Sample Letter Advocating to Increase Higher Education Funding in Next COVID-19 Legislation

Below is sample text that you may wish to use when you reach out to encourage your senators to provide additional funds for higher education institutions and students in the next COVID-19 supplemental bill.

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Subject: More Funds Needed for Higher Education COVID-19 Relief

Dear Senator [insert name],

My name is [insert your name] and I am the [insert title] at [insert institution]. I am writing today to request that you support the inclusion of additional funding for higher education in the next COVID-19 response legislation.

I appreciate your support of the CARES Act and the $14 billion it provided to higher education institutions and students, including the [insert total allocation amount] received by [insert your institution name]. While the CARES Act funds were greatly impactful for our students, tremendous need still remains. Congress has the ability to help meet these needs in the next COVID-19 legislative package, but unfortunately, current proposals do not include sufficient funding for higher education. The HEALS Act introduced in the Senate on July 27 provides about $29 billion for higher education, and the HEROES Act approved by the House in May provided $37 billion. Both of these amounts fall far short of what is needed by students and institutions.

Estimates suggest that students and institutions will need at least $120.4 billion to cover the costs of safely reopening, lost revenue, and emergency financial aid in the coming year. That amount will still not meet all students’ needs or make colleges and universities whole for the substantial losses and expenditures they have had to shoulder, but it will provide a lifeline for students, families, and schools struggling to survive this national emergency.

Our $120.4 billion request includes an estimate that students will have at least $12 billion in new, unmet financial need during the upcoming school year, a number that will only grow as unemployment continues to rise and the pandemic’s economic impact is more fully realized. Students, especially rural and/or low-income, need greater support than ever to continue or start their college education, as the economic downturn has resulted in soaring unemployment and left millions more families struggling financially. Students and their families need help investing in themselves by accessing higher education, and Congress can make sure that happens by increasing the emergency funding included in the next bill.

I urge you to support the inclusion of sufficient additional funding for higher education in the next COVID-19 legislative package to ensure that our nation’s students have the necessary support to enroll and succeed in college, and our institutions have adequate resources to continue providing health care, conducting medical research, and supporting their local economies.

I am happy to discuss this issue further and answer any questions you might have. Thank you again for your support of [insert state] students and institutions.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name and contact information]


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