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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides budgetary relief to higher education institutions through numerous provisions. It also provides several student aid and student loan borrower support provisions.

Education Stabilization Fund

Economic relief for higher education in this bill includes a nearly $31 billion Education Stabilization Fund. These funds are primarily split into three buckets:

  • $13.2 billion for Department of Education grants to K–12.
  • $13.95 billion for Department of Education grants to colleges and universities.
  • $2.95 billion to states for awarding grants to K–12 and higher education institutions, mostly at the discretion of each governor.

ED grants to colleges and universities

Of the $13.95 billion ED will award to colleges and universities, 90 percent of the funds will be distributed directly to schools via the Title IV distribution system. Institutions must use 50 percent of their allotment for direct emergency aid to students, including “grants to students for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care

Institutions have broad discretion in how they use the remaining funds. The legislation states that funds can be used to “defray expenses for institutions of higher education,” which can include supplementing lost revenue and covering technology costs associated with a transition to distance education. Plus, these funds have been allocated to provide facility & infrastructure improvements in respect to ventilation and HVAC systems according to ASHRAE and CDC guidelines.

For California, the ARPA allocated $5B for higher education state schools, private institutions, and universities. Below, you will find highlights of the funds that have been allocated:

  • 10 UC Campuses-$685 million (UC-Irvine-$95.8 million, UCLA-$92.9 million, UC-San Diego-$90.9 million)
  • 116 Community Campuses-$2.2 billion (including 23 CSC campuses-1.43billion)
  • Non-Profit Universities & Colleges-$156.6 million
  • Private Universities (USC-$51 million, Stanford & Occidental -$9 million each)