The University of Pennsylvania announced on Thursday that they will reject nearly $10 million in federal coronavirus relief funds after a wave of public pressure on wealthy institutions to reject public assistance. The University of Pennsylvania currently boasts an endowment of $14.7 billion. UPenn joins Princeton, Yale, and Harvard in rejecting the federal funds, although Harvard first tried to keep the federal money.
In a press release that was published on Thursday, the University of Pennslyvania announced that it will reject nearly $10 million in federal funds that were allocated to the university under the CARES Act, a federal coronavirus relief bill that was passed by Congress in March.
The University of Pennsylvania said that it will not apply for nor accept funds from the CARES Act. The university, which as an endowment of $14.7 billion, suggested that it will still be able to provide financial support to students despite financial burdens imposed on the university by the Chinese virus pandemic.
The CARES Act, which was recently passed by Congress, allows universities to apply for emergency relief funds to offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the serious financial impact to Penn as a result of the pandemic, after analyzing the full scope of the regulations involved, Penn has determined that it will not apply for nor accept the funds that would be available through the CARES Act.
Although Penn is declining to apply for these particular federal funds, our commitment to providing financial aid and support to students in need is unwavering, and we will continue to do all that we can to ensure the educational success of all Penn students.
Ivy League institutions, many of which boast multi-billion-dollar endowments, around the country have faced criticism this week for accepting millions of dollars in federal aid. President Trump even rebuked Harvard during a press conference on Tuesday for accepting an $8.7 million stimulus grant. Harvard’s endowment is currently the largest university endowment in the country at $40.9 billion.
“They have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country, maybe in the world, I guess,” Trump said in the White House Press Briefing Room on Tuesday. “And they’re going to pay back that money. They shouldn’t have taken it.
Harvard, Yale, Princeton announced this week that they, too, would reject federal coronavirus relief grants. Harvard, unlike its peer institutions, hesitated for hours before finally caving to public pressure to reject CARES Act funds.
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