Campus Reform | Biden's stimulus plan makes billions already thrown at colleges look like chump change

Biden's stimulus plan makes billions already thrown at colleges look like chump change

President-elect Joe Biden announced his COVID-19 stimulus plan, which includes $35 billion for colleges and universities.

This represents a 146 percent increase over the last COVID-19 aid proposal and is far higher than the CARES Act’s allocation to universities.

President-elect Joe Biden announced his COVID-19 stimulus plan, which includes another $35 billion for colleges and universities.

Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” includes $1.9 trillion to “rescue the American economy and start beating the virus,” according to the website Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). 

Among the bill’s proposals is $35 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which will ensure colleges “have critical resources to implement public health protocols, execute distance learning plans, and provide emergency grants to students in need.”

[RELATED: Emory student newspaper: Require COVID-19 vaccine, but not for minority students]

The funding will be directed toward public institutions -- including community colleges -- as well as “public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions.”

An additional $5 billion will be allocated toward the Hardest Hit Education Fund -- which governors can allocate toward K-12, higher education, or early childhood education programs impacted by COVID-19.

The federal CARES Act created the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to “directly support students facing urgent needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures.”

Campus Reform reported in April that Congress allocated $14.2 billion to universities through the CARES Act, meaning that the American Rescue Plan offers colleges nearly three times the amount of emergency funding as the first COVID aid package.

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Campus Reform recently reported that the latest COVID-19 relief proposal allocated $22.7 billion to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. 

[RELATED: COVID omnibus bill has another $22 billion for colleges, including aid for...prisoners?]

Campus Reform reached out to the Biden-Harris Transition Team for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft