US Education Department Announces $3.2 Billion to Support Students & HE Institutions to Recover From Pandemic

US Education Department

$3.2 billion in additional emergency grants will be provided to students and US universities and colleges through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), the US Department of Education has announced most recently.

Under the funding, students of more than 1,800 higher education institutions will be supported, and the means will also be used to help institutions recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Erudera.com reports.

“Of these funds, $2.97 billion from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will provide $1.6 billion to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), $143 million to Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), and another $1.19 billion to Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and under-resourced institutions eligible for the Strengthening Institutions Programs, many of which are community colleges,” a press release issued by the US Department of Education reads.

Furthermore, the press release added that a total of $225 million emerges from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grants, as well as the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). The amount is also expected to support students whose needs related to the pandemic have not been met.

According to the announcement, under the HEERF, the amount allocated to colleges reaches more than $76 billion.

Following the announcement about the relief funds, the US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said that the American Rescue Plan offered essential financial support to higher education institutions in the country in an effort to ensure that institutions are receiving the necessary funds so students will, among others, have access to quality education.

“These institutions have a long history of serving our students—particularly students of color, first-generation college students, and other students who are underrepresented in higher education—and the Department stands ready to support them so they can expand their vital services,” Cardona said.

There are several investments of American Rescue Plan (ARP), including $10 billion to community colleges, over $2.6 billion granted to HBCUs, nearly $190 million to TCCUs, while over $13 billion to MSIs such as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) as well as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs). 

Moreover, the department has also announced more than $225 million from the CARES Act and CRRSAA to be allocated to public and non-profit institutions that have not managed to meet their needs related to the pandemic.

110 higher education institutions will receive over $113 million in additional grants offered under the CRRSAA through the SAIHE grant program, with more than $70 million granted to 60 institutions hosting high numbers of low-income students. Moreover, the US Education Department has also allocated $112 million to 62 institutions to financially support them. 

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