TRENTON- Governor Phil Murphy and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) today announced that the Administration will award $150 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to New Jersey's public and private colleges and universities to help offset costs incurred as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The application is available for eligible institutions to receive federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the state which can be used for costs such as those related to cleaning and disinfecting supplies, the transition to online learning, and support for testing, among other eligible costs.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted countless communities throughout the state, and the higher education community is no exception," said Governor Murphy. "Today's announcement will provide necessary funds to assist our students and institutions as they manage economic hardships for the upcoming school year. I thank our Congressional delegation for their unwavering commitment to secure these funds, and will continue to fight alongside them for further assistance in order to alleviate the challenges of this ongoing crisis."
"This unprecedented public health emergency has significantly impacted the higher education community in an incredibly unpredictable and rapidly-changing way. Through various federal funding streams, we continue supporting institutions as they navigate this uncertain time," said Interim Secretary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez. "We remain committed to regularly working with stakeholders to assess the financial impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic continues posing and advocating for additional federal funding."
"Higher Education has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Senate President Steve Sweeney. "This funding is going to help colleges and universities continue to provide crucial opportunities, education and support for students across the state."
"Our colleges and universities are facing immensely tough decisions and challenges in reopening, whether that be online or in person," said Senator Cunningham, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. "This funding will go a long way towards ensuring our institutions of higher education remain able to deliver the highest quality of education, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic."
"New Jersey colleges and universities have been severely impacted during this pandemic and are facing drastic budget shortfalls," said Speaker Craig Coughlin. "They need this supportive funding to help with efforts to move forward this fall, afford supplies and take necessary measures to protect the students returning. We could not have imagined the impact of the virus on our campuses, but I'm glad we are able to provide some relief through the Cares Act funding."
"Today, I'm happy to hear that help is on the way for our colleges and universities. This federal funding will help alleviate some of the burden put on schools by COVID-19, and help us keep students and staff safe," said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. "However, we must not forget that as long as the virus is among us, colleges will face unprecedented fiscal challenges. We'll need continued assistance from the federal government to further help colleges address this crisis."
Institutional awards will be based on an OSHE-developed allocation rationale that incorporates priority student populations from the New Jersey State Higher Education Plan, "Where Opportunity Meets Innovation: A Student-Centered Vision for New Jersey Higher Education." This includes institutions' share of Pell recipients, underrepresented minorities, and overall student enrollments. These priority populations have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, institutions serving larger proportions of these students will receive a larger share to ensure funding is distributed equitably. This funding rationale also aligns with the state's focus on an equitable restart of campus operations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To receive these funds, institutions must submit an application to OSHE that outlines how institutions will use funds to cover eligible expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020.
A breakdown of the $150 million in CRF award allocations by institution and sector is as follows:
For more information about the CRF, please see the U.S. Department of the Treasury's website.