Public research universities spent 70% of pandemic relief

Public research universities in the United States spent almost US$14.5 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding by the end of 2021, totalling about 70% of the amount they received, according to an analysis released Wednesday 6 April by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, reports Rick Seltzer for Higher Ed Dive.

The total includes U$6.7 billion for emergency aid grants to graduate and undergraduate students, 79% of the funding lawmakers earmarked for that purpose. Institutions had spent just under US$7 billion in institutional funding, about 66% of the total legislators set aside for direct aid to institutions. APLU expects public research universities to spend most of the remaining relief funding in 2022.

Wednesday’s analysis provides an important data point about how quickly colleges have been spending federal funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Where the money is going and how quickly colleges are spending it are of interest after the government tweaked spending guidelines and tried to encourage colleges to use the money on priorities like student success initiatives and debt forgiveness.
Full report on the Higher Ed Dive site