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Higher education benefits from major financial support during pandemic

BOISE - The Governor's Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) voted Friday to direct another $6 million in federal relief funds to higher education in Idaho, bringing the total financial support from federal COVID funds for the public institutions this year to $54.4 million.

"Idaho's institutions of higher education play a huge role in our state's economic prosperity, and it is critical that we support students as much as possible during these unprecedented times," Governor Brad Little said. "It was a priority of mine that higher education institutions were fully funded to cover the increased operating costs associated with COVID."

The breakdown of federal COVID funding for higher education so far includes:

$36,175,557 from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund: This was a direct distribution from the federal government to institutions. At least half is to be used for emergency grants to students to cover student financial losses. The remainder may be used for institution expenses. $14,147,128 from CFAC: This includes $4,147,128 to be used for COVID-related expenses; $4 million for Idaho Online, the new platform to make courses accessible across institutions; $5 million approved Friday for the eight public colleges and universities; and $1 million approved Friday for the five private, nonprofit postsecondary institutions to support critical expenditures related to their COVID-19 responses. $5,100,000 from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, one of the funds established by the CARES Act.

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