WASHINGTON, May 11, 2021—The American Association of
State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) applauds the release of new emergency
aid and corresponding guidance to public and private colleges and universities
and their students as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF
III) as authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
AASCU specifically celebrates the Biden administration’s analysis
of the underlying statute to determine that all enrolled students are fully
eligible to receive financial assistance under the HEERF programs (I, II, and
III). All students are vital members of academic communities at AASCU
institutions across the country, and this heroic decision will allow them to
continue or return to their educational pursuits.
“I thank Secretary Cardona and the Biden administration for
correcting the DeVos department’s unfair and inequitable misinterpretation of
congressional intent and authorizing colleges and universities to direct
emergency grants to all students in need, particularly undocumented students and
those who have had almost no resources provided to them for the course of the
yearlong pandemic,” said Dr. Mildred García, president of AASCU.
AASCU institutions enroll 3.3 million undergraduate
students, or 35% of the nation’s 9.2 million undergraduate enrollments at public
four-year institutions. The increased financial resources now made available as
part of the ARP will continue to support these institutions that enroll and
educate the “new” majority of America, students who are low-income, first
generation, and/or of color who now comprise the United States higher education
Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based
higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and
systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a
historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to
research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and
cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise.