Stanford, with $27 billion endowment, says it will NOT take coronavirus aid money

Stanford, with a $27.7 billion endowment, made the announcement less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump called on Harvard to return the money it received.

UPDATE: Harvard now says it will not take the money, either.

Stanford University announced Tuesday it will not take money from the coronavirus relief package.

UPDATE April 22, 6:14 p.m. EDT: Harvard has announced it will not accept money from the CARES Act.


Original story below... 

Stanford University, with one of the largest endowments in the country, announced Tuesday that it will rescind its application for the $7.3 million it received as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. 

The move came less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump called on Harvard University to return the $8.6 million it received, given its $40.9 billion endowment. Harvard, for its part, gave little indication that it will do so, telling Campus Reform, “Harvard has committed that 100 percent of these emergency higher education funds will be used to provide direct assistance to students facing urgent financial needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” as opposed to the legal requirement that it distribute at least half of those funds directly to students. 

Stanford, which has an endowment of $27.7 billion, is taking a much different approach. 

[RELATED: Colleges with more wealth than dozens of countries get another $360+ million from taxpayers]

In a statement released Tuesday, Stanford said, “like all universities, Stanford is facing significant financial pressures during this time of unprecedented uncertainty. The combination of lost revenue, increased costs, and a market downturn that could have a substantial impact on our endowment are all expected to negatively affect the university’s finances for some time to come.” 

Stanford continued by saying that it realizes smaller colleges face an “existential threat.” As a result, it the university said it asked the Department of Education to “ask that our application for relief funds under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund section of the CARES act be rescinded.” 

In a statement praising Stanford’s decision, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said, “Congress required by law that taxpayer Emergency Relief funds be given to all colleges and universities, no matter their wealth. But as I’ve said all along, wealthy institutions that do not primarily serve low-income students do not need or deserve additional taxpayer funds. This is common sense. Schools with large endowments should not apply for funds so more can be given to students who need support the most. It’s also important for Congress to change the law to make sure no more taxpayer funds go to elite, wealthy institutions.”

[RELATED: These 10 colleges are receiving the most federal bailout money]

Stanford has the largest endowment of any university in California. The second-largest endowment in the Golden State is that of the University of California System. Campus Reform asked UC-Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof whether UC has any plans to return the combined $260.2 million it received for all of its schools. 

”Stanford has a $28 [billion] endowment and 17,000 students….or $1.6 [million] per student. The University of California has a $21 [billion] endowment and 280,000 students….or $75,000 per student. So, Stanford’s per capita endowment is 20x the UC’s,” Mogulof said.

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