Montgomery College Students in Need Can Still Access Pandemic Relief Assistance


The MC Raptor holding the Financial Aid Flyer. Photo: Courtesy of Montgomery College.

Adedokun Jagun

Even as COVID-19 mandates relax across the state and country, pandemic relief assistance is still available to Montgomery College students who demonstrate financial need. Around $20 million in grant money is available to MC students under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III). The money provided through the grant can be used for purposes outside of tuition, such as healthcare and food. Beginning on January 6, 2022, these funds have been allocated to students in need as part of the American Relief Plan (ARP). However, as of March 1, 2022, the availability of these funds has dwindled.

There is no deadline to apply for these funds, but since March 1, 2022, applications have been converted to waitlist status. The application can be found by going onto the MC website and typing: “Federal ARP Student Emergency Assistance Grant Request Form”. There, students can fill out the necessary information to determine their eligibility for receiving the grant money. The Financial Aid Systems Analyst, Shamsah Hussein, has also reaffirmed the dwindling availability of funds, saying: “I would say that almost all of the money is gone, so apply and get in on the waitlist; it’s better to get something rather than nothing.”

Since March 25, 2022, 6,492 awards have been given out to students from HEERF funds. These grants gave out a maximum of $1,500 for the summer 2021 sessions, $3000 for the fall 2021 session, and $2,500 for the spring semester. The reduction between the fall and spring semesters was, according to Judy Taylor, the Director of Financial Aid, “based on the number of applications and the funds remaining.” However, there are different priority groups determined by Montgomery College to properly allocate funds to students who need them the most.

These priority groups have been determined by the Montgomery College ARP Act Student Assistance Report and are divided into eight groups. The first two groups are for eligible students for FAFSA and the Maryland State Financial Aid (MSFAA), respectively. The third group is for those with domestic means-tested and no FAFSA, while the fourth group is for those with a domestic income determined by the 2021 Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER). The fifth group includes international or “alien” students, as part of the inclusion of undocumented students, dreamers, DACA applicants, asylum seekers, and international students now being eligible for the grant. The sixth group is similar to the fourth but for international income rather than domestic, and the seventh and eighth groups are for domestic and international students with the lowest financial need.

Students are urged to apply as soon as possible, and they can contact the Office of Financial Aid at [email protected] or by calling the number (240) 567-5100 for further information. Though most funds have been awarded, there is still the opportunity to receive more. The grant request form is linked here: