This article is a part of our news series on the COVID-19 pandemic. For information on how to prevent the spread of the virus, click here.
United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on Thursday, April 9, that more than $6 billion dollars in emergency cash grants would be immediately distributed to colleges and universities for students affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding is a part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized under the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.
According to information released by the Department of Education, UC San Diego is slated to receive $34,889,769 in aid. At least half of this aid must be allocated for emergency financial aid for students to purchase course materials and technology, as well as to be used for basic living expenses.
The CARES Act also provides direct cash payments, expanded unemployment benefits loans to small businesses, and support to health systems. These measures are meant to both combat the outbreak as well as mitigate the economic repercussions expected to occur as a result of the pandemic.
In a March 27 statement, UC President Janet Napolitano expressed her support for the CARES Act and touted the relief that it would provide to health workers and UC students.
“The CARES Act provides much-needed fiscal relief and funding to our health centers treating COVID-19 patients so that they will be able to purchase additional masks, gloves and other equipment desperately needed to protect the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals on the frontlines of this fight,” the statement read. “The law will also help ensure that UC students receive the necessary financial support to continue pursuing their education, while providing our researchers additional resources to combat this virus by further exploring possible treatments and a vaccine.”
UCSD is expected to receive the federal funding in the coming days. Students are encouraged to follow the guidelines of public health officials to remain informed about the spread of COVID-19.
Photo by Mariyah Shad for the UCSD Guardian.