Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Student Report


To the Mason Community:

On May 18, 2021, George Mason University received a $32,116,557 supplemental allocation 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.  This third round of funding is commonly referred to as “HEERF III”. 

The Department of Education has established eligibility and prioritization requirements for students to receive grants from the HEERF programs.  Recent updates to the eligibility guidelines have expanded the population of eligible students beyond those eligible for earlier rounds of HEERF awards.  Mason estimates that up to 38,000 students are eligible to receive HEERF III grants based upon these expanded guidelines.  Mason has the discretion to determine individual award amounts provided to eligible students.

For the HEERF III awards, Mason is continuing to use a multi-prong approach which includes 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 are provided to eligible students experiencing adverse financial impacts of the pandemic based on information provided in their applications.  We anticipate that these funds will be fully disbursed during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The table below lists the award distributions made during the calendar quarter ended September 30, 2021.  This was the first calendar quarter in which HEERF III awards were made.



7/1/2021 – 9/30/2021

Total amount of HEERF grants distributed to students


Total number of students who received a HEERF grant



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-fall-2021/. The application is updated for each new semester.