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April 13, 2020

Feds award $170 million to Maryland college students, institutions

Credit: Southern Maryland News, Darwin Weigel

Maryland’s congressional delegation announced Monday that the state’s higher eduction institutions and their students would receive $170.5 million under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to help with the financial burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Of this total, 50% of the funds will provide direct assistance to students facing emergency expenses. The remaining 50% of the funds will be usable for a wider range of costs, upon further guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, according to a press release from Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer’s office. This funding was included within the CARES Act, passed by Congress to bring relief to those impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

In addition to this funding, the delegation fought for dedicated assistance for HBCUs and minority serving institutions, which is forthcoming, the press release stated.

“The coronavirus has upended the lives of students across our state. From the direct impacts on their health and wellbeing, to the substantial financial and emotional burdens, it has left few unscathed. These funds will provide targeted relief to students, and longer-term assistance to our colleges and universities, to help them weather this storm. Together, we will continue working to provide Maryland students with the assistance they need during this challenging time,” Maryland’s lawmakers said in a joint statement.

The delegation includes Majority Leader Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Reps. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md., 2nd), John P. Sarbanes (D-Md., 3rd), Andy Harris (R-Md., 1st), Anthony G. Brown (D-Md., 4th), Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md., 8th) and David Trone (D-Md., 6th). The Seventh District seat is currently vacant.

In Southern Maryland, the College of Southern Maryland will receive $2,579,022 with $1,289,511 dedicated to students. St. Mary’s College of Maryland will get $1,173,755, with $586,878 dedicated to students.

Bowie State University will receive $6,596,246 with $3,298,123 dedicated to students, and the University of Maryland, College Park will receive $21,490,713 with $10,745,357 directed at students. Prince George’s Community College will receive $6,421,788 with $3,210,894 put aside for students.

Through the CARES Act, Maryland has also received $742 million for hospitals, $15.6 million for community health centers and $48 million to local governments, according to the release.

Separately, the delegation has announced a total of $17.1 million in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act to support the Maryland health system.