Update on Additional Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding
A message from Xenia Markowitt, Interim Vice Provost for Student Success; Rebecca Hunter, Vice President for Integrative Enrollment Analytics for Student Success and University Registrar; and Deirdre Bairstow-Allen, Senior Director for Financial Aid
Dear Members of The New School community,
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is a federal program that provides support to institutions of higher education to ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall, the federal government allocated a third round of funding to colleges and universities to address the ongoing financial impact of COVID-19 on their campuses.
As part of this program, The New School was awarded $14.2 million, which includes funding to directly support students and address university costs stemming from the pandemic. We are writing today to share more information about the distribution of these funds.
With the addition of HEERF III funds, The New School has allocated approximately $50 million of university and federal funds since March 2020 to help alleviate some of the immediate challenges our students have faced. This includes grants addressing urgent need, access to technology, and tuition relief, among others. We remain committed to supporting the educational experience and ultimate success of every student at The New School.
The New School was awarded $7.1 million to provide eligible students with aid through HEERF III.
To help determine the distribution of the student funds, the university convened an advisory group of students from the University Student Senate and staff representing the Financial Aid, Admission, Student Accounts, Student Advocacy, Student Success, Finance, and Provost’s offices. This cross-university advisory group was charged with identifying the criteria for distributing the funds to students.
Working within the required federal guidelines, the group prioritized $3,000 grants for students who demonstrated financial hardship over the past year. Eligible students included:
- Undergraduate, U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens with verified, completed FAFSA forms on file with Financial Aid as of October 1, 2021 and an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) below $20,000
- International students whose financial aid appeals were denied prior to October 1, 2021 and had demonstrated need due to COVID-19 in their appeal applications
- Graduate students who did not receive HEERF II funds, had demonstrated need in their appeal applications, and whose financial aid appeals were denied prior to October 1, 2021
Remaining HEERF III funding will be used for additional grants in spring 2022.
The New School also received $7.1 million in HEERF III funds to assist the university with lost revenues and cover costs related to the pandemic. Of the $7.1 million that could have been applied to institutional expenses, the university allocated $5.7 million to erase debt for degree students who had unpaid tuition and fee balances from the spring, summer, and fall 2020 semesters.
The remaining $1.4 million of these funds was used to offset the significant financial impact of the university’s efforts to safely reopen our campus. These costs include, but are not limited to, personal protection equipment, COVID-19 testing costs, ventilation upgrades, and costs to support virtual learning. Unfortunately these costs far exceeded the limited federal funds available.
Additional Funding Resources and Information
We recognize that students may continue to face financial challenges, and students who need additional support can apply for one-time aid through the university’s Student Emergency Assistance Program. Students experiencing extreme hardship are prioritized for support. Applications are reviewed and processed on a rolling basis. Submitting an application does not guarantee funding.
For more information about the distribution of HEERF III funds and previous COVID-19 federal relief funding received by the university, please visit our Financial Assistance page and Federal Reporting page.