Updated February 15 at 3:05 p.m.
Temple University received $ 44.2 million, of which nearly $ 15 million is expected to go directly to students, as part of the latest round of federal stimulus funding for colleges and universities amid the pandemic of COVID-19, said Ken Kaiser, the university’s chief financial officer.
Temple will use the remaining amount, nearly $ 30 million, to help offset the university’s $ 33.3 million deficit for the 2020-21 academic year.
The university has lost revenue due to a 5% drop in enrollment for the 2020-21 academic year and its current housing occupancy rate falling to 30% of what it was last spring, reported the Philadelphia Business Journal. Additionally, Temple spent millions of dollars on its COVID-19 security plans and protocols, including $ 15 million for COVID-19 testing in the 2020-21 academic year, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
Temple is not sure how much each student will receive from the new grants, but it will be “at a minimum” equal to the direct payments provided by Congress for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, enacted in March 2020, Kaiser said.
Temple students who were already recipients of the Pell Scholarship received up to $ 1,000 each in May 2020 through Temple funding received from the CARES Act, The Temple News reported.
Pell recipients will automatically receive their payments, Kaiser wrote in an email to The Temple News, and the remaining balance will be distributed to other students who apply.
The process for requesting and receiving payments will be the same as with the first round of payments, he wrote.
Kaiser said students with proven financial need will be given priority for the new payments, with Pell scholarship recipients on the front line.
The Pell Grant is the largest federal grant program for undergraduate and graduate students from low-income households who are in financial need and do not need to be repaid, according to the Office of Federal Student. Aid from the US Department of Education.
“We know Pell’s students demonstrated financial need even before COVID,” Kaiser said. “So we want to make sure that the students have the funds to do certain things. ”
According to the university’s annual factbook, approximately 63% of Temple students received need-based financial aid grants for the 2020-21 school year.
The relief grants will help students receiving the Pell grants pay for food, accommodation and bills at Temple, Kaiser said.
“It’s not going to pay several months of rent, but it might help,” Kaiser said.
The university will release the money in “about a week” after receiving the funds from the federal government, which will hopefully happen within the next two weeks, Kaiser said.
Temple got the most money of any local college and university that received federal funding. Philadelphia Community College received $ 31.8 million, Drexel University received $ 21.9 million and West Chester University received $ 18.6 million, reported the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act became law on December 27, 2020 and includes $ 22.7 billion in federal funding for higher education institutions. The law requires schools that receive the funding to spend the same amount on student scholarships as the initial CARES Act funding, reported the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Last year, the original CARES law sent $ 14 billion to the Higher Education Emergency Assistance Fund, according to the United States Department of Education.
On January 20, the government extended until September 30 the suspension of loan repayments, collection of delinquent loans and interest rates above zero percent on loans held by the education ministry, according to the Ministry of Education.
Temple has joined with other colleges and universities in lobbying the federal government for increased relief from higher education throughout the pandemic, said George Kenney, associate vice president and senior business adviser government.
“You know, they have a pot of money, and they’re trying to find a way to divide it up, bring it in and get it out there and have as much impact as possible,” Kenney said. . new relief funds. “We just want to make sure they remember us as they split the pot.”