BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State and Northwest Technical College students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for a third round of financial assistance through the American Rescue Plan Act.

According to a release, in May 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced that ARP funding would be made available to higher education institutions, with the ARP appropriating $164,042,000 to the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities.

With BSU receiving $4,585,381 and NTC receiving $692,257, there will be three stages of ARP fund distribution, the first of which began on Aug. 9 to students enrolled in Summer 2021 courses.

BSU students eligible for Federal Pell Grants will receive $1,115 and students whose expected family contribution is less than $15,000 will receive an additional $860, sent via mail or dispersed to student accounts on Sept. 23.

NTC students eligible for Federal Pell Grants will receive $940 and students whose expected family contribution is less than $15,000 will receive an additional $670, sent via mail or dispersed to student accounts on Sept. 24.

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The BSU Student Senate chose to split the remaining funds between the fall and spring semesters based on a 50/50 ratio, while NTC's Student Senate decided on a 60/40 ratio.

BSU students may also apply for individual relief grants up to $1,000, or $750 for NTC students, which are also available to eligible DACA and international students. This application will become available Sept. 17 and grants will be awarded on a rolling basis to eligible students.

To be eligible for fall 2021 ARP funding, students cannot have withdrawn, dropped or had a last day of attendance before Sept. 4.

This round of funding comes after the April 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the December 2020 CARES Act, both of which offered relief to NTC and BSU students.