Harvard will reject US aid after persistent pressure from Donald TrumpApril 23, 2020 10:36
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Harvard University announced that they are going to be turning down the $8.7 million aid in the federal coronavirus relief following the consistent pressure imposed by Donald Trump on the Ivy league school over the taxpayer money that it was to receive.
The same kind of issue was raised by Stanford and Princeton Universities after they got the news of possible scrutiny of the wealthy colleges.
A few of the officials at Harvard has reported that even though the school is currently facing issues with their operation because of the pandemic, they are going to turn down the funding because they believe that the same will deter the relief program that has been created by Congress.
“While we understand any reallocation of these resources is a matter for the Department of Education, we hope that special consideration will be given to Massachusetts institutions that are struggling to serve their communities and meet the needs of their students through these difficult and challenging times,” stated the official statement released by Harvard.
Trump later spoke about the same in the White House press conference saying that he is thankful that some of these schools turned down the funding during this time of crisis.
Congress is already offering $14 billion to come of the colleges and universities around the nation under the $2.3 trillion relief package that has been introduced by the federal government. The schools were allotted with varying sums of money based off of the size of the student body and the background of the school.
But, Trump stated in one of the press conferences that Harvard shouldn’t be accepting the relief as they already have deep financial reserves. It did ignite concerns among the critics and the alumni and reported that they school doesn’t need money and will be relying on the $40 billion endowment that it has.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also suggested that some of the other rich schools should also follow through this and reject the fundings.
“Affluent schools that do not primarily serve low-income students do not need or deserve additional taxpayer funds," DeVos said in a statement.
DeVos also clarified saying that the schools with large endowment funds should not be applying for more so that the money can go to the students and schools which are in grave need of the same. She also emphasised that the laws by Congress should be changed further to ensure that no more of the taxpayer’s money to go such elite institutions.
According to the statistics, over a dozen schools in the US have enough endowments to not be effected by the proposal.
The higher education funding that was raised was for the students and schools that are facing crisis and financial losses amidst the coronavirus outbreak. If the colleges accept the funding, it is necessary for them to spend half of the same on the students. Harvard reported that they would be spending 100% of the same on the students.
Taking inspiration from Harvard, even Stanford University reported that they are going to turn down the $7.4 million grant as they already have an endowment of $28 billion. The school said that they would be happier if that funding goes to the smaller and in more need colleges and schools.
Even the officials at Princeton said that they are turning down the $2.4 million relief aid. The school currently has an endowment fund of $26 billion.
Over 300 colleges across the country were offered with more aid than what was offered to Harvard and they are ranked among some of the wealthiest colleges in the country.
Some of the major public universities like the Arizona State University that was granted with $63.5 million and even the Pennsylvania State University system, which was offered $55 million.
While majority of the wealthy colleges are witnessing pressure on rejecting the funding, some of them are accepting it.
“We desperately need these emergency funds and will drive 100% of them toward supporting our students who are experiencing financial hardships,” University of Southern California said in an issued statement.
While some of the colleges have started to forlough their staff and teachers to avoid lay offs, some of the other institutions have already shut down amidst the crisis.
By Somapika Dutta