards as of July 28, 2021 1,660
Total Amount Disbursed to Date $1,512,000 – Undergraduate Students
$143,000 – Graduate Students
$5,000 – Med Students
$1,660,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 63,708
Grant Award $1,000
HEERF II Application (Round 3) – Students JUNE 28 – JULY 16, 2021
Number of Applications Received 8,949
Number of Awards as of September 9, 2021 5
Total Amount Disbursed to Date $4,000 – Undergraduate Students
$1,000 – Graduate Students
$5,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 63,708
Grant Award $1,000

Students who received HEERF II funding through Applications #1 or #2 were advised to not complete application #3 as they had already received $1,000 in HEERF II funding.

*Majority of applications received from this application had received HEERF II funding from applications #1 or #2. Those students were denied an increase in HEERF II funding.

The instructions informed students of eligibility requirements for receipt of HEEERF II emergency grant funding. UCF expressed a desire for students who are eligible to complete the FAFSA to do so if they had not already done so.

HEERF II Application – International, DACA, & Other Undocumented Students JULY 7 – 30, 2021, 2021
Number of Applications Received 499
Number of Awards as of AUGUST 13, 2021 346
Total Amount Disbursed to Date $221,000 – Undergraduate Students
$125,000 – Graduate Students
$346,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 1,899
Grant Award $1,000

The international, DACA, and other undocumented students were funded from HEERF III funding. This decision was made to draw down HEERF III funding within 90 days per the federal guidelines.

A full review of HEERF II applications was conducted. In September, another review was conducted for Round 3 of the HEERF II applications. Five (5) additional students were confirmed as eligible. All awards were posted and distributed directly to students via direct deposit or paper check. Students were notified via their official UCF email accounts.

The instructions informed students of eligibility requirements for receipt of HEERF II emergency grant funding. UCF expressed a desire to have students submit a FAFSA if they had not already done so.

Students were provided information and instructions here.

HEERF III Applications

Two HEERF III applications were made available to students beginning August 18, 2021 and remain open until further notice. One application is for domestic students and the other for international, DACA, and other undocumented students. Below are the dates for selections and awards beginning on 9/7/2021.

HEERF III Application – First Round of
Domestic Student Awards
SEPTEMBER 7, 2021
Number of Applications Received as of AUGUST 27, 2021 22,948
Number of Awards as of SEPTEMBER 7, 2021 20,764
Total Amount Disbursed to Date $36,354,000 – Undergraduate Students
$4,224,000 – Graduate Students
$528,000 – Med Students
$41,216,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 67,897
Grant Award $2,000

For the HEERF III emergency grant fund application cycle, the university assessed eligibility for this funding as outlined below.

  • 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) recommended but not required.
  • Degree seeking and non-degree seeking are eligible
  • Almost all students enrolled during any semester impacted by COVID-19 — since Spring 2020 — will be eligible to apply
  • Students enrolled in Fall 2021 classes were given first consideration and all others will be reviewed and awarded based upon remaining funding.
  • Students in exclusively online programs are eligible.
  • International or undocumented student are eligible and will complete a separate application for further consideration.
  • Concurrent nursing students are eligible.
  • Students can apply for funding even if they have received funding from CARES and/or HEERF II.
  • Each eligible student can apply for up to $2,000 for the term.
  • UCF students who are U.S. citizens, permanent U.S. residents or eligible non-citizens should complete this application.
  • International students and/or students who are classified as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) should complete this application.

The application asked students to select how COVID has negatively impacted them financially, thereby created emergency costs. Students were also allowed to select if they wanted the emergency funds to be applied to an outstanding balance.

A full review of HEERF III applications is done on a weekly and/or bi-weekly basis. SFA continues to review and select domestic students awards. UCF Global continues to review and select international, DACA, and other undocumented students. Awards are posted and distributed directly to students via direct deposit or paper check. Students are notified via their official UCF email accounts.

The instructions informed students of eligibility requirements for receipt of HEERF III emergency grant funding. UCF expressed a desire to have students that are eligible to complete the FAFSA to do so if they had not already done so. Students were provided information and instructions here. The HEERF III applications were also made available on the home pages of the financial aid website and UCF Global website: https://www.ucf.edu/financial-aid/ and https://global.ucf.edu/ respectively.

HEERF III Application – Second Round of Domestic Student Awards SEPTEMBER 14 and 21, 2021
Number of Applications Received as of SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 27,595
Number of Awards as of SEPTEMBER 14 AND 21, 2021 4,294 – Awarded on September 14
1 – Awarded on September 21
Total Amount Disbursed to Date $7,678,000 – Undergraduate Students
$680,000 – Graduate Students
$74,000 – Med Students
$8,430,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 67,897
Grant Award $2,000
HEERF III Application First Round of International, DACA, & Other Undocumented Student Awards SEPTEMBER 20, 2021
Number of Applications Received 752
Number of Awards as of SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 525
Total Amount Disbursed to Date $728,000 – Undergraduate Students
$322,000 – Graduate Students
$1,050,000 – Total
Estimated Number of Eligible Students 3,346
Grant Award $2,000

As stated above a full review of HEERF III applications are done on a weekly and/or bi-weekly basis. SFA continues to review and select domestic students awards. UCF Global continues to review and select international, DACA, and other undocumented students. Awards are posted and distributed directly to students via direct deposit or paper check. Students are notified via their official UCF email accounts.


CARES Act Updates