Kutztown University has been awarded federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARPA). While these new funds are similar to the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security, 2020 funds (CARES), and Corona Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) they are indeed a different fund. These funds are for higher education institutions to promote and ensure learning continues during the pandemic.
Kutztown University is not in possession of these funds and can only draw them down (receive them) after they have been disbursed to students.
These funds can now be used to pay for:
- Tuition and Fee bills at KU
- Course Materials
- Health Care
- Childcare expenses
- Other Expenses (Expenses that do not fit any of the above)
- Some expenses are not eligible - such as car insurance, car payments, home remodeling, credit card bills, rent for family members, food for family members, and other.
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible for ARPA funding if you are enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester, have filed a FAFSA, completed verification if requested, and are meeting all eligibility necessary to receive federal funding as stated in Section 484 of the Higher Education Act. If a student does not have a FAFSA on file, but is eligible to file one, supporting documentation may be necessary for a request to determine need. If a student is not eligible to file a FAFSA, supporting documentation may be necessary for a request to determine need. Funds must be prioritized to our neediest students with the purpose of promoting and continuing education during the pandemic as part of the requirement for the fund reporting.
Eligible Students include: DACA, undocumented students, International, dual credit, non-U.S.-citizen students, visiting and transient students.
Will I automatically receive money if I am eligible?
As of Oct 15, 2021 a mass release strategy is being developed to automatically award funding to our neediest population of students. All students may not readily present as needy in our systems and records. For those students an application for funding may be needed. We are in an application phase for those that have exhausted their aid options and aid eligibility.
What do I do if I have an emergent need?
We encourage all students who have an emergent need to complete an application for funding. A committee will review and reply within 7 business days. We understand all requests are urgent. We do appreciate your patience as we review requests. Be sure to answer all questions so we can determine if your request is COVID related for this batch of funding or if other emergent funding sources are applicable. Only requests that are COVID related will be eligible for this funding. Watch your KU email, we may email you for additional information if needed.
Requests pertaining to Winter 2022 session will not be accepted until November 15, 2021.
I noticed that this emergency funding now allows for funding to pay towards my bill on MyKU, how does this happen?
When you apply for funding you select if you want the funding to pay towards your bill at KU or if you want the funds to be refunded to you directly. Option 1 pays towards your bill, Option 2 refunds only - you can choose both options if your request would need that.
Can I request this funding instead of using my Stafford loans?
This is a tricky question. Emergency funding awards are to help bridge a gap between the typical aid you use and the costs. This is not to replace your financial aid. The committee will review your account with every request and ensure you have utilized all aid options available to you before awarding emergency funding. You may be encouraged to work with financial aid services on additional resources available to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ARPA?
- The American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARPA) is federal legislation that provides a variety of financial support to higher education institutions to promote and ensure learning continues during the pandemic for our neediest students.
- Kutztown University received $ 9.91 million dollars to be provided directly to students for their expenses related to continuing their education and learning.
How much will I receive?
As of October 15, 2021 a mass release strategy is being developed to meet the needs of our neediest students for whom we can document need. We are in a request only phase until this strategy is approved. Winter 2022 requests will be accepted starting November 15, 2021 for funding after typical and normal financial aid is utilized.
How will I receive this money if awarded?
Emergency grants will be processed through Student Accounts. On the request form, students will choose if the funding is to pay their bill directly in MyKU or if the funding is to be refunded to the student.
If refunding to the student, this is done through the refund option you previously selected with BankMobile Disbursements. To review/modify your selected option, log into www.bankmobilevibe.com; to make a refund selection go to https://bankmobiledisbursements.com/refundchoices. If you no longer have your personal code, click on Need a Code below the box and proceed. If you are still having difficulty, please email the Office of Student Accounts for guidance and direction.
If the student requested the funding to pay their tuition bill as now allowed by the ARPA, then the payment would be applied to their MyKU account.
Do I need to repay the money?
No, you will not need to repay any money received through this federal emergency fund.
Can I apply for more funding than the flat award I may receive or have received?
Yes, you can however there are limits in place to ensure all needy students have access to the funds.
Can I apply for funding more than once?
If you apply for additional funds after a prior award, you may fill out the application again, however priority is given to first time applicants and subsequent awards, even if emergent, may not be approved to ensure availability of funds for all needy students.
Does this funding affect my other financial aid?
No. ARPA, like CRRSAA and CARES Act, these funds are an emergency grant to help you manage expenses to ensure you can continue with higher education learning during the pandemic, and it will not have any impact on other financial aid you may be eligible to receive.
Other funds for emergent needs may affect your Financial Aid cost of attendance limits.
What if I still have an account balance and receive a flat award amount of funding?
If you receive a flat award amount, that will be refunded to you via your BankMobile refund preference. You can absolutely use this amount to pay your bill so that you can be cleared for Spring registration appointments and not miss out on the courses you want or need.
We cannot do this for you automatically though unless it is via an application where you chose Option 1.
If you applied for funds - then you chose if you wanted funding to pay towards your bill or if you wanted funds to be refunded to you.
Are the Emergency Grants taxable?
The emergency grants are not reported on a 1098-T. Please consult with a tax guide or financial advisor to determine what would be taxable for your specific situation.
- Are there local or regional resources to access food pantries or other related services for me and my family?
Are there any other resources that may help with software or training for my computer?
Kutztown University students can log into www.onthehub.com to see what various software programs and trainings are available to them at reduced costs OR no cost, simply based on their student status at KU.