Education Secretary and First Lady announce US bailout education grants

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and First Lady Jill Biden will announce the latest round of education grants under the US Bailout Plan (ARP) on Wednesday, The Hill has learned.

Cardona and Biden will be joined by ARP coordinator Gene Sperling and leaders from Community College of Philadelphia, Coahoma Community College and Southwestern Michigan College to announce the 244 colleges and universities that will receive the grants.

“Institutions that serve our most needy students have not only been hit hard by the pandemic, but in many cases have also struggled with chronic underinvestment and funding inequities,” Cardona said in a statement.

The administration will disburse $198 million in grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), 90% of which will go to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority-serving institutions (MSI), to community colleges, rural institutions, and institutions serving large populations. low-income students.

“This U.S. bailout funding will help HBCUs, MSIs, community colleges and other inclusive institutions better support their students, whether it’s investing in campus mental health, providing aid financial support, housing, transportation and childcare needs,” says Cardona.

Community College of Philadelphia, Coahoma Community College and Southwestern Michigan College were chosen for the press conference with administration officials because of their efforts to reduce student tuition.

According to the Ministry of Education, these institutions have reduced or eliminated tuition fees, eliminated outstanding balances, and taken measures such as reducing food costs through food pantries.

A majority of institutions covered by the grants announced Wednesday will be required to distribute about half of the funds directly to students who need help paying for basic needs like housing and food.

Coronavirus relief funds have played a key role in boosting state higher education budgets, even as revenue from enrollment and tuition fees have plummeted during the pandemic, according to a report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

The pandemic decline in enrollment has worsened a decade-long trend of declining enrollment in higher education.

According to an analysis by Inside Higher Ed’s report, revenue per student increased 1.1% in fiscal year 2021 with the influx of federal funds – without taking into account federal funds, the total income of the education would have decreased by 0.3%.

Wednesday’s allocation will be the last under the ARP, which has paid more than $13 billion to MSIs, more than $10 billion to community colleges, more than $2.6 billion to HBCUs and about $190 million to tribal colleges and universities.

“When we invest in stronger supports for our students, we help remove barriers to their success so they can continue their education, complete their education, and ultimately build rewarding careers,” said Cardona said.

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