Washington Update

$28 Million in Additional CARES Act Funds Available for Hardest Hit Schools

August 21, 2020

Institutions particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to apply for $28 million in additional FIPSE funds provided under the CARES Act, the Department of Education has announced.

This is the last set of funds expected to be made available under the FIPSE portion of CARES funding, and reflects the monies remaining after the grants for small schools were allocated. The Education Department estimates the $28 million will provide for approximately 19 grants ranging from $1 million to $3 million.

The Institutional Resilience and Expanded Postsecondary Opportunity (IREPO) Grant Program Competition is open to public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities. According to the Education Department announcement, these grants can be used for flexible purposes: “including resuming operations, supporting students, reducing disease transmission, and developing more agile instructional delivery models for students who cannot or choose not to attend classes in person.”

Today’s Federal Register Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) includes additional information about applying via Grants.gov, using the opportunity number ED-GRANTS-082120-001. Institutions must submit a notice of intent to apply by September 10, 2020, and the full application by October 20, 2020. The Education Department has posted additional information on its IREPO grant competition page.

Priority for grant awards will be given to colleges and universities with the greatest unmet needs related to the coronavirus. Institutional eligibility requirements include:
  1. A student population enrolled at the beginning of the term that included March 13, 2020 (the declaration of the emergency) in which more than 30 percent of full-time students received a Pell Grant; and/or
  2. Institution was underserved by other CARES Act programs either because—
    1. Institution did not receive a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act; and/or
    2. Institution serves large numbers of part-time students and, as such, received a reduced per-student allocation under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act relative to institutions of the same or similar total enrollment that serve mostly full-time students; and
    3. Institution has other unmet needs due to the novel coronavirus, as described by the institution in its application.

Additional priority points will be given in the application process if institutions:
  1. Provide Dual Enrollment Opportunities to Students Who Live or Attend School in a Rural Community or Opportunity Zone:
  2. Are led by, or include as partners, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges, minority serving institutions (MSIs), and/or developing institutions that are eligible to participate in Title III or Title V programs; and/or
  3. Are committed to developing more resilient instructional delivery models, such as distance learning, that make learning possible even when students cannot be physically present on campus for any reason.

MORE News from NAICU