HEERF III Information


The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed in to law on March 11, 2021.  The ARP provides for education stabilization through emergency funding to institutions of higher education through Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF III). Institutions accepting ARP funding must commit to providing at least 50% of the funds in the form of financial aid grants to students, which can be used for any component of the student's cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus.

To eliminate barriers and provide needed assistance to students as quickly as possible, GCCC is awarding HEERF III grants through an application process wherein students can indicate they have "exceptional need" and request up to a maximum amount of $1,000 for the Fall 2021 semester.


Reports are due quarterly and must be posted on the institution's primary website no later than 10 calendar days after the calendar quarter.

  • January 10, April 10, July 10, October 10
  • HEERF III Exception: Quarterly reporting for HEERF III for the first quarter of 2021 has been extended to the end of the second calendar quarter, June 30, 2021.

Once funds are fully spent, the institution may indicate that this is the institution's final quarterly posting and that it covers all remaining HEERF fund expenditures for that specific HEERF Student Portion of funding. After posting, no more quarterly public reporting of Student Portion funds is required.

Required Reporting Information

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than the required amount of funds received to provide HEERF grants to students:

    At GCCC, we acknowledge that we have signed and returned the HEERF III (ARP) act certification and agreement.  Further, we acknowledge that we are using the funds to provide at least $2,178,399 on student grants.

  2. The total amount of HEERF III funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department:

    Garden City Community College will receive a total of $4,264,240 in HEERF III funds.  $2,178,399 in the student portion and $2,085,841 in the institution funds.

  3. The total amount of HEERF III Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students:

    $115,964 from October 8, 2021 through December 31,2021.

  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution that are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) and (a)(4) programs.

    2058 students from October 8, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students:

    119 students from October 8, 2021 through December 31,2021.

  6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive:

    To eliminate barriers and provide assistance to all GCCC students as expeditiously as possible, GCCC administration decided to award HEERF II & HEERF III grants through a simple application process wherein students identify they have exceptional need for a component of the GCCC cost of attendance and/or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as but not limited to: tuition, fees, food, housing, health care (including mental), child care, transportation or other.

    As eligibility and regulations changed (more students became eligible) so did our HEERF awarding process to ensure compliance and allow for all students who were being affected by the pandemic and/or who need additional COA assistance/COVID relief funding. During the 2020-2021 award year, 1264 students were identified as "eligible Pell students" (this # came from DOE website dashboard statistics (even though only 655 were awarded Pell grants) which is more than half of the student body; however students may or not need the HEERF funding as each student is unique in the current environment. Additionally, the FAFSA doesn't reflect COVID related expenses nor any other situations that student/parent may be experiencing. Therefore instead of a "batch or group" HEERF awarding model, GCCC recognized this uncertainty and implemented a quick simple application process that allows all students to have an opportunity to certify their exceptional need and apply for HEERF funding. Additionally, many students now eligible for HEERF funding (high school dual credit, undocumented, international and other) are not eligible for FAFSA therefore awarding such funds according to "Pell eligible" or financial need according to a FAFSA application/methodology became irrelevant. The quick and simple application process allows all GCCC students to identify themselves when they have exceptional need and when their situation changes.

    Maximum award amounts that a student can apply for each semester are determined by administration through analyzing current enrollment population and total HEERF II and HEERF III funds available and do not exceed the maximum amount allowed by the regulations. A maximum amount is established/published each semester to ensure all GCCC students who have exceptional need have an opportunity to request HEERF II or III funding.

  7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
    • Instructions, directions, or guidance provided by institution to students concerning the HEERF grants:
    • Emails were sent multiple times to the entire student body with an active link and instructions on how to apply
    • Notifications were posted multiple times each semester on the GCCC Ready Ed App
    • GCCC Financial Aid and Business Office had daily conversations with students
    • All GCCC employees were notified and shared information with students in classroom and during advising appointments
    • Social media and other public relation notices were posted
    • Various links to the application from multiple website locations