The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that institutions of higher education with 1,000 dollars or more of HEERF funds will receive an automatic extension of their performance period. They now have until June 30, 2023 to expend their remaining funds. The pandemic placed an immense burden—logistically and financially—on institutions, educators and students, and many challenges persist. In a recent NPR article, Doug Shapiro, a National Student Clearinghouse Research lead, explained that undergraduate enrollment has dropped 6.6 percent since 2019, the largest two-year decrease in the last 50 years. This funding extension comes just in time and gives organizations the latitude to meet the moment and plan for the future.
Using the Funding for Voice and Video Technology
The past two years have taught us all how important it is to have readiness and flexibility built into an organization’s communication infrastructure. Having the tools to adapt to any disruption is critical. Fortunately, the HEERF can be used to implement professional-grade voice and video infrastructure that ensures connection and collaboration, providing continuity for students and staff no matter what disruption affects the public sector next. This means phone systems, headsets, breakout video conferencing rooms, telehealth stations and more. Reliable, flexible technology enables every classroom to serve in-person, remote, online and hybrid learning, all at the same time. With the right tools, institutions can engage students more effectively now and for years to come.
How Poly Can Help
A year will fly by in no time, so institutions need to make a plan and take action, especially with the the curve balls the supply chain keeps hurling at the market. The Poly Grants Assistance Program (PGAP) can help institutions navigate the complexities of HEERF, and other federal funding. They offer a wide array of free services to guide you through the process—from funding identification to close-out. The team has been around since before the pandemic and will continue to be well into the future. Their services include:
The PGAP team can walk your organization through entire pre-award process. Additionally, their network of consultants and grant-writing experts across the country specialize in meeting your specific needs. Where allowed by the agency, services can include writing assistance, editing support, budget development and budget narrative recommendations to support your technology solutions.
Many organizations find the post-award process and required paperwork a bit daunting. The PGAP team is happy to provide support, ensuring you’re in compliance, and help move your project forward in a timely manner. This is especially important for HEERF as the process can be a little different than other federal funds.