• Rebecca Natow

Federal Stimulus Funding for Higher Education -- USED Funding and President-Elect Biden's Plan

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Education released more than $21 billion in funding for higher education associated with last month's coronavirus stimulus legislation. Also yesterday, President-Elect Biden released his stimulus plan, which contains approximately $35 billion for higher education, Inside Higher Education reports.

However, both plans fall short of what higher education lobbyists have said is needed in federal support in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, analysts say that undocumented students are not eligible for the USED funding, and Biden's plan does not specifically mention private higher education institutions that are not minority-serving institutions, reports Inside Higher Education.

From Inside Higher Education: "the latest round of approved coronavirus relief ... will allow more flexibility on how colleges and universities can spend the money than in last spring’s CARES Act, and allows for more students to be eligible to receive emergency student grants... Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and Terry Hartle, the American Council on Education’s senior vice president for government relations, said their analysis of guidances released by the department is that undocumented students are ineligible for receiving student grants, as in the CARES Act. Drager called on Biden to make it clear these students can get the help when he takes office next week."

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