New York gains billions in COVID-19 relief funding for colleges and universities


Gregory Hauenstein | Flickr

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer announced recently that the signed American Rescue Plan includes $2.6 billion for New York State’s private, public and proprietary institutions of higher

Proprietary schools will use their money to provide students with financial aid grants, while public and nonprofit institutions will use at least half of their funding for emergency financial aid grants in an effort to assist students who are struggling financially. The other half will go toward institutional costs, including infrastructure that will allow students to return to the classroom safely.

The support will be for basic needs for students, including housing, food and healthcare.

“Our universities have been selflessly navigating the ongoing global pandemic, ripping huge holes in their budgets to prioritize the health and safety,” Schumer said in a January press release. “Today’s funding, I prioritized in negotiations for the recent COVID relief package will help to mitigate some of the financial devastation our colleges and universities face as the crisis continues long beyond what anyone imagined. We need to ensure that our world-class institutions of higher education right here in New York are equipped with the assistance they need to make it through this crisis and thrive.”

In March, Schumer released another press release about funding for New York State colleges and universities acknowledging that colleges have faced “unprecedented hurdles” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schumer provided a breakdown of how much in funding schools in all regions of the state would be receiving. Long Island will be receiving $257,676,000 in funding while New York City will be receiving $1,207,644,000 in funding. Colleges in upstate New York are also included in this funding, with colleges in the Capital Region of the state to receive $152,442,000 in funding. Schools in central New York will receive $116,562,000 in funding.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also released a statement in the January press release about the recently acquired funding, stating that the funding will provide an “essential lifeline for these institutions.”

“New York’s universities have been hit hard by this pandemic and they’ve been forced to make tough budget cuts in order to prioritize the health and safety of their students and staff. Federal funding is critical to ensure students maintain access to a strong education throughout this crisis,” Gillibrand said. “The funding that Leader Schumer and I fought to deliver will provide an essential lifeline for these institutions to support students, provide essential technology and infrastructure for online learning, and fund increased expenses due to the pandemic. I’m proud to have secured this funding and I will continue working to deliver resources that our higher education institutions need to weather the COVID-19 crisis.”