The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) President Mildred García, Ed.D., today applauded the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the "CARES Act," as an important step in support of higher education and other vital sectors of the United States economy. The bill passed the Senate by a unanimous vote of 96-0 and the House of Representatives via a bipartisan voice vote.
"We are pleased Congress acted expeditiously to pass a historic rescue bill to help colleges and universities stave off the immediate impact of shutting down campuses across the country in response to COVID-19," said García. "This plan offers grant aid to institutions and students as a critical component of the nation's response to the public health crisis and will be instrumental in its recovery."
Important provisions of the bill, H.R. 748, include close to $14 billion in direct support to institutions of higher education to be spent on costs associated with the coronavirus response, support for students and student borrowers and significant modifications of several key Higher Education Act Title IV rules. The bill also suspends all direct and guaranteed student loan payments (for those held by the Secretary of Education) until September 30, 2020, and has the interest due on such loans covered by the Secretary.
"While we express much thanks for this package and recognize that it will help distressed institutions in the short-term, it still falls short of what is desperately needed on our campuses," added García. "We will continue to work with congressional leaders and the administration to develop additional federal policies and strategies to assist state colleges and universities going forward."
American 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 of Opportunities for All.