Although physical classrooms remain closed, college students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have been getting their educations online amidst the covid-19 pandemic.
At least 22 higher education institutes in DFW are being awarded receive $154 million in federal grants, Texas Sen. John Cornyn announced Tuesday.
The grant funding, $154,291,487 in total, comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act, passed into law last month.
Higher education institutions throughout Texas are awarded more than $1 billion, out of the $14 billion available in total in the relief fund.
The University of North Texas will receive $29 million in grants – the highest amount for any DFW-area institution. About $14 million will be presented as student aid.
Tarrant County College District and the University of Texas at Arlington each will be receiving upwards of $21 million.
At least 50% of each grant must go towards providing students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, and 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,” Cornyn said in a statement. “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.”
Additionally, on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that nearly $3 billion in emergency education block grants is being made available to state governors to ensure education continues for students of all ages impacted by the coronavirus.
“Governors have the opportunity to truly rethink and transform the approach to education during this national emergency and ensure learning continues,” said Secretary DeVos. “At a time when so many school boards and superintendents have shut down learning for the balance of the school year, I want to encourage each and every governor to focus on continuity of education for all students.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a social distancing order in late March to be implemented through April 30. All Texas schools are also required to remain closed until May 4.