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Harvard Will Not Apply For Federal Aid From Second Coronavirus Stimulus Package

Harvard was estimated to receive $7 million in aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Harvard was estimated to receive $7 million in aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. By Megan M. Ross
By Virginia L. Ma and Kevin A. Simauchi, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard will not apply for federal aid from the latest Congressional Covid-19 stimulus package, University spokesperson Jason A. Newton wrote in a statement Monday.

The University was estimated to receive $7 million in aid from the legislation, according to a Jan. 7 simulation by the American Council on Education, a higher education interest group.

In April, multiple members of Congressas well as President Donald J. Trump — criticized the University for receiving nearly $9 million in aid as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. The University ultimately elected to decline the funding.

Newton wrote in the statement that Harvard was concerned that uneven guidelines could deprive undocumented students of aid.

“We remain concerned that this legislation does not provide institutions with clear authority to assist all our students who are experiencing impacts from the pandemic, including Dreamers,” Newton wrote.

Former Education Secretary Betsy D. DeVos — who stepped down Friday — issued guidance in April that undocumented students who receive federal protections could not receive federal aid. That rule was not repealed in the latest stimulus package.

Newton also criticized a provision of the legislation that would decrease by 50 percent the aid provided to colleges impacted by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, colloquially referred to as the endowment tax.

“While we appreciate that members of Congress have acknowledged the urgent need for relief for higher education institutions and their students, we do not agree with the harmful limitations placed on this relief based on damaging taxes on nonprofits included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” Newton wrote.

Several of Harvard’s peer institutions have not yet announced whether they will accept the aid. Yale University, Stanford University, and MIT are slated to receive roughly $4.5 million, $5.3 million, and $3.5 million, respectively, in federal aid according to the American Council on Education simulation. Yale, Stanford and MIT all declined to accept their stimulus funding in the spring.

—Crimson staff writer Virginia L. Ma can be reached at

—Crimson staff writer Kevin A. Simauchi can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Simauchi.

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