ARP Funding for Students
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act provides financial aid grants to current Ridgewater students (including students exclusively enrolled in online courses and international students) to help support any component of the student’s cost of attendance or to help cover any expenses due to coronavirus, such as the loss of employment, food or housing insecurity, health care (including mental health care) or child care. In making financial aid grants to students, the College is required to focus primarily on providing assistance to students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances. Students are not required to be eligible for Title IV student financial aid to receive ARP funding.
- Must be a new or returning student actively enrolled for Fall 2021 in any online, hybrid, or face-to-face credit, non-credit or continuing education courses.
- Have a high school diploma or GED certificate;
- Must NOT BE one of the following:
– Enrolled as Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO)
– Enrolled via Concurrent Enrollment/College in the Schools
– Receiving senior citizen tuition rates
– An employer-paid student
– Non-credit students
– Currently incarcerated
*Additional criteria may apply under the types of ARP grants available.
TWO TYPES OF STUDENT AID:
(1) Pandemic Relief Grants – no action required
Two levels of Pandemic Relief Grants will be distributed automatically to eligible students based on financial need information from the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning on October 13, 2021. A student must be Pell eligible or have an EFC (estimated family contribution) of $5,846-$20,000 to qualify for the Pandemic Relief Grants. Pandemic Relief Grant amounts range from $600-$1200 per student.
- Pell Eligible Pandemic Relief Grants
Who will receive this award?
All Pell-eligible students enrolled at Ridgewater College who also meet the ARP eligibility requirements will receive a Pandemic Relief (Pell Eligible) Grant disbursement from this pool of funds.
How is Pell Grant eligibility determined?
Pell Grant eligibility is determined through a student’s FAFSA. If a student received a Pell Grant for the Fall Semester 2021, they are Pell-eligible.
How much will be awarded to each student and when will it be disbursed?
Each student will receive an automatic award of $1,200 to be issued via check or direct deposit between between October 13 and October 19, 2021. A total of approximately $1,272,000 was allocated to this category of funding (60% of total funds available).
How will students know if they are receiving a Pandemic Relief (Pell Eligible) Grant?
Students should log into e-Services and check their Financial Aid Awards screen on or after October 13.
How will Pandemic Relief (Pell Eligible) Grants be disbursed?
Checks will be mailed to the student’s permanent address on file if direct deposit has not been set up.
- EFC Below $20,000 Pandemic Relief Grants
Who will receive this award?
Students who meet the federal eligibility requirements, who are not Pell-eligible, and whose Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is in the range of $5,846 to $20,000 will receive a Pandemic Relief Grant disbursement from this pool of funds.
How are EFC and Pell eligibility determined?
Pell eligibility and a student’s EFC are both determined through a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A student can view their EFC score by logging into his FAFSA for the academic year 2021-22.
How much will be awarded to each student?
The award amounts for eligible students are as follows:
EFC $5,846-$10,000: $1,000 per student
EFC $10,001-$15,000: $800 per student
EFC $15,001-$20,000: $600 per student
A total of approximately $371,200 was allocated to this category of funding (18% of total funds available).
How will students know if they are receiving an EFC Pandemic Relief Grant?
Students should log into e-Services and check their Financial Aid Awards screen on or after October 13; they can also check their email for a notification from the Financial Aid office.
How and when will EFC Pandemic Relief Grants be disbursed?
Each eligible student will receive an automatic award to be issued via check or direct deposit between October 13 and October 30, 2021. Checks will be mailed to the student’s permanent address on file if direct deposit has not been set up. Direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to receive your emergency grant funds, should you be awarded. Sign up now in your e-services account.
(2) Emergency/Financial Assistance Grants – application required
The second type of grant available under ARP is the Emergency/Financial Assistance grants. These grants require an application to be submitted. Approximately $425,698.00 (or 22% of total funds) has been dedicated to ARP Emergency/Financial Assistance Funds. The application for ARP Emergency Grants will open on Thursday, October 21 and remain open for 2 weeks, until November 4, 2021.
Those who submit an application will be notified of their application status no later than November 17, 2021. If you do not qualify for this federal grant and are in need of assistance, please check our Student Resources page for additional options and contact information.
- ARP Emergency/Financial Assistance Grants
Any student who meets the eligibility requirements listed above and who has experienced financial difficulty or hardship related to COVID-19 may apply for an ARP Emergency/Financial Assistance Grant.
Grant funds may be used toward any component of the student’s cost of attendance help support any component of the student’s cost of attendance or to help cover any expenses due to coronavirus, such as the loss of employment, food or housing insecurity, health care including mental health care or child care. A total of approximately $425,689 was allocated to this category of funding (22% of total funding).
Are fully online and international students eligible to apply?
If a student received an automatic Pandemic Relief Grant, can the student also apply for this ARP Emergency/Financial Assistance Grant?
How much will be awarded to each student?
If approved, each ARP Emergency Grant will be no greater than $1,000 and may be impacted by the total number of applications received.
How and when will students be notified of their application status?
Students will be notified of their award status no later than Wednesday, November 17, 2021. If awarded, the ARP Emergency/Financial Asssitance Grant will be disbursed as indicated on the student’s application (either applied to an existing account balance or awarded directly via check or direct deposit).
How will awards be disbursed?
Checks will be mailed to the student’s permanent address on file if direct deposit has not been set up. Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit in e-Services, under the Financial Aid tab.
Frequently Asked Questions about ARP Student Funding
- I'm not eligible for ARP funding but still need assistance. Are there other options?
Please explore our Ridgewater College Student Emergency Resources and/or schedule a time with one of our Ridgewater counselors.
- If I received funds from the 2020 CARES Act and/or Spring 2021 CRRSAA funds, can I also receive ARP funds?
Yes, if you meet the eligibility requirements listed above. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) expanded the eligibility for student funding.
- Can I apply for an ARP Emergency/Financial Assistance Grant if I received an automatic ARP Pandemic Relief Grant?
Yes, as long as the student can explain why they need the additional funds on their ARP Emergency Grant application.
- Are fully online and international students eligible for ARP funding?
Yes, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements noted above.
- What methods were used to determine the distribution plan for ARP funds?
Ridgewater College followed the eligibility criteria established by ARP and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and consulted with students, faculty and staff in developing a process and distribution plan for the student funds. In making financial aid grants to students, the College was required to focus primarily on providing assistance to students with exceptional need. The distribution plan developed considered Pell Grant eligibility, EFC calculations, and information learned from distributing funds through the CARES Act in 2020 and CRRSAA in Spring 2021. For reference, you can view our Minnesota State approved plan.
- Are ARP funds taxable for recipients?
No. Emergency financial aid grants under ARP for cost of attendance, unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to COVID-19 are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not included in your gross income, and therefore you cannot claim any deduction or credit for expenses paid with the grant including the tuition and fees deduction, the American Opportunity Credit, or the Lifetime Learning Credit. See section 139(h) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Can I donate my ARP Pandemic Relief automatic award to someone else in need if I don't need it?
Yes. You can donate your Pandemic Relief Grant funds to the Ridgewater Foundation after you have received them and we will work to distribute them to a student in need. Contact Ashley Gabbert at 320-222-6098 or via email at [email protected] to learn more. You can also learn more about making a gift to the Ridgewater Foundation here: ridgewater.edu/ways-to-give/
- Who can I contact with questions on ARP funding for students?