Harvard will not accept federal funds from the CARES Act

Even though the university has not requested, requested, received or consulted the nearly $ 9 million in funding that has been allocated to it, Harvard has said that its focus on money is becoming contraindicated. productive in relation to the help it was supposed to provide.

“The intense focus of politicians and others on Harvard under this program may undermine participation in a relief effort that Congress created and that the president enacted to help students and institutions whose financial challenges in the coming months could be the most serious, ”the university said in a statement.

“As a result of this, and the evolution of published guidelines regarding the use of the Higher Education Emergency Aid Fund, Harvard has decided not to seek out or accept funds allocated to it by the law, “the statement added, making it clear that the university will ask the Ministry of Education to accept the return of their funds.

When asked what “evolutionary directions” led the university to this decision, a Harvard spokesperson pointed to the updated guidelines released by the Department of Education and in particular the section that only described the Students eligible for Title IV could receive emergency financial aid grants.

The university noted that reallocation of these resources is at the discretion of the Department of Education, but called for special attention to be paid to institutions in Massachusetts struggling to meet the needs of their students.

This Harvard move came as Trump threatened the university and deceptively claimed the institution had taken coronavirus funds “intended for workers”, while funds earmarked for Harvard came from a separate source of funding federal government under the CARES Act coronavirus program.

“I’m going to ask,” Trump said at Tuesday’s White House press conference. “Harvard will refund the money. They shouldn’t take it.”

When Trump first asked Harvard not to accept their funds, the university stood firm, writing in a statement on Tuesday: “Harvard did not request and did not receive any funds through the program. US Small Business Administration paycheck protection for small businesses. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate. President Trump is correct that it would not have been appropriate for our institution to receive funds intended for small businesses in trouble. ”

The Harvard move also comes as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called on wealthy institutions to reject their allocation from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

“Congress required by law that emergency taxpayer assistance funds be given to all colleges and universities, regardless of their wealth. But as I have always said, wealthy institutions that do not primarily serve low-income students don’t need or deserve additional taxpayers Common sense Schools with large endowments should not ask for funds so they can give more to students who need it most support institutions, ”DeVos said in a statement on Wednesday.

Harvard joins Princeton and Stanford Universities in deciding not to accept funds provided to them by the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Fund.

Cornell University, which is expected to receive the biggest aid plan – tied with Columbia University at $ 12.8 million – still plans to accept the funds allocated to it.

“Cornell will use 100% of these CARES Act funds to support students, going beyond the federal requirement that half of the funds be spent on emergency financial aid for our students. We know that many of our students will have increased needs due to Even though our Ithaca campus faces a COVID-related budget deficit of over $ 100 million for the coming fiscal year, we aim to ensure that every individual, currently enrolled or newly admitted, has the financial resources to complete their Cornell training. Cornell University vice president of academic relations Joel Malina said in a statement to CNN.

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