Payments To Students Impact Local Economy 

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was created and funded as part of the federal COVID response. Starting in May 2020, this legislation provided funds to colleges and universities to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The funds below were given to students unencumbered. Students were able to use the funds in any way they wish to help with hardships incurred due to COVID-19. 

The first HEERF payments to students were made in the fall of 2020. Colleges and universities were required to commit at least 50% of their COVID-related funding to direct student assistance. While colleges and universities could not restrict the funds, they did identify several possible uses of the money, including technology purchases, tuition and internet access.  

Depending on the program, students received funds by direct disbursement — direct deposit or paper check — or the funds were applied to their existing account balances. Each college and university established its own disbursement plan within the parameters of the program. 

InstitutionFunds Appropriated
University of Central Arkansas$23.1 million
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton$4 million
Hendrix College$2.6 million
Central Baptist College$1.9 million
Total$31.6 million

For information about each school’s HEERF distribution visit these websites: 

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