Over the past several months, Congress has enacted legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our society and economy. Thank you for your support in contacting your congressional delegation to advocate for the CARES Act and other legislation.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a bill that would provide additional resources to students and higher education institutions beyond what was provided in the CARES Act. Over the next several weeks, the Senate is expected to deliberate on its proposal for another relief package, which is also likely to include support for higher education.
Given the consequences that COVID-19 has had for colleges and universities, we strongly encourage you to contact your senators to request that they support our nation’s students and institutions.
It is important that you coordinate outreach and key messages with institutional leaders before contacting senators.
Below are the specific requests that the higher education community is making.
Federal Support for Students and Institutions
- We request that Congress provide $46.6 billion in support for students and institutions. Similar to the CARES Act, these funds should be divided between institutional and student needs. Colleges and universities contribute enormously to society and our economy; they support states and communities and are currently facing tremendous fiscal challenges. While $46.6 billion will not fully address financial losses, it will serve as a lifeline for students and campuses this fall.
- Talking points on student and institutional aid
- Community Letter on Higher Education Priorities for the Fifth Supplemental Spending Bill – May 29, 2020
Limited Liability Protections
- We request that Congress enact temporary and limited liability protections for institutions, on the condition that institutions follow applicable public health standards, and that any protections still allow for those harmed by truly bad actors to find legal recourse. As colleges and universities face unprecedented challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is significant concern that excessive and speculative lawsuits will be filed, even when all reasonable and good faith efforts are exhausted, and safe, proactive policies (aligned with health guidelines) are implemented.
- Talking points on legislative liability protection
- Community Letter Requesting Temporary and Targeted Liability Protections Related to COVID-19 – May 28, 2020
Financial Support Through Loan Programs
- We request that Congress explicitly allow all private nonprofit and public institutions of all sizes to be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Main Street Lending Program. Higher education institutions are often the largest or one of the largest employers in their local communities, and they are experiencing a major cash flow crisis. Access to low-cost loans to address financial hardships would offer critical aid.
- Talking points on loan availability for colleges and universities
- Community Letter on Expanding the Main Street Lending Program to Nonprofits – May 29, 2020
- Community Letter on Expanding the Paycheck Protection Program to All Nonprofits – May 29, 2020
- Community Letter in Support of the Creation of a New Facility for Nonprofits with the Main Street Lending Facility – May 22, 2020
Support for Research
- We request that Congress provide at least $26 billion in emergency research relief funding to federal agencies to support and maintain the research workforce, mitigate the disruptions to federally supported research and core research facilities, and restart research that has been halted or slowed due to COVID-19. The $26 billion is not intended to expand the nation’s investment in research; rather, it is desperately needed to preserve investments already made.
- Talking points on emergency research relief funding to federal research agencies
- Community Letter in Support of Emergency Appropriations for Research Funding – May 27, 2020
For additional COVID-19 information and AGB resources, please click here.