Information provided by Belinda Gonzalez-Leon, Ed. D., MBA
Last week, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
$30 billion in emergency funding to the education sector
The CARES Act sets aside $30 billion in the Educational Stabilization Fund to support K-12 education, postsecondary education, and governors’ emergency education costs.
$14 billion for colleges and universities
About 46% ($14 billion) of the Educational Stability Fund is allotted to “institutions of higher education,” or IHEs, to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” The Department of Education is responsible for distributing the aid to institutions using a formula that prioritizes funding for the schools with the greatest numbers of full time Pell-eligible students.
From there, IHEs are required to give 50% of their aid directly to their students in the form of emergency grants and assistance.
According to a memo from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Florida IHEs are expected to receive an estimated $760.9 million in federal aid money.
Using IPEDS data, the American Council on Education (ACE) has compiled a searchable database on projected CARES Act funding for all institutions that receive federal financial aid dollars: https://www.acenet.edu/Policy-Advocacy/Pages/HEA-ED/CARES-Act-Higher-Education-Relief-Fund.aspx
FCAN calculates that Florida College System institutions are eligible for a potential $254.7 million, with the most money directed towards Miami Dade College ($47.4 million). Florida State University System institutions are expected to receive $251.2 million with totals ranging from $47.6 million to the University of Central Florida to just under $1 million to New College of Florida.
Relief for students who withdraw
The CARES Act relaxes the rules for students who are forced to withdraw for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, affected students receiving Pell Grants or other forms of financial aid will not be required to return any amount of their assistance money. Any semesters that a student is unable to complete because of COVID-19 will not count against the time limits for Pell Grants or federal subsidized loans.
Federal Work Study Relief
The CARES Act allows institutions to continue paying FWS students who are unable to fulfill their duties due to COVID-19 for up to one academic year.
THE FOLLOWING ARE EXCERPTS FROM AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY THE FLORIDA COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK WHICH CAN BE FOUND IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE: https://mailchi.mp/floridacollegeaccess/how-the-cares-act-can-help-florida-college-students-and-education-institutions?e=84e8d041aa