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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Kuster Holds Call with Higher Education Leaders to Discuss Federal Funding During COVID-19 Outbreak

Apr 1, 2020
Press Release

Concord, NH - Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) held a conference call with the New Hampshire College and University Council regarding COVID-19 planning, preparation and the impact of the pandemic on New Hampshire’s students and institutions. Kuster discussed the federal funding included in recent legislation to support students, their families, and higher education. Participants included Debbie Scire, the President, and CEO of the NHCUC, as well as higher education leaders and presidents of many of NHCUC’s member institutions. 

“Educational institutions play a vital role in the wellbeing of Granite State communities, and I was glad to have the opportunity to hear from state education leaders today on how institutions are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kuster. “In Congress, I’ve proudly supported the three bipartisan legislative packages we’ve passed to strengthen our national and state response to this crisis, including in the educational arena.”

“On today’s call, we discussed the wealth of resources and options that are available to higher education institutions through the CARES Act which was signed into law last week,” Kuster continued. “Specifically, the CARES Act provides billions in funding for higher education institutions, which will help colleges and universities serve their neediest students and cover other expenses like staff salaries. The legislation also enables education institutions to apply for low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration or the Treasury Department for sustainability. I encourage all higher education institutions in New Hampshire to visit, which provides extensive resources and guidance during this crisis. My staff and I have been in regular contact with higher education leaders and will continue working to ensure all available financial resources are being utilized here in the Granite State.”

“We are deeply grateful to Representative Kuster for her support of the NH higher education community during this pandemic,” said Dr. Michele Perkins, NHCUC Chair and President of New England College. “Knowing that financial assistance has been secured for our colleges and universities is key to being able to weather this storm and continue offering high quality education as we have in the past.”

The CARES Act Secures Critical Support and Resources for Higher Education Institutions:

  • The legislation provides institutions of higher education with nearly $14 billion in funding for institutions of higher education, including $12.5 billion in direct grants from the Department of Education to colleges and universities.
  • These grants are intended to help colleges and universities serve their neediest students. These funds can also be used to help institutions of higher education cover eligible expenses, like staff salaries and expenses related to responding to COVID-19. 
  • The CARES Act provides greater flexibility for colleges and universities to use existing federal money to meet unexpected student need during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • This bipartisan bill ensures needy students are not penalized by losing a semester of Pell or student loan eligibility due to the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • The legislation also allows not-for-profit, like institutions of higher education to apply for low-interest loans from either the Small Business Administration or the Treasury Department to keep their doors open.