University of Texas Rio Grande Valley English major Karen Lamas studies for her upcoming final exams at UTRGV’s Brownsville campus library. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will provide cash grants of $850 and $750 to eligible students this upcoming fall semester as a way to help lessen the financial burden the pandemic has brought.

The funding is coming from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II & III authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. It intends to prevent, prepare for and respond to the impacts of the coronavirus.

Funding will be prioritized to students with exceptional need: those who have a zero expected family contribution as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students with exceptional need will receive $850 while students with EFC of $1 or greater will be eligible to receive $750.

All enrolled undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for the cash grant, depending on funds availability. Students will be awarded beginning on Aug. 27.

“In accordance with U.S. Department of Education guidance, UTRGV will provide HEERF II & III financial aid grants to  its students, prioritizing those with exceptional need for grant awards,” the official website reads.

“Students may use the award  to help  with any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health care) or child-care.”

The website states that all students who have an outstanding account balance will be invited to submit an application/authorization for the Fall 2021 HEERF Grant.

Students will be sent notification of grant eligibility along with an application/authorization link via their UTRGV email address and will be given the option to voluntarily authorize application of grant funds to their outstanding account balance if they have one.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley students walk on the Brownsville campus Friday afternoon near University Boulevard. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The application deadline for the Fall 2021 HEERF Grant is Aug. 26, 2021. For more information, visit

UTRGV will also offer the Fall Liftoff which will award $1,000 off tuition and mandatory fees for full-time students that register for classes by Aug. 1.

To receive the liftoff, undergraduate students must register for at least 12 hours and graduate students for at least nine.

“We’re helping make the transition to college life a lot smoother with some tuition and fees relief. Enroll now for fall classes and start your university studies with a little less to worry about,” the official website reads.

For more information about the liftoff, visit