Legislative Update: New Guidance on CARES Act Higher Education Funds

New guidance was shared by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) about eligibility of higher education funding through COVID-19 (Coronavirus) stimulus grants. Read below to learn more about this update, as well as the 2020 Presidential Scholar announcement. 

ED Puts Out Statement on Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

The U.S. Department of Education released a statement about the guidance for the distribution of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.The original guidance stated that only students eligible to receive Title IV funds under the Higher Education Act would be able to receive the HEERF grant. In the announcement, ED stated that it “will not initiate any enforcement action based solely on these statements because they lack the force and effect of law.” The department also shared that it is continuing to review HEERF eligibility and “intends to take further action shortly.” Advance CTE had concerns about the original eligibility requirements announced by ED in April, and responded to the department in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). 

DeVosAnnounces 2020 Presidential Scholars

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020. Each year, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects students based on factors such as academic standing, artistic and technical excellence and community service. This year, over 5,300 students were qualified for the Presidential Scholar award. In addition to the traditional scholars, the award also includes 20 scholars for Career Technical Education (CTE) and 20 scholars in the arts. CTE scholars were selected from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington.  The full list of 2020 Presidential Scholars can be found here.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

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