Harvard University – whose $40 billion endowment is the largest of all academic institutions around the world – will get nearly $9 million in coronavirus relief as part of the $2 trillion aid package approved by Congress last month, according to a report.
The federal government has mandated that about half of the $8,655,748 the Ivy League school will receive be reserved for emergency financial aid grants to students, the Harvard Crimson reported.
The CARES Act – Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – allocated $14 billion for colleges and universities that have been affected by the pandemic.
The Department of Education will release the first $6.28 billion to the academic institutions to cover expenses like course materials, technology, food and housing that students rang up “related to disruptions in their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” the newspaper reported.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in an April 9 letter urged school administrators to set a maximum amount for individual student aid grants to ensure wide distribution of the funds.
A Education Department spokesperson told Newsweek that DeVos “shares the concern” that handing millions of dollars to schools with huge endowments “is poor use of taxpayer money” and called on the schools to send unneeded funds to other needy schools in their state or region.