The American Council on Education (ACE), alongside dozens of other higher education groups, has reiterated its April 9 request to the Senate to allocate $46.6 billion more for higher education to further address problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the second half of the current school year, our institutions lost billions of dollars beyond the $14 billion appropriation for students and institutions in the CARES Act,” ACE president Ted Mitchell wrote. “Still, we are deeply grateful that Congress provided those emergency resources. This lifeline enabled colleges and universities to assist their most vulnerable students and address immediate needs related to the effects of the pandemic on our campuses.”
In the April 9 letter, ACE and others requested additional funds to support near-term campus financial needs, such as increased need-based aid for students and increased revenue loss stemming from low enrollment numbers and campus closures.
In the latest letter, ACE further stressed the need for that funding, citing reports that predict higher ed will suffer even greater losses than the $46.6 billion estimate.
Additionally, ACE requested that the funding be distributed directly to higher education institutions for the sake of speed and flexibility.
“We firmly believe that direct distribution to institutions is the best way to ensure that federal funds actually reach the students and schools they were intended to help,” wrote Mitchell. “While we share many of Congress’s concerns regarding the implementation of the CARES Act, it is equally clear that using the existing federal system for providing aid to institutions is the fastest way to get support to where it is needed.”