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IU to receive more than $60 million from federal stimulus



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This story was updated at 4:24 p.m. April 12 to reflect the allocation of funding for IU-Purdue University Columbus and IU-Fort Wayne.

IU will receive more than $60 million across seven of the university’s nine campuses, according to Department of Education documents. According to Inside Higher Education, the Department of Education plans to distribute $14 billion in federal funds to colleges and universities across the country through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

IU-Bloomington will receive the most funding, with more than $24 million allocated to the campus. IU-Purdue University Columbus and IU Fort Wayne were not listed in the Department of Education documents. IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said in an email both campuses would receive part of the funding allocated to IU-Purdue University Indianapolis because they operate under IUPUI’s administrative purview.

Each institution is required to reserve 50% of its funding for emergency financial aid grants for students. All IU campuses will be required to allocate over $30 million to student aid grants, with over $12 million being allocated to students at IU-Bloomington.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested in a letter to college presidents that their institutions prioritize students with the greatest need and set a limit to how much funding students can receive to ensure the funds are spread to as many students as possible. DeVos asked colleges to consider using the 2019-20 academic year's maximum federal Pell Grant award of $6,195 as a reference.

“We are prioritizing this funding stream in order to get money in the hands of students in need as quickly as possible,” DeVos wrote in the letter. 

A large part of the funding is distributed to colleges and universities based on an enrollment formula, according to the letter.

Although students are petitioning the university for partial tuition refunds due to the suspension of in-person classes, IU officials have said there are no plans to refund students for tuition.

The CARES Act allows institutions to decide how to award this funding to students, according to the letter. Each university can develop its own system for allocating funds. The only requirement for colleges and universities is this funding must be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus life due to the coronavirus, including cost of attendance, food, housing, technology and health care. 

“I gave my team a charge as soon as the CARES Act was signed into law: get support to those most in need as quickly as possible,” DeVos wrote in the letter. “That starts with college students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet.”

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