West Texas A&M University will receive more than $5.7 million in federal grants to help in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic..
The grant funding comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relieve and Economic Security (or CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion economic recovery bill signed in late March by President Donald J. Trump..
“We are grateful to Sen. John Cornyn and our entire Texas delegation for their quick response to this crisis,” said Dr. Walter Wendler, WT president. “The relief provided in the CARES Act balances both the needs of our students and those of our institutions in responding to this pandemic.”.
A minimum of 50 percent of WT’s $5,764,767 allocation must be distributed to students in the form of emergency grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. The Department of Education will start allocating that portion this week. The CARES Act allows each institution discretion in how to award this assistance to its students..
“No Texan should have to give up their education because of the economic effects of the coronavirus,” Sen. Cornyn said. “In addition to allowing students to defer their federal student loan payments for six months, the CARES Act provides targeted funding to Texas institutions to help students continue their education – even if that means taking classes online.”.
In total, Texas institutions of higher education were awarded more than $1 billion of the $14 billion available. A&M System institutions received more than $112 million in all..
“We know that this funding is extremely important, but we also know that this only begins the work of battling the ongoing impact of COVID-19,” Wendler said. “We, like all of our colleagues in higher education, are concerned about retention of students next fall..
“We therefore urge Congress to help universities and families address this issue in the next relief package that is under consideration,” Wendler said.