Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Student Report


To the Mason Community:

George Mason University received supplemental allocations of funding for student emergency grants under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed into law on March 11, 2021 as listed in the table below. 

The Department of Education has established eligibility and prioritization requirements for students to receive grants from these programs.  Recent updates to the eligibility guidelines have expanded the population of eligible students beyond those eligible for earlier rounds of HEERF awards.  Within those guidelines, Mason has the discretion to determine individual award amounts provided to eligible students.

Mason is currently evaluating alternatives for distribution of the HEERF III student aid funds.  We anticipate that these funds will be fully disbursed during the 2021-2022 academic year.

For the HEERF II awards, Mason used a multi-prong approach which included proactive awards to students with existing FAFSA data in our Financial Aid system and application-based awards utilizing our existing Student Emergency Assistance grant process.    Students were identified for proactive awards based on a combination of factors including (but not limited to) estimated family contribution (EFC), unmet need, student level, and residency status.  Application-based awards were provided to eligible students experiencing adverse financial impacts of the pandemic based on information provided in their applications.  The majority of the HEERF II awards were disbursed to students during the Spring 2021 semester. The remaining funds are still being used for Emergency awards for the summer 2021 term.

Students experiencing on-going financial hardships are encouraged to apply for emergency assistance available from the HEERF funds, and can submit applications for assistance at: https://ulife.gmu.edu/student-emergency-assistance-funding-summer-2021/. The application is updated for each new semester.