The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ 199 public research universities have lost $17.7 billion in revenues during the pandemic and had to spend another $3.1 billion to take safety measures last fall. However, they have only received $5.7 billion in help from the CARES Act and the COVID relief package approved in December, the association wrote members of Congress on Tuesday, asking for more aid.
In addition, the association said its institutions are facing cuts in state funding. For example, the Colorado Legislature slashed support for public institutions by 58 percent. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has seen a 20 percent cut in state funding. The University of Missouri, Kansas City, has taken a 12 percent hit, the group said.
The public universities are also facing more losses, APLU wrote, supporting a request by a number of associations representing the range of colleges and universities for another $97 billion in coronavirus relief aid for higher education. In comparison, President Biden is proposing only $35 billion in additional aid for all of higher education.
“While the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines is welcome news and public universities are active participants in advancing vaccinations efforts, higher education will continue weathering the impacts of the pandemic well into the summer and possibly into the fall as expenses for safety measures are still necessary and losses mount as campuses are not fully open," APLU said.
The request comes as congressional Democrats are preparing a coronavirus relief proposal. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Tuesday Democrats could take a procedural vote next week to allow the use of a budget procedure allowing them to pass a package without Republican support.