NAICU Washington Update

Additional Funds Provided to Aid Colleges and Universities Affected by Hurricanes

March 23, 2018

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education will reallocate an additional $22.9 million in unexpended funds to assist students at colleges and universities located in regions declared by President Trump to be major disaster areas after hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

The Department’s announcement follows the actions of Congress, which passed the Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017 last September, giving the Secretary authority to reallocate previously appropriated campus-based aid funds. The Act also waived matching fund requirements under the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and the Federal Work Study (FWS) programs. Colleges and universities that are not located in an affected area, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but enrolled or accepted students affected by the storms, are also eligible for the waived matching fund requirements under FSEOG or FWS.

These nearly $23 million in new resources are in addition to the previous funding the Secretary redirected from these programs after the storms hit last year.  This new allocation provides $5.4 million to students through FSEOG at 285 colleges and universities, including 277 institutions in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Department also allocated $17.5 million through FWS that will go to 1,179 affected colleges and universities, including 321 institutions in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

The Department has a list of colleges and universities that have received the funds.

The Department of Education Forgives HBCU Hurricane Relief Loans
Secretary DeVos also announced full forgiveness of the hurricane relief loans provided to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The loans were provided in response to the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 made funds available to fully forgive the loans of Dillard University, Southern University at New Orleans, Tougaloo College, and Xavier University of Louisiana, under the HBCU Hurricane Supplemental Loan Program.

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