The Department of Education (ED) on Thursday announced that an additional $3.2 billion in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) is being allocated, most of it going to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).
Nearly $3 billion comes from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the remaining $225 million comes from additional grants from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). The $225 million go to public and nonprofit institutions and their students with the greatest unmet pandemic-related needs.
Specifically, HBCUs will receive $1.6 billion, MSIs and other under-resourced institutions eligible under the Strengthening Institutions Programs, many of which are community colleges, are allocated nearly $1.2 billion, and $143 million will go to Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs).
"The American Rescue Plan provided critical funds to make sure our nation’s institutions of higher education – particularly those that serve students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – receive the resources they need in order to provide students with a high-quality education and the social, emotional and mental health supports to earn their degrees and thrive,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a release.
“These institutions have a long history of serving our students—particularly students of color, first-generation college students, and other students who are underrepresented in higher education—and the Department stands ready to support them so they can expand their vital services,” he added.
The latest round of money allocated brings the total amount of funding made available to colleges under HEERF to more than $76 billion. Institutions can find the allocation tables from the latest round of funds here, where they are listed for HBCUs, TCCUs, MSIs, SIP, and IREPO.
In the release, ED noted the additional funds should be used by institutions to engage with students whose degree pursuit may have lapsed amid the pandemic, expand mental health services, and create more retention programs to ensure more students make it to graduation, among other measures.
The $225 left over from previous coronavirus relief packages will largely help community colleges which have been hardest hit by the pandemic, ED added in the release, and “will allow such colleges to award additional financial aid to students.”
Publication Date: 7/30/2021