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ED issues instructions to Higher Ed to obtain CARES Act funds

Earlier this afternoon, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to institutional leaders detailing the process for securing the first round of relief funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. Institutions can access this information by clicking here. The Department has included a breakdown of the funds each institution will receive under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, as well as a Certificate of Agreement that must completed. The Department has indicated that funds will be disbursed through the Department’s G5 system. This initial round of funding is to be used exclusively for emergency assistance to students, and represents 50% of the total allocation for each institution.

With regard to the remaining funds, the Department observes that it is “working expeditiously to allocate the remaining funding that is reserved for institutional use, and we will provide details on how institutions may apply for this institutional funding, as well as for other emergency funding, in the coming days.”

Thompson Coburn is monitoring closely those elements of the CARES Act that provide direct and indirect relief to institutions of higher education. On April 20, 2020, the Higher Education Practice will host a 90-minute webinar examining these elements, as well as related guidance, and discussing the processes by which institutions can take advantage of the offered relief. In the interim, institutions with questions regarding the CARES Act are welcome to contact us using the information below.

Aaron Lacey is the leader of Thompson Coburn’s Higher Education practice, host of the Firm’s popular Higher Education Webinar Series, and editorial director of REGucation, the Firm’s higher education law and policy blog. Chris Murray is the co-chair of Thompson Coburn’s Lobbying & Policy practice group, and has been recognized for the depth of his knowledge of education policy, which spans all corners of education, from pre-K through primary, secondary, and postsecondary, from institutions and trade associations to technology companies and investors. Katie Wendel, a member of the Firm’s Higher Education Practice, represents higher education clients in a wide range of regulatory and transactional matters. Scott Goldschmidt is the former Deputy General Counsel for a prominent institution of higher education, and a member of the firm’s Higher Education practice.