Advocating for Higher Education Funds in COVID Relief Bills


Published on : August 6, 2020

CSWE joined with the American Council on Education and dozens of education associations in advocating for increased funding for colleges from congressional leaders. As students, faculty, and colleges prepare for a new semester during the coronavirus pandemic, CSWE urged for financial support from lawmakers in two letters on Aug. 6, 2020.

The first letter voiced support for changes to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) in the next congressional COVID-19 relief package that would allow more colleges and universities to access these important programs.

“Institutions of higher education, often one of the largest employers in their local communities, are facing a major cash flow crisis in light of the reduced revenues and increased expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter stated. Read the specific requests here.

The second letter urged lawmakers to ensure that the maximum possible funds are available for students and institutions in the Coronavirus Child Care and Educational Relief Act (CCCERA), the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, and the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act. Read the specific requests here.

“The higher education community has estimated that institutions have a total of $46.6 billion in increased student need and lost revenues, and will spend at least $73.8 billion on new expenditures specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. While CCCERA provides a total of $132 billion to meet these needs, the $37 billion provided for higher education in HEROES and the $29 billion provided in HEALS fall far short,” the second letter stated. “Even if the final amount does not meet all students’ needs or make colleges and universities whole for the substantial losses and additional unforeseen expenditures they have had to shoulder, it will provide a lifeline for students, families, and schools struggling to survive this crisis.”