The Department of Education Releases 2nd Round of Coronavirus Aid for Colleges and Clarifies who Qualifies

  • In the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress earmarked about $14 billion for higher education.
  • The Department of Education (ED) is making the second round of federal relief available for colleges and universities, a total of $6.2 billion that they can use to cover expenses related to the coronavirus and ensure learning continues.
  • Colleges and higher education associations have complained ED lagged in releasing the initial $6 billion in federal funding, which could only be distributed to students impacted by the virus.
  • According to ED, only students eligible for federal financial aid are allowed to receive the funding. This would exclude participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • The American Council on Education (ACE) urged Congressional leaders to ensure students would not owe tax on the money they receive from colleges which is being distributed as emergency grants, however this has not been addressed yet.
  • Colleges and universities must report to ED how the grants were calculated and given out to students, and any instructions they gave students about the money. They must apply for the student aid before they request the money for their own costs.
  • According to the agreement they must sign for the second round of funding, institutions can reimburse themselves for refunds of room and board costs or money they’ve spent on technology and internet access for students.