Central Illinois schools are beneficiaries of the most significant relief package in American history

Local News

MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Colleges and universities all over the state are getting a helping hand from the federal government in response to COVID-19.

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act, called for an additional $14 billion to be allocated to the higher education emergency relief fund.  Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D- Ill.) praised the move saying “This public health crisis has caused a significant disruption to our institutions of higher education as students were forced to leave campus due to closures and classes have shifted online.”

Illinois State University, Illinois Weseleyan University, Bradley University, Illinois Central College and Heartland Community College are among the list of colleges receiving millions in funding. The institutions are required to spend at least half what they get, on emergency financial aid to students.

“It’s reassuring to know that the federal government, and the state, understand education is still a foundation of what is needed to keep the economic engine of the country moving forward,” said HCC President Keith Cornille.

The other half of the funding is meant to reimburse schools for money lost because of the pandemic.

“If we go back to a little bit earlier in this semester, pro-rating money to students accounts for housing and dinning, just that was a $15 million financial impact,” said ISU Spokesman Eric Jome. “Obviously that number is going to continue to grow as time goes along.”

The money is expected to be sent out within the next couple months.

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