Higher education groups, including associations representing colleges and universities, asked Congress on Monday for $97 billion more in aid if there is an additional coronavirus relief package.
The groups, including the American Council on Education, had asked for $120 billion in help for struggling institutions before Congress and then-president Trump approved a mammoth $2.3 trillion package in December. But having only received $23 billion, the groups are asking for the rest.
While December’s package “will deliver some help to stabilize the devastating impact the pandemic has had on higher education, at least $97 billion in critical needs has been left unaddressed,” ACE president Ted Mitchell wrote congressional leaders on behalf of 10 groups including those representing community colleges, state colleges and universities, public and land-grant universities, and private institutions.
“Colleges and universities have been overwhelmed by the pandemic, as the costs of educating students soared while revenues precipitously declined,” the letter said. “As students and institutions struggle to recover, more than half a million jobs have already been lost in the higher education sector. Countless more have been lost in the communities surrounding campuses, which often depend on these institutions for the health of their local economy.”