Frequently Asked Questions

HEERF III

ARP (American Rescue Plan)

Frequently Asked Questions


What is HEERF III?
HEERF III is the third round of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which provides financial support to colleges and universities, as well as directly to students. To be eligible for this award, certificate- and degree-seeking students must be enrolled in at least one course in a degree or certificate program in Fall 2021. Accelerated Skills Training (AST), Intensive English Program (IEP) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students must be enrolled in an AST, IEP or ESOL program between Monday, August 23 and Wednesday, November 3, 2021.


How much money can I receive through a HEERF III emergency grant?
Based on Valencia College’s plan, which includes guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education to distribute HEERF III emergency funds, the amount students are awarded is based on which criteria they meet and, for degree- and certificate-seeking students, if they have demonstrated exceptional need.

Degree- and Certificate-seeking Students:

  • Eligible students who apply for a HEERF III grant and have a valid expected family contribution of $0 (EFC) through their 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will receive $2,000. (Students must have a 2021-22 FAFSA on file to be potentially eligible to receive this amount.)
  • Eligible students who apply for a HEERF III grant and do not have a valid expected family contribution of $0 (EFC) or students who have not completed their 2021-22 FAFSA will receive a $1,500 grant.

Accelerated Skills Training (AST) Students:

  • Eligible AST students who apply for a HEERF III grant will receive a $1,000 grant.

Intensive English Program (IEP) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Students:

  • Eligible language students who apply for a HEERF III grant will receive a $500 grant.

Am I eligible to receive a HEERF III emergency grant?
Based on the law and U.S. Department of Education guidelines, to be eligible for a HEERF III emergency grant, you must meet at least one of the criteria:

Degree- and Certificate-seeking Students:

  • To be eligible to receive emergency aid as a degree- or certificate-seeking student, you must meet all of the qualifications below:
  • Be enrolled at Valencia College in at least one course in a degree or certificate program in Fall 2021.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling

Accelerated Skills Training (AST) Students:

  • To be eligible to receive emergency aid as a student enrolled in an Accelerated Skills Training (AST) program, you must meet all of the qualifications below:
  • Be enrolled in a Valencia College Accelerated Skills Training program that meets anytime between Monday, August 23 and Wednesday, November 3, 2021.

Intensive English Program (IEP) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Students:

  • To be eligible to receive emergency aid as a student enrolled in an IEP or ESOL program, you must meet all of the qualifications below:
  • Be enrolled in a Valencia College IEP or ESOL program that meets anytime between Monday, August 23 and Wednesday, November 3, 2021.


Can I apply for multiple HEERF III emergency grants?
No. You may only apply for one grant during this period even if you meet multiple eligible criteria.


How can I apply to receive HEERF III funds?
If you are eligible to apply, we will email you in mid-October with instructions on how to apply. You’ll need to submit your application by Tuesday, November 16, 2021.  It’s important that you stay tuned to your Atlas email account for any updates about your eligibility.


I believe I’m qualified to receive a HEERF III emergency grant, but I did not receive an email. What should I do?
Please visit the Virtual Answer Center for additional guidance.


Do I need to prove financial need to apply for these funds?
Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, these funds are intended to support students with the cost of attendance or for emergency costs related to COVD-19. These expenses may include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care or child care.


How does Valencia College define exceptional need?
Valencia College defines exceptional need as students with a demonstrated $0 expected family contribution (EFC) as documented by the 2021-2022 FAFSA. If selected for verification, students must complete the verification process to demonstrate their $0 EFC. 


Do I need to repay the grant I receive?
No; you do not need to repay this grant.


Would this funding reduce my financial aid?
No; this is a one-time grant that will not affect your existing financial aid.


If I’m awarded a HEERF III emergency grant, how will I receive my grant money?
You will receive your grant money through Valencia College’s refund process, which is managed by BankMobile. To receive your refunds as quickly as possible, we highly encourage you to opt to receive electronic refunds from Valencia College, which includes grant money from the HEERF III grant. Follow these instructions to opt in to receiving your refund electronically.

If you do not opt in to receive electronic refunds, you will receive your grant money through a paper check mailed to your home address on file with Valencia College.

Please note: receiving a paper check may cause significant delays.

Important note: HEERF III funding will not be applied to your Valencia College account. Even if you have outstanding tuition and fees, your funds will be deposited in your BankMobile or personal checking account, or you’ll be sent a check in the mail. If you wish to use these funds to pay your account balance with Valencia College, please do so through Atlas.


When will I receive my grant money?
We will begin processing your disbursement (distribution of funds) on Monday, November 22, 2021.

If you opted to receive electronic refunds from Valencia College, your grant money will be deposited directly in your bank account (ACH) or BankMobile Vibe Checking Account. If you did not opt to receive Valencia College refunds electronically, you will be sent a check to the home address listed in your Atlas account.

Please note: After disbursement begins, it may take up to three days before you receive the funds in your account through electronic transfer, and it may take more than 21 days for you to receive a check by mail.

If you haven’t done this already, we highly encourage you to follow these instructions to opt in to receiving your refund electronically.