Colleges, students will have easier access to second round of stimulus funds (subscription)

Colleges and universities that received federal stimulus dollars last year will have an easier time accessing the second round of relief, but higher education experts say it will still take work to get money into the hands of students.

Recently, the Education Department made $21.2 billion from the latest stimulus package available to institutions of higher education to support students and school operations. The federal agency said it will soon release a separate pot of money for historically Black schools, minority-serving institutions and other hard-hit schools.

“The Department is working quickly, yet again, to ensure taxpayer-funded COVID relief allocated by Congress gets to those who need it most,” acting education secretary Mitchell Zais said in a statement. “I would encourage leaders of our higher education institutions to use this funding … to support students who are struggling financially in the wake of this pandemic and to build IT and distance learning capacity.”

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