Given our commitment to keep our clientele continually updated on the latest COVID-19 developments, and especially those that impact their academic and professional prospects, we have important information to share on imminent and much-needed financial aid arriving soon at colleges and universities across the nation.
April 2, 2020 U.S. colleges and universities appealed to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to ensure the $14 billion in aid allotted to higher education in the $2 trillion CARES Act is delivered swiftly. Ted Mitchell, President of the American Council on Education, which authored the letter sent to DeVos in which the appeal was made, acted on behalf of 40 groups representing both larger, four-year institutions and community colleges. Mitchell wrote “the crisis is causing massive disruption to students, institutional operations and institutional finances. On some campuses, it is creating an existential threat, potentially resulting in closures. I fear this funding will be for naught for many institutions unless the department can act very quickly to make these funds available.”
Colleges and universities had originally demanded $50 billion, predicting that this figure would be sufficient to offset the financial toll of the pandemic. This included the potential refund of room and board to students. As a result, the $14 billion committed thus far is severely disappointing. It is not surprising that Mitchell’s letter contained a tone of censure and lament: “We must stress that the assistance included for students and institutions in the CARES Act is far below what is essential to respond to the financial disasters confronting both. It’s critical for the department to provide campuses with as much flexibility as possible for distributing these funds on campus, both for emergency grants to students and to help cover institutional refunds, expenses and other lost revenues.”
Mitchell also demanded the government break down the funding allotments, so that universities and colleges are aware of how to use the money. He was particularly curious to know whether or not emergency grant funds to students could be channelled into reimbursement for student expenses including food and housing, which may be soon refunded or incurred.
Department of Education Press Secretary Angela Morabito responded quickly, assuring Mitchell and others associated with higher education, including students, that the government is expediting funds: “We understand the necessity to move quickly to get CARES Act relief funds to students and educators. An internal group of experts is working to create the most efficient process for this, and we look forward to sharing more details with the field in the coming days.”
Therefore, though the exact disbursement of the $14 billion has yet to be articulated, which leaves students, staff, faculty and administration at universities and colleges nationwide in the dark about the exact outcome of relief, it is assuring to know that government is taking positive action to curb the worst economic effects on campus.
With that in mind, feel free to ask the team of academic writers at UnemployedProfessors.com any questions you may have regarding their college writing services and they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!