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For-Profits Make Case for More Coronavirus Relief

February 3, 2021

Concerned they are being left out of getting additional help in the next coronavirus relief package, the association representing for-profit colleges and universities said their students were helped by previous relief funding and would be helped by more aid.

Eighty-four percent of 15 top officials at for-profit institutions said funding from the two relief packages passed by Congress and former president Trump last year had an “extremely positive impact on student ability to attend class,” said a survey released Wednesday by the association, Career Education Colleges and Universities.

Another 81 percent said the funds helped students complete assignments; 81 percent also said they helped instructors teach effectively, and 79 percent said they helped students engage with course materials.

More than half the of the for-profit institutions said they exceeded the packages' requirements by spending more than half of the funding on emergency grants to students. And a little than a third said they spent more than 70 percent of their relief funding on students.

For-profits have been concerned after a fact sheet released by the Biden administration on its coronavirus relief proposal mentioned giving $35 billion in aid to “public institutions, including community colleges, as well as, public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions,” but did not mention the for-profits.

“These critical support funds made it possible for students to attend class, complete assignments, and balance family responsibilities without sacrificing their education,” said Nicholas Kent, the group's senior vice president of policy and research. “Legislation that omits students based solely on an institution’s tax status is fundamentally unfair and ignores the very real and significant challenges these students face.”

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