Federal Emergency Relief
Coronavirus Stimulus Packages
In December, Congress approved an additional coronavirus aid package. The legislation combines $900 billion in COVID-19 relief with $1.4 trillion in government funding through September 2021. The coronavirus aid package includes a $22.7 billion higher
education relief fund. Although the provided higher education funding is greater than the $14 billion colleges received in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,
but falls short of the $120 billion request from the higher education community to address the unprecedented
disruption and financial fallout of the pandemic. Additionally, the measure excludes an extension of the suspension of student loan payments—the current moratorium is set to expire on January 31.
President Joe Biden released a new multi-trillion-dollar supplemental COVID-19 aid package that includes $35 billion in funding to public institutions, including community colleges, as well as, public and private historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. As lawmakers continue discussions on the next broad-based funding measure, AACRAO remains engaged in efforts to encourage
Congress and federal agencies to continue to provide emergency relief to students and institutions during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, federal agencies have worked to provide regulatory flexibility to colleges and universities as they navigate COVID-19-related issues. The U.S. Education Department issued guidance for institutions as they close campuses and move classes online
amid coronavirus concerns. The agency also extended new flexibilities for students in the form of suspended interest on and payment of federally held student loans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have
provided additional information and resources for students and institutions, as well.