NASHVILLE — Tennessee universities, colleges, and trade and professional schools are getting $237 million in federal emergency grants to provide support for students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has effectively shut down higher education, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said.
The nearly quarter-billion-dollar grants for 127 Tennessee higher education institutions include $118 million specifically targeted to students for expenses related to disruptions in their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
That includes expenses students have incurred for course materials and technology, as well as food, housing, health care and child care. In order to access the funds, higher education institutions must submit to the U.S. Department of Education a signed certification from the higher education facility affirming they will distribute the funds in accordance with applicable law.
The funding is from a nearly $14 billion special Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund included by Congress in its Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, recently signed into law by President Donald Trump.
According to a spreadsheet provided by the office of Alexander, who is chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is getting a total of $9.5 million under the grant program. Of that amount, $4.75 million falls into the minimum allocation category for the direct emergency financial aid grants for students.
Chattanooga State, meanwhile, is expected to see a total of $5.28 million, of which $2.64 million is designated for the emergency financial aid grants for students.
"Tennessee students, here's some good news specifically for you – last week, the federal government announced 127 colleges and universities across our state would receive $237 million to help students impacted by COVID-19," tweeted Alexander on Tuesday.
Here is how the funding plays out at various other Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee institutions:
— Lee University in Cleveland: Total amount is $3.51 million, of which nearly $1.76 million is designated for emergency financial aid grants to students.
— Southern Adventist University in Collegedale: Total amount is $2.44 million, of which $1.21 million is designated for the emergency financial grants to students.
— Cleveland State: Total amount is $1.97 million, with $985,358 targeted for emergency financial grants to student.
— University of the South in Sewanee: Total amount is $1.09 million, with $547,047 targeted for emergency financial grants to students.
— Bryan College in Dayton: Total amount is $579,257, of which $289,629 is designated for the emergency grants for students.
— Tennessee College of Applied Technology Athens: Total amount is $246,105, with $123,053 for emergency grants for students.
Grants in Tennessee range from the Omega Graduate School in Dayton — which is getting $10,184, with $5,092 for student emergency grants, on up to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, which is slated for $19.25 million, with $9.62 million of that going toward the emergency grants for students.
Contact Andy Sher at email@example.com or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @AndySher1.