Editor's note: As of June 10, all CRRSAA student grant funds have been awarded and the application has closed.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students in need of financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for emergency aid in a second round of funding from the University’s federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II allocation. The funding, which provides $27.5 million specifically for student grants, is part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) that was signed into law in December 2020.
In the first round of funding announced in April, Penn State awarded CRRSAA cash grants totaling nearly $25.6 million to approximately 23,000 students University-wide with exceptional need, as determined by data from the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Recognizing that not all students have completed a FAFSA and knowing that some students and their families have experienced unexpected financial hardships due to the pandemic, Penn State will disburse the remaining federal dollars via an application-based second round of funding to support students who were not initially identified for a grant. Priority for the CRRSAA grant application requests will be given to those students who have not already been the recipient of CRRSAA funding.
Students in need can apply for a grant online now through the Office of Student Aid. All Penn State students at all campus locations, including World Campus students, who were enrolled during the spring 2021 semester are eligible to apply. Under updated U.S. Department of Education guidelines, all students can apply for these federal funds, regardless of citizenship status.
Grants will be worth up to $1,000 per student and do not have to be repaid. The funds can be used to cover any component of a student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs due to COVID-19, including tuition, housing, health care (including mental health care), and child care, provided that the expense was incurred on or after the start of the national COVID-19 emergency on March 13, 2020. Students experiencing loss of employment (either themselves or a family member), reduced income, or food or housing insecurity also are eligible to apply.
Submission of an application serves as affirmation that a student will use the grant for any component of their cost of attendance and/or for emergency costs incurred after March 13, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until all remaining CRRSAA student grant dollars have been exhausted. Students who are awarded funding will receive notification via their Penn State email account, and all CRRSAA second-round awards will be refunded directly to the student.
For more information about the Round 2 CRRSAA grants and to apply for aid, visit the online application. Answers to frequently asked questions about the emergency grants are available on Penn State’s official coronavirus information website.