Yale University turns down multi-million dollar stimulus check from federal government

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Yale was among a group of elite universities under fire for receiving a multi-million dollar stimulus check from the federal government. However, the university said in a statement Wednesday night that they are turning the money down.

Leaders in Harvard, Princeton, and other schools recently decided not to accept the money, but as of early Wednesday, Yale had not said they would follow suit.

The U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos has been applauding the elite schools on Twitter who chose not to keep the money.

Keep in mind, these schools never applied for it. It was allocated to them from the stimulus package known as the CARES Act.

According to Devos, it’s meant to build IT and help students and staff operate remote learning tools necessary during the coronavirus pandemic shut down.

She added, if schools have that already, the money should be used to help as emergency cash grants for struggling students.

News 8 asked New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker about this early Wednesday afternoon. He said he “didn’t realize the other universities were turning it down” but that “this is a time to invest in those pole that are struggling the most.”

I didn’t realize that other universities were turning it down.

I do think that now is a time when those that are struggling the most need the most support.

And we’re talking with our city’s budget office and we’re talking about extreme shortfalls in our own budget because our revenues are significantly down and there are so many people running small businesses in the community, so many people that have lost their jobs.

This is a time to invest in those people that are struggling the most.

– New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker

In a statement, Wednesday evening, A Yale University spokesperson said the university is “pleased that Congress is providing support for higher education in the face of COVID-19,” but “the university has decided not to seek these emergency funds. Instead, we hope that the Department of Education will use Yale’s portion of the funding to support colleges and universities in Connecticut whose continued existence is threatened by the current crisis.”

Yale University is pleased that Congress is providing support for higher education in the face of COVID-19, including its establishment of the $14 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which is being allocated largely on the basis of enrollment of students who qualify for Pell Grants.

Yale is eligible for an allocation of $6.9 million from this fund toward support for students and university operations. Though Yale is experiencing great budgetary pressure as a result of the pandemic, the university has decided not to seek these emergency funds. Instead, we hope that the Department of Education will use Yale’s portion of the funding to support colleges and universities in Connecticut whose continued existence is threatened by the current crisis.

We wish to reassure Yale students that this decision will in no way diminish our financial support for them at this critical time.

Yale considers affordability and access to be core values. Due to our significant investments in financial aid, there are more than 1,000 Pell Grant recipients enrolled in Yale College—nearly 300 more than were enrolled just three years ago. Over half of Yale’s undergraduates receive financial aid, and the university remains committed to supporting them through this crisis. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Yale has provided emergency funds to travel home for undergraduates on financial aid and emergency assistance for those who were studying abroad and had an interruption of their program. The university has continued to pay student employees for expected work schedules through the end of the term.

Yale is fully engaged in responding to COVID-19, while remaining committed to its mission of research and education. Yale faculty physicians and clinical staff are working on the front lines to care for COVID-19 patients in Connecticut as well as guiding state and local officials on public health measures. Yale has prepared hundreds of beds for local first responders, health care providers, and funeral home staff, and has established a field hospital on campus to serve the local community.

Yale faculty, staff, and students are advancing research to find vaccines, treatments, and better diagnostics for COVID-19, and the university appreciates the continuation of the vital partnership between America’s research universities and the federal government, as exemplified by the CARES Act.  

– Yale University, Media Relations

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