Background

MSU Texas has received $13.5 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), of which $6.9 million will provide direct aid to students to help ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The balance of $6.5 million will be used for institutional support and will also be used in part to provide important relief to our students as they continue their educational aspirations and graduates who begin careers and professions.

Federal funds can now be disbursed to all eligible students including international and DACA students who were previously excluded.   Students must have been enrolled at MSU on or after March 13, 2020, the date the national emergency was declared.

How are ARPA grants awarded?

All eligible MSU Texas students will automatically receive a grant. Student grants will be disbursed automatically by semester based on a number of factors outlined by the U.S. Department of Education, such as level, financial need (Pell eligibility), course load, and if they are domestic students. 

There will also be an application process available to those students who have exceptional needs and would like to apply for additional one-time grant support. A link with further information on how to apply will be coming soon. Please check back periodically for details.

How much will I receive?

  1. All students who have a student account hold, have attended MSU sometime since March 13, 2020, and are enrolled in a program of study at the university, are eligible to receive a one-time grant up to $5,000 depending on student’s account balance.
  2. All students who have graduated since March 13, 2020 and have a transcript hold on their account would receive a one-time grant to satisfy their account balance.
  3. All students signing a housing contract by July 15, 2021 will receive a one-time housing grant of $1,000 for the Fall 2021 semester.  
  4. All students enrolled in summer, fall and spring semesters will receive a one-time grant based on financial need and enrollment activity. 

 

For students enrolled in the fall term in a program of study with MSU, the following will be used based on semester credit hour load and financial need: 

  • $750 eligible students enrolled full time with high level of need
  • $375 eligible students enrolled part time with high level of need
  • $500 eligible students enrolled full time with medium level of need
  • $250 eligible students enrolled part time with medium level of need
  • $250 eligible students enrolled full time with low level of financial need
  • $125 eligible students enrolled part time with low level of financial need

 

Full-time Enrollment

  • undergraduate students enrolled in at least 12 credit hours at MSU Texas for the Fall 2021 semester
  • graduate students enrolled in at least 6 credit hours AT MSU Texas for the fall 2021 semester

Part-time Enrollment

  • undergraduate students enrolled in less than 12 credit hours at MSU Texas for the Fall 2021 semester
  • graduate students enrolled in less than 6 credit hours at MSU Texas for the fall 2021 semester

High Level of Financial Need

  • undergraduate student who receive Pell Grants
  • undergraduate and graduate students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0-$5,846 according to student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Medium Level of Financial Need

  • undergraduate and graduate students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,847-$25,006 according to student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Low Level of Financial Need

  • undergraduate and graduate students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of more than $25,006 according to student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • undergraduate and graduate students without a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the university

 

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible for a one-time ARPA grant if you were enrolled on or after March 13, 2020, the date the national emergency was declared.  

American Rescue Plan FAQs

What is the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021?

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The ARPA appropriated approximately $39.6 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and represents the third, and final, stream of funding appropriated for HEERF to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus. Taken together, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), and the ARPA represent HEERF I, HEERF II, and HEERF III, respectively.

Do I need to repay the money?

No, ARPA grants do not need to be repaid.

Will this funding impact my financial aid?

No, ARPA grants will not impact other financial aid. This is a special grant to help you manage unexpected expenses related to the coronavirus and continue your education despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will not affect other financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

Are the ARPA grants taxable?

No. The IRS has determined that ARPA Emergency Grants are not taxable and are not reported on a U.S. tax return. Please visit the IRS website for more information.


Housing Grant FAQ

Will I get the housing grant each semester?

This $1,000 grant will be awarded in the Fall 2021 semester only.

When will the housing grant be placed on my account?

The grant will be placed on student accounts prior to the first day of class.

If I pay for all of my housing, will I get a refund check?

The grant is applied to the charges on your account. If you pay more than what is owed, then yes, you get a refund.

If my plans change and I don’t need campus housing, what happens to the grant money?

The money will be returned to the University. You must live on campus to keep the grant money.

Can I use the grant money to live off campus?

No. The grant is for students living in MSU Texas residence halls or apartments.

What do I need to do to accept the grant?

No action is needed as long as you have a completed housing application (including the $250 prepayment for new students) for the 2021-2022 academic year prior to July 15.

Are international students or non-US citizens eligible for the grant?

International students and non-US citizens are eligible for the grant.

Can I split the grant between fall and spring semesters?

No. The grant will be applied in full towards the fall semester charges.

Will the cost of my housing go up in the spring semester?

Housing rates will remain unchanged for Spring 2022; however, you will not see an additional housing grant reflected in Spring 2022.

Can I use the housing grant to cover my $250 advance payment?

No.  The $250 advance payment is separate and is required for new students to hold a space on campus.  This advance payment will be applied to your Fall 2021 charges.  Students eligible for free or reduced lunch in high school may be eligible to have the advance payment waived.  Please email housing@msutexas.edu to inquire about this process.

Is the grant taxable?

To the best of our knowledge, the grant is not taxable for US citizens or permanent residents.  International students may be subject to a 14% NRA withholding tax, only if the cumulative total of scholarships and grants are in excess of qualified tuition and related expenses.

I just cancelled my housing, how can I get it back to use the grant?

Send an email to the Office of Residence Life & Housing (housing@msutexas.edu) with your name and ID number. Indicate you wish to have your application reactivated.

Can I use the grant to cover my summer housing instead?

No. The grant is for students living on campus housing in the Fall 2021 semester.

Will this grant affect my financial aid or my FAFSA?

This grant will not affect your current financial aid or be used to calculate your FAFSA in the future.

What are the benefits to living on campus?

Our question is, who wouldn't want to live on campus?  In addition to meeting people from around the world and being in a close, supportive, and fun community, we know that students living on campus perform better academically than those who live off campus.  The reasons for this are many, including a deeper connection with peers and campus support services.  After a year of distancing, living among friends in a supportive environment will promote positive outcomes, both social and academic.