October 21, 2020
We break down where proposed legislation stands and what colleges should know about the aid available to them now.
It’s been nearly seven months since Congress passed the only major coronavirus aid legislation yet, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Since then, lawmakers have introduced several proposals, but none have found bipartisan agreement.
The deadlock has left postsecondary institutions floundering as their budgets take a hit from the combination of decreased enrollment, lost auxiliary revenue and state budget cuts.
That’s not to say the CARES Act was perfect. The U.S. Department of Education complicated its implementation with guidance industry officials deemed vague and perplexing. In particular, the agency restricted emergency CARES grants to those who were eligible for federal financial aid, excluding international and other noncitizen students.
More money is needed for colleges to blunt the pandemic’s fallout, higher ed groups say. But whether that’s coming, and how much they will get, is uncertain.
Here, we take a look at the current and future postsecondary relief.