Colleges Received $77B in COVID-19 Pandemic Relief. Now What?

"The last of the federal government's Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) are now out the door, but the challenges those funds were meant to address remain significant hurdles. Since March 2020, three different government acts have helped students and higher education endure the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. At least half of the $77 billion in grants awarded went directly to students to subsidize housing and school tuition, and cover other living expenses in a pinch," Best Colleges reports.

... "So, it should be of little surprise that students surveyed said food was their top priority when using HEERF emergency grants, according to a survey from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). Jill Desjean, a policy analyst at NASFAA, said paying for books and housing were the two top concerns following food costs."

"These were issues before the pandemic, and there's no evidence to suggest that they won't persist. 'They won't just go away with the pandemic,' Desjean said."

"Desjean said many of NASFAA's member institutions conducted their own student surveys, and those reports came to similar conclusions to those of the Hope Center. Mainly, she said, students were much more likely to enroll in subsequent semesters if they received aid. Those students reported less stress and an ability to borrow less in student loans if they received emergency aid."

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 8/23/2022

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