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APLU Statement on U.S. Department of Education Guidance on Pandemic Relief Funding for Universities

March 19, 2021

Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement on new guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on the use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) grants authorized under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA).

“The public university community greatly appreciates the additional clarity and flexibility the U.S. Department of Education granted on the use of higher education emergency relief funds. Since the beginning of the pandemic, public universities have faced tremendous financial losses of revenues, cuts to state funding, and new costs to keep their students and campuses safe. The Department’s guidance clarifying that emergency funds for higher education can be used to offset these significant losses and expenses dating back to the beginning of the pandemic is a major help.

"We understand the Biden administration continues to review whether student emergency grants can be used to support undocumented and international students, which public universities support. We look forward to hearing more from the administration on this important issue.

"We appreciate the Department’s dedication to quickly releasing additional emergency relief provided in the American Rescue Plan Act and look forward to our continued partnership to support and strengthen public higher education."

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