The American Rescue Plan (ARP) of 2021 infused $123 billion into K-12 education, representing an enormous effort by the federal government to give communities the tools to rebuild from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the parameters of the funding below.

Allocations, Spending Authority, and Timing

At the state level (10% of funds; $12 billion)

At the district level (90% of funds; $110 billion)

How may districts use ESSER and GEER funds to specifically support high school students?

To pay college application fees for low-income students

To support summer bridge programs to help students make the successful transition to postsecondary education, training, pre-apprenticeship, registered apprenticeship, or other career pathway programs

To support the salaries of additional guidance counselors to assist students with exploring options for careers and postsecondary study, navigating the college application process, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

American Rescue Plan FAQ

With the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the federal government made one ofthe most dramatic attempts of our lifetimes to give communities the tools to rebuild fromthe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As they plan for how to spend these funds, districtleaders should Invest Forward by prioritizing support for students’ pathways topostsecondary and career success.

Below are some key questions and answers about ARP resources and regulations for districtand state leaders to consider as they plan for spending their funds.

As a district leader, how much of my ARP funding is available for investment inpostsecondary pathways? What types of postsecondary pathways support investmentsare permitted?

Districts have a significant degree of flexibility in how they spend their ARP funds. They arerequired to dedicate 20% of total local funding allocations to addressing learning loss, whichcan include support to ensure students are academically prepared to succeed in highereducation. The many allowable uses of the remaining funds include:

Examples of allowable support for postsecondary pathways provided by the U.S. Departmentof Education include additional counseling capacity to assist with college and careerexploration, navigating the application process, and FAFSA completion; summer bridgeprograms to support successful transitions; and application fees for low-income students.

Can we make investments to support students from the class of 2020 whosepostsecondary transitions were negatively impacted by the pandemic?

Yes. As with Perkins V, district leaders may use ARP funds to support students who graduatedin the class of 2020 or 2021 but have not yet successfully transitioned to college or a careerthrough initiatives such as college or career counseling, application support, and more.

Where can I find additional guidance?

Check the U.S. Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s ESSER page for past and new guidance related to investment of these funds. The Alliance for Excellent Education has recently released a new resource focused specifically on pathwaysinvestments. Finally, a roundup of general stimulus resources is available on our ARP Overview page.