You’ve probably heard about the bad news: Undergraduate enrollments were down nationwide in fall 2020, with first-time freshmen down 13% nationwide. While graduate enrollments were actually up a bit, overall enrollment nationwide still fell 2.5%.
As Spectrum reported in November, total enrollment at Adventist campuses in the NAD was down 4.3%, while first-year students were down almost 11%. Drops like this mean less income, and some campuses also have nearly empty residence and dining halls, due to strict COVID regulations in their states.
Enter the second round of COVID-19 relief money, which arrived this week. What will it mean for Adventist colleges and universities in the U.S.?
Good news, as far as it goes. Here are the amounts received by tertiary Adventist institutions:*
As with the first COVID relief bill, a certain amount must go directly to students. While much has gone to financial aid, students also received help with a wide variety of problems: rent relief, computers, food, transportation, internet — these are just some of the ways in which the funds helped students hard-hit by the pandemic.
“We are deeply grateful for the funds that La Sierra University will receive from the latest COVID-19 relief bill,” says Dr. Joy Fehr, president of La Sierra University. “As we did in the Spring with the CARES Act funding we received, we will be able to assist students with their pressing financial needs (food, housing, tuition, etc.). The monies will also offset some of the lost revenue we have experienced as a result of the pandemic as well as allow us to continue to provide much needed support for our faculty and staff while we study and work in the virtual environment through to the end of this academic year.”
The percentage of the total amount that must go to student aid is lower this time. For many institutions, much of the money will go directly to the bottom line, and this is always good news.
And there is hope for more. President Biden is calling for another $35 billion in help for colleges and universities.
Ain’t THAT good news!
*Source for the information about amounts designated for institutions: https://www.chronicle.com/article/heres-how-much-aid-your-college-can-get-from-the-second-round-of-covid-19-stimulus
Nancy Hoyt Lecourt is retired from 40 years of teaching and administration at Pacific Union College.
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