The University of Northern Iowa has received its third and largest allotment of federal COVID-19 relief funding, which will provide additional financial assistance to qualifying students impacted by the pandemic.

The $10.7 million provided to UNI as part of the American Rescue Plan and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is the most recent round of funding the university has received for its students since the beginning of the pandemic. The university previously distributed more than $7.6 million in federal funding to students who showed exceptional need due to COVID-19.

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester may be eligible for a portion of the new funding. In order to qualify, students must fill out a 2021-22 FAFSA, which the university is using to help determine individual need. Students who are referred to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for HEERF III funding, yet do not meet FAFSA eligibility criteria, will have their applications considered on a case-by-case basis.

"We are extremely thankful for this appropriation, as it will help support thousands of our students who continue to feel the financial impact of the pandemic," said Tim Bakula, director of UNI's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. "This assistance will make a difference for many of our students who have been working to maintain their educational progress throughout the challenges of the past year."

The award amount will likely range from $1,250 to $1,750 per eligible student. The funding will be made available to qualifying students starting in mid-September. Additional awards are anticipated for the spring semester and will be provided based on remaining available funds.

The first round of $3.8 million in COVID-relief funding (CARES or HEERF I) was distributed in April 2020 to more than 2,800 students with exceptional financial need. This past spring, UNI disbursed the second round of $3.8 million in funding (HEERF II) to nearly 3,500 qualifying students.

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