Syracuse University to Receive Nearly $10 Million in COVID-19 Stimulus, Must Send Half to Students

Saturday, Apr 18, 2020 at 1:36 pm by Lilly Umana

By Ricky Sayer – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) Syracuse University will receive nearly $10 million as part of a federal coronavirus stimulus bill, representative John Katko’s office announced Friday, April 17th. 

Using emergency financial aid grants, SU must distribute at least 50% of the funds to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, according to a letter United States Secretary of Education Betsy Devos sent to university and college presidents.

Devos says universities have “significant discretion” on how to award funds.

In her letter, dated April 9th, she urged university leaders across the country to “prioritize your students with the greatest need, but at the same time consider establishing a maximum funding threshold for each student to ensure that these funds are distributed as widely as possible.”

CitrusTV News reached out to Syracuse University representatives for comment asking about how they plan to distribute funds. At the time of publication, CitrusTV has not yet received a response.

The letter from Devos specifically mentions expenses as including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

Representative Katko, who supported the bill, said that the pandemic “upended” educational opportunities for students along with creating significant financial hardships.

“While the resilience of our students and educators is unquestioned, resources provided under the CARES Act will provide essential support to students, colleges, and universities as they navigate the unique challenges facing higher education as a result of COVID-19,” Katko said.

Katko’s office says the funding is available through the “Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, legislation Rep. Katko supported in the House.”

Funding included as part of the legislation is allocated to the universities based on their total enrollment.

In total, nearly $30 million will be distributed to Central New York universities, according to Katko’s office.

Syracuse University will receive $9,920,122. Using the percentage provided by Devos, students will in total receive $4,960,060.

CitrusTV will update this article as more information becomes available.