Temple disburses $39,204,052 in COVID-19 relief assistance to students
Approximately 10,500 students who indicated they were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to receive $1,000 each from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III in early November.
According to a recent study, 82% of students who received COVID-19 relief assistance noted that the aid improved their personal well-being. Sixty-nine percent of those same respondents said the aid increased their chances of graduating.
The positive outcomes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) are real, which magnifies the significance of the funding and the impact it can have on students in the wake of the pandemic.
As part of HEERF III, Temple University has been allocated $39,204,052 to use toward grants for students who have demonstrated financial need and have been affected by COVID-19. HEERF III was included in the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the third federal COVID-19 stimulus bill signed into law to include funding for higher education institutions and students using HEERF, which was established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act back in 2020.
Approximately $26.5 million of the funding was disbursed as $3,500 grants to all Federal Pell Grant-eligible undergraduate students registered at Temple this fall. About 7,600 students from Temple’s undergraduate population have received a Pell Grant. This includes 1,368 first-year students—28% of Temple’s Class of 2025—as recipients of a Pell Grant, which is awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree.
Later this month, Temple University will disburse an additional $11 to $12 million of the HEERF III funding to approximately 10,500 students who are enrolled for the fall semester. These students, who have all demonstrated financial need and are pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional degrees, will receive a HEERF III grant amount of $1,000 each.
“This pandemic has impacted students beyond their struggle to afford tuition. We’ve learned that students lost jobs and we’ve learned that students have struggled mightily affording even their most basic needs—from internet service to gas money. This federal relief was extraordinary and we are grateful to pass it on swiftly to our students in the greatest need,” said Shawn Abbott, vice provost for admissions, financial aid and enrollment management.
To distribute these grants, the university contacted eligible students via email and asked them to fill out a survey that details how they have been affected by the pandemic. Recipients are then given the option to have the grant applied directly to their student account balance or distributed directly to them as a refund via direct deposit.
Earlier this summer, Temple also disbursed roughly $280,000 of its HEERF III funding in the form of $1,000 to $3,000 grants to 142 students who had demonstrated great financial need and also had prior balances. The university has also disbursed nearly $1.1 million of the funding in the form of grants up to $5,000 to 227 students.
The nearly $40 million disbursed in the third round of HEERF follows two earlier instances in which Temple distributed COVID-19 relief assistance. This past spring, as part of HEERF II, $14.7 million was disbursed to 16,201 students who were enrolled for the spring 2021 semester. In 2020, during HEERF I, the university distributed more than $14.7 million directly to students.
“This is now our third round of grant funding, and it’s enabling us to help more students with a little relief than we ever imagined.” Abbott said. “With HEERF III, we have been able to help the largest number of our students yet which is truly extraordinary.”