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Stanford could receive $5 million in taxpayer funds from latest stimulus legislation

Endowment sits above $25 billion

Stanford University could receive up to $5.3 million in taxpayer funds under the COVID-19 relief stimulus bill passed by Congress on December 21 and later signed into law by President Donald Trump at the end of December.

The American Council on Education conducted a simulation to determine how the $20 billion in stimulus funding allocated to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund could be allocated. The association represents colleges and universities across the country.

Its simulation, which uses a calculation formula in the “Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act” found that Stanford could receive a total of $5.3 million, including over $3.5 million in grants to students.

The private university in Palo Alto, California would not tell The College Fix if it planned to accept any stimulus money.

Neither Dee Mostofi nor E.J. Miranda, media relations team members for the university, responded to two emailed requests for comment in the past week on if it planned to accept the stimulus money.

The university announced in October that its endowment had reached $28.9 billion as of August 2020. In May, university officials rejected $7.3 million in stimulus funding from the first coronavirus relief bill.

President Trump had criticized wealthy universities, such as Harvard, for initially accepting the money, The Washington Post reported.

MORE: ‘Most organizations’ are racist Ibram Kendi says at Stanford event

Harvard returned the taxpayer funds in May and said it would reject stimulus money from the most recent legislation as well.

“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,” spokesperson Jason Newton wrote in a statement published by the student newspaper The Crimson.

The amounts available to Harvard and Stanford are not nearly the largest pot of funds available to universities.

For example, the legislation could allocate up to $22 million to Auburn University and nearly $32 million to the University of Alabama.

The American Council on Education did not respond to multiple emails to members of its media relations team. Jon Riskind, Audrey Hamilton, and Carly O’Connell did not respond to emailed requests for comment on if ACE had a position on if universities should accept the stimulus money. The Fix also asked what the organization expects from the Biden administration with regard to taxpayer dollars to support students and universities.

“It is expected that the Biden administration will expand eligibility more broadly when it takes office,” the higher ed nonprofit wrote in its summary of the most recent stimulus legislation and its student emergency aid provisions.

The group said it plans to continue to lobby the White House to support higher education institutions in a news release about President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal.

“As the plan moves forward, ACE and the higher education association community will continue to stress to the new administration and Congress that colleges and universities need significantly greater resources to deal with the past and future impact of COVID-19,” it said in a statement. “[I]nstitutions play a vital role in economic conditions in their surrounding communities and overall employment in the country.”

MORE: Top 25 universities by endowment got $800 million in stimulus money

IMAGE: Paolo Schorli / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Jessica Custodio is a student at the State University of New York-Dutchess. She is a New York Senior Correspondent for Campus Reform and is also a contributing writing for Young Americans Against Socialism.