All 10 University of Hawaiʻi campuses have invited their students to apply for a portion of the $39.4 million in federal COVID-19 financial assistance still available for the 2021–22 academic year. By law, these funds are required to be disbursed to students under the terms of the three COVID-19 relief bills enacted by the federal government.
Since May 2020, almost $34 million has already been distributed to UH students from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) monies included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) laws.
“We know that many of our students and their families have seen their finances severely impacted by the economic havoc of the pandemic,” said UH President Lassner. “These funds are available to help keep our students stay in school on the way to fulfill their hopes and dreams.”
In addition to the email sent to students inviting them to apply for some of the remaining federal funds, information on additional support is available at the UH Student Basic Needs website. Interested students can view opportunities for assistance such as food resources and SNAP benefits by selecting their home campus and scrolling down to “Financial Help.”
Of the nearly $34 million in HEERF funding already distributed to students, $8.4 million was provided through a debt forgiveness program over the summer. Qualified students with outstanding debt on their UHaccounts on July 7, 2021 received a credit that cleared their accounts. Of the more than 10,700 students whose debts were forgiven, 29% identified as Hawaiian or part Hawaiian, the largest group served by the program.