Universities Received Millions in COVID Relief; Some are Still Imposing Delays, Remote Instruction

By Peter Cordi

Campus Reform revisited the money universities received in 2020 through the CARES Act.

This legislation gave universities billions to help students directly and make campuses better equipped for the pandemic.

In 2020, the federal government gave American colleges and universities approximately $14 billion in relief through the CARES Act. As part of the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, the CARES Act allocation mandated that approximately half its funds be used for emergency student aid.

Now, nearly two years after President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act in March 2020, numerous institutions that received aid are delaying in-person learning due to the Omicron variant.

By Jan. 7, seven out of 10 University of California campuses announced “revisions to their winter quarter or winter semester plans.” Winter sessions precede the spring semester, which traditionally starts in mid-to-late January.

[RELATED: ‘I now feel trapped, facing down another semester of struggling to learn remotely’: Law school moves classes online]

Those seven universities received nearly $224 million in CARES funds, according to the Department of Education website.

Though the CARES Act’s institutional use portion, according to the Internal Revenue Service, aimed to “support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures,” recipient universities are now handling the Omicron spike in varied ways.

For example, the University of Washington, which received approximately $39.7 million in CARES funds, enabled its professors to choose remote instruction through Jan. 28. However, Washington State University, which received approximately $21.8 million, is conducting in-person classes for the entire spring semester.

In Illinois, the University of Illinois at Chicago is holding remote classes Jan. 10 through Jan. 23. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, however, is spending only one week online and will resume in-person classes after Jan. 23.

The universities received approximately $29.9 million and $31.4 million, respectively.

[RELATED: Facing lockdown restrictions, Vanderbilt students cannot attend home basketball games]

Five Ivy League schools announced remote starts to 2022, with Yale University pushing some colleges’ start dates to Jan. 25. The other institutions are Cornell University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University.

In total, these elite schools received approximately $51 million.

Conversely, Texas A&M University-San Antonio received approximately $5.6 million but is holding in-person classes for the entire spring semester.

Source: Campus Reform

Peter Cordi is a reporter for Campus Reform. He is a graduate of Rutgers University. He began in print journalism for a South Jersey newspaper called the Anointed News Journal, also hosting a live radio show for them called Anointed Live. He contributed to Campus Reform as a correspondent before becoming a reporter, and throughout his career he has interviewed a number of athletes, politicians, activists, and financial innovators.

Follow @PeterCordi Twitter

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