A new estimate suggests the $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package will send enough money to Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities to help make up for losses from refunded room and board fees.
ISU should expect to receive $16.2 million from the CARES Act, according to a simulation provided by the American Council on Education (ACE), a higher education advocacy group. IWU is expected to receive $1.3 million, according to the ACE simulation.
The $16 million figure matches what ISU leadership has been told the university will receive under the CARES Act, ISU spokesperson Eric Jome said Wednesday. About $8 million of the money will be used for financial aid to students, said Jome, adding ISU has not received a definite date on when the funds will be available.
A IWU spokesperson confirmed that "$1.3 million matches what our administration has been told the University will receive."
The CARES Act money is expected to be distributed by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) based largely on how many students at each school are, or are not, Pell Grant recipients. DOE will allocate the funds to institutions using its student financial aid distribution system.
ISU President Larry Dietz previously told WGLT the university expected to refund about $15 million in room and board fees to students. IWU President Georgia Nugent said she expected to refund around $1 million. She said IWU hoped most of that would be covered by federal assistance.
The coronavirus has disrupted U.S. universities in myriad ways — from online learning to recruitment to business operations.
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