Safer Return at Cal Poly Pomona

American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III)

We are pleased to announce that Cal Poly Pomona has received our third round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) money, authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Cal Poly Pomona has received $85,115,294 in HEERF III funds, at least $42,594,664 of which is to provide direct financial support to students.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Public Law 117-2, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARP funds are in addition to funds authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136. Emergency funds available to institutions and their students under all emergency funds total $76.2 billion.

HEERF III Student Emergency Grants can be used by a student for any of the following Eligible expenses

  • Any component of a student’s cost of attendance
  • Emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as: tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental) and childcare.

Institutions are required to prioritize grants to students with exceptional financial need, such as those who receive Pell Grants or undergraduates receiving other need-based aid.

Cal Poly Pomona American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) Awarding & Disbursement Policy

Phase I (Summer 2021)

Cal Poly Pomona distributed automatic grants to students with exceptional need.  Grant amounts were $1,391 – which is the equivalent of one month’s off-campus room & board from the 2020 – 2021 Cost of Attendance budget at Cal Poly Pomona.

Exceptional Need is defined as having an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the 2020 – 2021 FAFSA or Dream Application that falls within the Pell Grant eligible range (0 – 5,711).

The eligibility criteria for receiving a grant in Phase I was:

  • Must be degree or credential seeking student
  • Enrolled during Summer 2021 in at least one unit (as of July 28, 2021)
  • Have exceptional need – as demonstrated by the EFC of 0 – 5,711 on 2020 – 2021 FAFSA or Dream Application. 
  • Not be receiving a Staff/Faculty Fee waiver for tuition

Phase II (Fall 2021) - updated 10/5/2021

Cal Poly Pomona will distribute automatic grants to students with exceptional need and high need. 

Grant amounts are $1,515 for Exceptional Need students and $1,136 for High Need students.   The amounts were derived from the Off-campus Room & Board component of the 2021 – 2022 Cost of Attendance budget.

Exceptional Need:  Following guidance from the Department of Education and the CSU Chancellor’s Office, exceptional need is defined as having an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the 2021 – 2022 FAFSA or CA Dream Application that falls within the Pell Grant eligible range (0 – 5,846).

High Need:  Cal Poly Pomona has determined that students with an   (EFC) of 5,847 – 12,744 from the 2021 – 2022 FAFSA or Dream Application qualify as High Need.  This is the range that would potentially be eligible for a Cal Grant A tuition Grant (as a Commuter student).

The eligibility criteria for receiving a grant in Phase II is:

  • Must be degree or credential seeking student
  • Enrolled during Fall 2021 in at least one unit as of 10/04/2021
  • Have an EFC of 0 -12,744 on the 2021 – 2022 FAFSA or Dream Application (aid application must be on file with Cal Poly Pomona as of 10/4/2021)
  • Not be receiving a Staff/Faculty Fee waiver for tuition

Phase III (Fall 2021 – beginning October 18, 2021) – Updated 10/18/2021

Approximately $13 million in HEERF III Student Share Grant Funds has been made available for Cal Poly Pomona students to apply for a HEERF III Emergency Grant.  HEERF III Emergency Grants can range from $500 - $3,000 depending on a student’s individual circumstances.

The application (or Phase III) allows for all Cal Poly Pomona students to submit a request for HEERF III Emergency Grant funding, including international students, DACA students, and others who may not have submitted a financial aid application.  Students who previously received a HEERF Emergency Grant, may still be eligible to receive a HEERF III Emergency Grant, but they must file a new request. 

The HEERF III Emergency grant may be used for any component of the cost of attendance, or for emergency costs due to COVID-19, such as tuition, fees, past-due balance, housing, food, books, and health care.  

To be considered for a HEERF Emergency Grant, you must fill out a HEERF Emergency Grant Request, which is available between October 18th to December 17th, 2021. Fund requests are due by December 17th and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The review process will take approximately two to three weeks.

Minimum eligibility criteria for students to apply:

  • Must be a degree or credential seeking student
  • Must be enrolled during Fall 2021 in at least one unit
  • Have expenses related to the pandemic such as medical, and technology expenses, unexpected childcare, course materials, and other unexpected expenses included in the student’s cost of college attendance.
  • Have demonstrated need, as determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or CADAA (California Dream Act Application) or through use of an EFC Estimator prior to starting this request.

All students who have faced financial challenges due to the pandemic are encouraged to apply.

Additional Emergency Resources

If you are experiencing recent financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, you can apply for additional funds to offset those expenses.

Cal Poly Pomona Broncos Care – Basic Needs

The Cal Poly Pomona Broncos Care - Basic Needs Program is a comprehensive, campus-wide program that identifies and immediately serves some of Cal Poly Pomona's most at-risk students, which include our displaced students, food insecure students, and students experiencing an emergency or crisis. 

Available resources through Broncos Care – Basic Needs include the following:

Poly Pantry

The Poly Pantry provides access to food and basic necessities and referrals to campus and community-based resources. The Pantry is available to all who feel they are in need. As a customer-choice pantry, individuals are empowered to shop for what they need and want, in order to meet their dietary needs. 

The Poly Pantry is currently operating as a no contact, curbside pickup Poly Pantry 2 Go service. Visit their website to sign up for a time slot and learn more information!

Meal Assistance Program 

The Meal Assistance program can temporarily assist students with food insecurity while more permanent resources are found. Through the program, students can receive an allotted amount of meal swipes to be used at the campus dining hall, an allotment of meal points and/or a campus meal point gift card that can be used at any dining facility on campus.  

Student Emergency Grant 

The Basic Needs Emergency Grants support student success by providing a one-time grant of up to $500 to assist with an unforeseen emergency, crisis, or catastrophic event. The aim of the Grant program is to serve students in a timely manner with quick access to the funds. 

Short-term Emergency Housing 

The Short-Term Emergency Housing Assistance Program provides students experiencing housing instability and displacement with temporary University Housing Services (UHS) to ensure a student’s safety and wellbeing as they acquire permanent and secure housing. Placement in the Short-Term Emergency Housing is no longer than a two (1-2) week stay, pending space availability.

COVID-19 Campus & Community Resource List

The Cal Poly Pomona Broncos Care Basic Needs team has compiled a resource list for students and the campus community during the COVID-19 situation.  The list contains information on a variety of relief resources – including housing, utilities, food support, etc., and is continually updated as new resources become known.

Financial Aid – Professional Judgement Appeals

We understand that there may be circumstances that affect your ability to pay for college, which may not be apparent, based on the information collected on your application for aid.

If any of the following circumstances apply to you or a member of your family, you might qualify for an adjustment known as a professional judgment:

  • Job loss
  • Reduction of pay
  • Medical expenses
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Change to relationship with your parents (no longer in contact/relationship dissolved)
  • You are experiencing homelessness or are unaccompanied and at risk of homelessness

An adjustment of this kind could qualify you for additional financial aid. To begin the process, please be sure to file the 2021-2022 FAFSA or 2021 – 2022 Dream Application. To learn more, please visit Professional Judgement Appeal

The HEERF III grant funds are intended to provide emergency financial support to students and may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or childcare.

The Department has removed some of the limitations regarding student eligibility criteria. All Cal Poly Pomona undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and teaching credential students enrolled during the period of the national emergency may be eligible, including DACA and international students. Students must have been enrolled in at least one credit hour during the semester of the emergency grant distribution. Institutions must prioritize students with exceptional need.

HEERF III institutions are required to prioritize students with exceptional need, as related to components of the student’s cost of attendance. While students are not required to have a FAFSA or Dream Application on file, the information provided via these applications will be the primary way to identify those with exceptional need.
 
The U.S. Department of Education has defined students who are receiving a Federal Pell Grant as having exceptional need.  At Cal Poly Pomona we use the Pell Eligible EFC range to define exceptional need.

  • 2020 – 2021 Pell Eligible EFC: 0 – 5,711
  • 2021 – 2022 Pell Eligible EFC: 0 – 5,846

At Cal Poly Pomona we use the Cal Grant A Eligible EFC range (Commuters) to define high need.

  • 2021 – 2022 EFC: 5,847 – 12,744

All HEERF III Emergency Grant funds will be disbursed to your student account. Once the grant has posted to your account, the funds will be issued as a refund directly to you.

  • If you are currently signed up for direct deposit, you will receive your funds in your bank account within three business days from when the funds are released.
  • If you have not signed up for direct deposit, you will receive your funds as a paper check – sent through U.S. Mail. Allow at least 10 business days for receipt of checks. If you do not have a bank account Wells Fargo will cash the check for you at no charge.

We encourage all students to sign up for direct deposit. The direct deposit process is the most convenient, secure, and fastest way to receive your funds.  It is easy to sign up – just log in to Bronco Direct and follow these step-by-step instructions.

No.  Funds from your grant will be refunded directly to you. 

No.  It is our understanding based on information from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that HEERF III Grants awarded to students under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) are not treated as taxable income. The same is true for HEERF I and HEERF II funds awarded under the CARES Act and CRRSAA.

According to the IRS website, "Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need, or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, or childcare, are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income."

No. Your HEERF III Grant is not a loan and will not need to be paid back – nor will it affect your financial aid amounts for the 2021 – 2022 academic year.  Funds from your grant will be refunded directly to you. 

Students must have been enrolled in at least one credit hour during the semester of the emergency grant distribution.

Even if a student has a current financial hold or owes the campus fees or fines, they are still eligible to receive a HEERF III grant.  Any debts or fees owed to the university will not be deducted from the emergency grant.  100% of the HEERF III Grant funds are released to the student.

All students will be eligible to submit an application for a HEERF III Emergency Grant during Phase III.  This includes students who did not file a FAFSA or CA Dream Application. 

Phase I (Summer 2021) – Distribution of grants during this phase will consist only of Automatic Grants.  No application options will be available for students during this phase.

Phase II (Fall 2021) – Distribution of grants during this phase will consist only of Automatic Grants.  No application options will be available for students during this phase.

Phase III (Fall 2021 – beginning October 18, 2021) – All Cal Poly Pomona students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship resulting from COVID-19 may complete a HEERF III Grant Application to apply for emergency grant funds.  The application will allow for all groups of Cal Poly Pomona students to submit a request for HEERF III Emergency Grant funding, including international students, DACA students, and others who may not have submitted a financial aid application. All eligible students may apply - even if they previously received a HEERF Emergency Grant. 

The HEERF III Emergency Grant Application will be available through the Bronco Scholarship Portal (BSP) beginning October 18, 2021, through December 17, 2021. Applications for emergency grant funding will be considered on rolling basis while funds remain available.

Confidential requests will be reviewed on case-by-case basis by a team consisting of representatives from Broncos Care Basic Needs and highly trained financial aid administrators. Requests may be referred to campus partners as appropriate. The application will allow for all groups of Cal Poly Pomona students to submit a request for HEERF III Emergency Grant funding, including international students, DACA students, and others who may not have submitted a financial aid application.

To be considered for a HEERF Emergency Grant, you must fill out a HEERF Emergency Grant Request, which is available between October 18th to December 17th, 2021.

To log onto the online application, you will need your Bronco ID and password. 

The ARP requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need.

  • If you previously completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Dream Application, Cal Poly Pomona will use information from the most recent application filed to assess need.
  • If you have NOT previously completed a FAFSA or Dream Application, you will be asked to complete an EFC estimator so that we can assess need.

Confidential requests will be reviewed on case-by-case basis by a team consisting of representatives from Broncos Care Basic Needs and highly trained financial aid administrators. Requests may be referred to campus partners as appropriate.

Fund requests are due by December 17th and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The review process will take approximately two to three weeks. 

We truly empathize with the hardships our students and families are experiencing as a result of this pandemic.

If your financial aid circumstances have changed as a result of COVID-19, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for a potential Professional Judgement or EFC Appeal. An appeal through the Office of Financial Aid can potentially adjust your FAFSA or CA Dream information and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the 2021-2022 aid year, resulting in possible additional aid. If applicable, you will be asked to submit the necessary documentation to process such an appeal.

In addition, Cal Poly Pomona has a variety of programs to support you during this time. The Cal Poly Pomona Broncos Care - Basic Needs Program is a comprehensive, campus-wide program that identifies and immediately serves some of Cal Poly Pomona's most at-risk students, which include our displaced students, food insecure students, and students experiencing an emergency or crisis.

If you submitted a FAFSA for the 2022 aid year you can find your EFC in your Student Center in BroncoDirect. From Student Center, click the "View Financial Aid" link under the Finances section in Student Center.

Bronco Direct Screenshot of My Account and Financial Aid dropdown menus

Click on the 2022 aid year link.

Select Aid Year to View screenshot

Click on the Financial Aid Summary link.

Financial Aid Summary link button screenshot

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is display.

EFC Display screenshot

You can also view the how-to EFC video.

Cal Poly Pomona uses the Primary EFC for all students when determining amounts for the HEERF III Emergency Grants.  This is the same EFC that is used to determine Pell Grant eligibility.

The Prorated EFC is used to determine eligibility for need-based loans when a student only attends one semester.

Yes. The HEERF III Emergency Grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Basic Needs Emergency Grant is funded by Cal Poly Pomona.

Employees who are taking classes at Cal Poly Pomona and utilizing the Employee Fee Waiver Program are not eligible to receive HEERF III (ARP) funding. This was a campus decision to provide financial relief to students who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as layoffs or reduced hours in their jobs. Cal Poly Pomona employees who are seeking assistance should visit EODA’s COVID Support Services page.

You may contact Cal Poly Pomona’s HEERF III (ARP) hotline at 909-869-3800 or covidgrants@cpp.edu.

Visit this website periodically to find information about how and when the campus will distribute these funds.