Federal Funding: ARP Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 approved more than $36 billion in support for higher education.

Using a formula based on both total enrollment and the share of enrolled students eligible for Pell Grants, RIT has been allocated $15.1 million to distribute in grants to students who have been negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ARP requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances.

ARP student grants may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19, such as tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health care) or childcare.

RIT Student Eligibility

The American Rescue Plan requires institutions to prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or those with extraordinary financial circumstances.

Direct communications were sent to all enrolled RIT students (students enrolled in a degree-seeking program in Fall 2021 as of November 15, 2021) with information on how to apply for ARP funds. RIT used a combination of data elements to measure student eligibility. When available, data from the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was used to measure need.

Group 1: Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $29,230 or less

RIT used income information and needs analysis calculations for the 2021- 2022 academic year to measure the socioeconomic status of students. A total of $14,411,950 was made available to 7,467 students who were enrolled in a degree-seeking program in Fall 2021 as of November 15, 2021, had either a valid FAFSA on file or a needs analysis performed by RIT, with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $29,230 or less. RIT utilized EFC to determine grant amounts distributed, which range from $900 to $2,500 per student.

Group 2: ARP Application

RIT used information provided on the ARP application where students identified needs they are experiencing. A total of $672,500 was made available to 795 students.  Eligible students submitted the application by the January 14, 2022 deadline, were enrolled in a degree-seeking program in Fall 2021 as of November 15, 2021 and demonstrated exceptional need on the application. RIT utilized the application results to determine grant amounts distributed, which range from $150 to $2,500 per student.

NTID Student Eligibility

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf has received a separate appropriation of $19,250,000 to assist NTID and NTID-supported students under rules mirroring ARP’s.

Group 1: Qualified Debt Discharge

National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) has used a portion of this funding (approximately $1.4M) to discharge all qualified NTID student debt to RIT as of April 20, 2022, for students enrolled on or after March 13, 2020.

Group 2: Grants to Students

Where available, NTID used income information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and needs analysis calculations for the 2021- 2022 aid year to measure the socioeconomic status of students.  Students without a FAFSA on file were considered in a less needy category and eligible for grants. A total of $119,875 was made available to 138 students who were enrolled in a degree-seeking program in Spring 2022 as of April 15, 2022. NTID utilized needs analysis to determine grant amounts distributed, which ranged from $875 to $3,800 per student. 

A second disbursement of grants to students was distributed on November 29, 2022. Where available, NTID used income information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and needs analysis calculations for the 2022-2023 aid year to measure the socioeconomic status of students. Students without a FAFSA on file were considered in a less needy category and eligible for grants. A total of $3,063,400 was made available to 1,110 students who were enrolled in a degree-seeking program in Fall 2022 as of November 11, 2022. NTID utilized needs analysis to determine grant amounts distributed, which ranged from $875 to $3,800 per student.

Frequently Asked Questions

RIT used a combination of data elements to measure student eligibility.

For students with a valid FAFSA on file: Data from the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was used to measure need and determine grant eligibility.  No other steps were required for consideration, however, if a student wanted to highlight exceptional need he/she was able to submit the ARP application to identify those needs.

For students who did not or could not submit a FAFSA (international, DACA, etc.): Students were asked to complete the ARP application to identify needs they are experiencing.

The ARP application closed January 14, 2022, and no additional applications will be accepted. All available ARP emergency grant funding will be distributed to the above groups based on information received by January 14, 2022.

RIT students enrolled in a degree-seeking program in Fall 2021 as of November 15, 2021. 

  • Students must be enrolled as of November 15, 2021. Spring registration is not required.
  • Students not attending fall semester (for example, spring transfers) will not be eligible for ARP funding consideration.

NTID and NTID-supported students have a separate appropriation of funds that will be distributed at a later point in time.

Yes. All students were notified via email of the availability of the ARP application.  Students were asked to complete the APR application, prior to the January 14, 2022, deadline, to identify the needs they were experiencing. Students who did not submit a completed application by the deadline were not considered for emergency grant funding.

Yes. Students officially enrolled in co-op are reported as enrolled for the appropriate amount of equivalent credit.

No. The Department of Education has updated the eligibility requirements for ARP from CARES and CRRSAA eligibility.

RIT has partnered with BankMobile Disbursements, powered by BMTX, Inc. to deliver financial aid and other student refunds. To expedite receipt of funds, students who have not already done so, are encouraged to set up direct deposit with BankMobile for student accounts (different than Payroll account). To set up your direct deposit:

  1. Go to the eServices site and sign in to your account
  2. Click the Financial Services tab
  3. Click Refund Request
  4. Select BankMobile Disbursement Preference
  5. Complete your BankMobile profile and provide your banking information

Federal guidelines indicate the funds can be used for any number of financial costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ARP student grant distribution may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19, including but not limited to tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health care), or childcare. ARP student grant funds may also be used to pay an outstanding balance on a student account.

No. Grants received from ARP are not financial aid and will not impact other aid sources you may have received.

No. ARP Emergency Grants to students are not financial aid and are not bound by financial aid regulations. ARP legislation requires schools to prioritize students with exceptional need.

No. Students do not need to be eligible for Federal Student Aid or accept it to be eligible for Emergency Grants. 

No. The IRS has determined all Emergency Grants offered to students in Emergency Grants due to the COVID-19 pandemic (CARES, CRRSAA, ARP) are not taxable and are not reported on a U.S. tax return. To find out if the grant is taxable in your state, check with your individual state tax agency. Visit the IRS website for more information.

No. All Economic Impact Payments are a separate appropriation than what has been allocated to institutions to distribute to their students. Visit the IRS website for more information.

No, the discharge of qualified student debt to RIT is based on the outstanding balance as of the morning of April 20, 2022.

At present, there are no plans to do so, as most ARP funds have been committed for other purposes. You should make plans for AY 2022-23 and future years based on your award letter and bill. We are hopeful that this action will assist you in meeting your future obligations.