Approximately $14.6 million in additional coronavirus relief funding will go to Arkansas’ Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and institutions serving low-income students to help ensure learning continues during the coronavirus crisis.
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton — along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman — announced the funding in a May 1 news release.
The funds — totaling $14,573,384 — come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which became law with the support of the Arkansas congressional delegation. It is part of nearly $1.4 billion in additional funding the Department of Education has directed to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) nationwide, which is provided on top of the money previously allocated in the first round, according to a news release.
Institutions may use this funding to cover the cost of technology associated with a transition to distance education, grants to cover the costs of attendance for eligible students and training for faculty and staff. Additionally, funds may be used to cover operational costs, such as lost revenue, reimbursements for prior expenses and payroll.
“The Department of Education quickly awarded CARES Act funding to higher education institutions across the state to aid students impacted during this crisis,” the delegation said. “This additional funding recognizes the unique challenges facing HBCUs and institutions serving low-income students. These institutions play a vital role in transforming lives and make Arkansas’s communities stronger.”
Arkansas colleges and universities received more than $100 million in the first round of emergency grants to support postsecondary students and institutes of higher education impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In total, the CARES Act provides nearly $14 billion to support postsecondary students and institutions nationwide.
Area colleges and universities to receive funding from this second round of grants include:
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff — $156,801;
University of Arkansas at Monticello — $293,078;
Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing — $6,902;
Southeast Arkansas College — $52,217.