College to Receive $1.66 Million from Federal Government via CARES Act

(Photo Allyson Frantz/The Gettysburgian)

(Photo Allyson Frantz/The Gettysburgian)

By Benjamin Pontz, Editor-in-Chief

Gettysburg College will receive $1,656,033 from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump late last month. Of that money, at least $828,017 must be directed to provide emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses stemming from the closure of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Using a formula developed based on student enrollment, the Department of Education is directing $12.56 billion to higher education institutions nationwide based on enrollment. The money is part of a $2 trillion stimulus package, the largest in United States history.

In a letter to college and university leaders, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said, “The only statutory requirement is that the funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). With that said, I would like to encourage the leadership of each institution 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. ”

Gettysburg College spokesperson Jamie Yates said that the college has “nothing specific to share yet” as to how Gettysburg will use its allocation, though she acknowledged, “We are having discussions on these topics.”

As of Friday evening, the college had not yet received the funds.

The money could help to fill a gap of $7 million in the budget for this fiscal year that arose mostly due to room and board revenue refunded to students after the college closed its physical operation for the remainder of the semester.

To date, the college has promised to continue paying employees only through Apr. 30 and has instituted a strong presumption against any hiring. Several searches that were in progress have been suspended including for faculty members. In addition, the college suspended a planned pay increase and has placed a hold on capital projects.

Searchable list of college stimulus allocations

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 served as Editor-in-Chief of The Gettysburgian from 2018 until 2020, Managing News Editor from 2017 until 2018, News Editor in the spring of 2017, and Staff Writer during the fall of 2016. During his tenure, he wrote 232 articles. He led teams that won two first place Keystone Press Awards for ongoing news coverage (once of Bob Garthwait's resignation, and the other of Robert Spencer's visit to campus) and was part of the team that wrote a first-place trio of editorials in 2018. He also received recognition for a music review he wrote in 2019. A political science and public policy major with a music minor, he graduated in May of 2020 and will pursue a master's degree in public policy on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Manchester before enrolling in law school.

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1 Comment

  1. I believe you should return this money. Simply not how it was intended to be used. The College is well endowed and in no need of public assistance.
    an alumni from Class of 1974

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