UI distributes last round of COVID-19 relief dollars to over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate students

Over $10 million in federal funding was distributed to UI students through the third and final round of the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Kate Perez, News Reporter

The University of Iowa distributed over $10.72 million to 9,059 total students through the third and final round of funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

A recently posted article on the UI’s COVID-19 website details that the awards averaged $1,183 per recipient and were $56 less than the fall 2021 HEERF III awards. The total amount distributed in the fall of 2021 was $11.7 million, according to a report from January on the UI’s HEERF reporting website.

The article outlines that students with the highest financial need, which is determined through the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA), received priority and the largest awards.

“For spring 2022 HEERF awards, as for fall 2021 awards, domestic students who filed a FAFSA were eligible for consideration based on the Expected Family Contribution. International, DACA, and undocumented students were eligible to submit an application through MyUI,” the post states.

Previously, the HEERF funding was not available for international students, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, undocumented, and other non-U.S. citizens. Beginning with the fall 2021 round, the groups became eligible for HEERF III funding.

All groups of students made up those who were awarded funding:

  • 6,885 undergraduates received awards that totaled $8,354,110.
  • 2,030 graduate and professional students received awards that totaled $2,221,719.
  • 144 international, DACA, and undocumented students received awards that totaled $144,900.

First-generation students make up about 20 percent of the undergraduate class and were represented in those who received awards:

  • 34 percent of all awardees were first-generation students
  • 40 percent of the undergraduate awardees were first-generation students
  • 50 percent of undergraduates who received a HEERF award also received a Pell Grant
  • 19 percent of the general undergraduate population who received a HEERF award also received a Pell Grant.

The distribution of aid along with Pell Grants demonstrates the university’s commitment to using federal aid to support students with the highest need, the post states.