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Financial Aid

COVID Relief Aid (ARP)

The Department of Education has allocated additional COVID Relief Funds for Universities and Colleges to distribute to eligible students with the passing of The American Rescue Plan ARP.  

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included additional COVID-19 relief for institutions of higher education. This new COVID stimulus bill included $40 billion, for higher education institutions and students, using the same Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) model established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The University of Southern Mississippi has finalized the process for delivering the COVID Relief Aid.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled during the Summer 2021 semester. (for summer COVID Aid)
  • Students must be enrolled during the Fall 2021 semester. (for fall COVID Aid)

NOTE: Unlike previous CARES grants, international students may also be eligible for these federal funds.

Students should complete an online COVID ARP Relief Application through their SOAR account.

Faculty and Staff members are not eligible for the COVID ARP Relief Grant.

COVID ARP Relief Application Steps:

  1. Log into SOAR.
  2. Click on the Student Dashboard.
  3. Click on the COVID ARP Relief Application to-do list item.
  4. Complete all application questions – including if you authorize the University to apply the funds to your student account or if you wish to receive the funds directly.
  5. Click “Submit.”.

The Office of Financial Aid will determine eligibility.  Deadline to apply for summer COVID Relief Aid was July 15, 2021.

The Office of Financial Aid will determine eligibility. Deadline and application for fall 2021 COVID Relief Aid is September 30, 2021.

Students receiving COVID Relief aid will be offered two possible choices in which to have their funds distributed to them.

  1. Students can authorize the university to apply the COVID Relief Aid to their student account  any current institutional charges.  Any excess funds remaining after applying to eligible charges will be distributed to the student.
  2. Students can choose to have the COVID Relief Aid distributed directly to them.

If you are eligible and choose to receive the funds directly, or if you have an excess of funds after they have been applied to your student account, a refund will be processed through BankMobile.  If you have not chosen a refund preference with BankMobile, please do so by clicking on the Student Refunds tile in your SOAR Account.  If you need assistance, the BankMobile Customer Service number is 877.327.9515

The Fall 2021 awarding model is TBD, after the application deadline of September 30th.  We hope to start awarding Fall 2021 awards by October 4th.

The Office of Financial Aid determined student eligibility based on enrollment status for the Summer 2021 term. These are the students who were communicated to regarding the availability of funds and how to apply. 

The online application consisted of two questions: 

  1.  I certify that I have experienced financial need due to the on-going pandemic.

  2.  I Authorize the University of Southern Miss to apply my COVID ARP Relief grant to my student account to offset any  current institutional charges.

As applications were received, the Office of Financial Aid awarded students a set amount, as determined by their FAFSA EFC, giving larger award amounts to Pell Grant EFC ranges to give priority to the neediest students as designated by the Department of Education. Award amounts were as follows...

EFC Range Award Amount
$0 $1400
$1 - $5711 $1000
$5712 - $10,000 $800
10,001 and Above $500
No FAFSA $500


Summer 2021 ending award amounts and how many students received that award amount are listed below.

Award Amount Student Count Total Amount Awarded
$1400 1292 $1,808,800
$1000 806 $806,000
$800 303 $242,400
$500 1915 $957,500
TOTALS 4,319 $3,814,700



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Office of Financial Aid
Kennard-Washington Hall (KWH) 101
118 College Dr. #5101 Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Fax 601.266.5769

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Student Services One Stop
Hardy Hall, First Floor
730 East Beach Blvd. 
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

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