On March 11, 2021, the President signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (pub. L. 117-2). Thomas College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement stating the College intends provide emergency financial aid grants to students in an amount equivalent to the sum of two amounts: 50 percent of the portion of its allocation that is based on formula factors from CRRSAA section 314(a)(1)(A)-(D) and 100 percent of the portion of its allocation that is based on formula factors from CRRSAA section 314(a)(1)(E)-(F).
Thomas College received $1,277,608 on May 24,2021 from the Department to utilize for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
Thomas College has distributed funds to 778 students, as of June 29, 2021, totaling $1,277,608 under Section 2003(7) of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Students included our domestic and international population enrolled, and/or previously enrolled, during the spring, spring two or summer one terms of 2021.
Thomas College utilized a matrix based on estimated family contribution (EFC) and course enrollment to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 2003(7) of the APR. After requiring applications for the first two rounds of funding, Thomas College determined that all students had some form of emergency need during the pandemic, and requiring an application deterred the student from requesting funds. Methodologies were created to ensure any student needing funds to assist with expenses would have access, with priority given to those students with exceptional need.
Thomas College students were provided information concerning Emergency Financial Aid Grants through email communication and social media. A detailed initial email communication was sent June 23, 2021, which was followed by another June 24,2021, by the Senior Director of Student Financial Services. The email included policies and how funds will be issued to the student. The content of the initial email communication is provided below.
Original Email to Students:
Dear Thomas College Students,
As we continue to celebrate our recent graduates and look forward to welcoming students to campus in the fall, I am excited to share with you a new program that Thomas College is able to offer our current students, and recent Thomas College graduates, to assist with the financial ramifications brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Students who have been adversely impacted financially and incurred additional expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for funds granted to institutions of higher education through the third Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) established by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). In order to meet the requirement to “promptly and to the greatest extent practicable” release these funds to students, Thomas College is pleased to share the following information with you.
The vast majority of Thomas students are eligible, including, for the first time, international students. Students must have been enrolled in the spring 2021, spring two 2021 or summer one 2021 terms. Applications will not be requested from students for this third round of emergency funds. Checks will be mailed to students beginning June 24,2021 and international students may be sent funds via wire transfer. In order to receive these funds, it is important that your address is up to date with Thomas College. Funds may be used for any emergency expenses you incurred during the pandemic, college expenses that created a hardship for you, or as payment towards fall bills being sent July 16, 2021. Examples of expenses include tuition, housing (rent or utilities), transportation, basic needs (groceries), child-care expenses, additional health care expenses (including mental health care), and access to required resources for remote learning.
Funds will be issued based on a “block plan” utilizing information obtained from the FAFSA or CSS Profile for International students. Pell eligible students will receive the highest funding level as defined through the ARP exceptional need category. Funding levels and the College policy attached to those levels may be found at https://www.thomas.edu/financial-aid/arp-funds/.
Should you have any questions concerning the American Rescue Plan funds please contact me at the information provided below. I wish you all a safe, relaxing summer full of memories created with friends and family!
Senior Director of Student Financial Services