Fri. May 24th, 2024

Delegation announces over $84 million in CARES Act grants for NM Colleges and Universities

WASHINGTON (KSMX)- U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that over $84 million in grants will go to local education institutions, students, and the governor’s office as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that passed Congress last month.

$62 million in funding is available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEER) and $22 million is available through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, both authorized by the CARES Act.

Half, or $31 million of the $62 million provided to New Mexico education institutions under the HEER Fund must go towards providing cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care, and childcare.

Institutions will use the remaining funds to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

In addition to funding specifically for higher education institutions, the CARES Act suspended payments for federal student loan borrowers interest-free until September 30.

“We must continue to support students in New Mexico and across the country who are experiencing financial hardships and disruptions to their education because of the coronavirus pandemic. No student should be left behind to pay for unexpected essential needs like housing and access to technology so that they can continue learning online. Young people desperately need our support as they navigate the many challenges presented by this crisis,” said Udall. “This funding will also help bolster education institutions that are overcoming challenging circumstances and working hard to provide a continuity of education for our students.”

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