Cornell University announced this week that it will accept $12.8 million in federal coronavirus relief despite mounting public pressure to reject the funds. Several Ivy League institutions, including Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, announced last week that they would reject the federal funds after pressure from both President Donald Trump and the American public.
According to a report by the Ithaca Journal, Cornell University has announced that it will accept a $12.8 million in federal funding that it is eligible for under the CARES Act, a coronavirus relief bill that was passed by Congress in March. Elite institutions like Cornell, which boasts an endowment of over $7 billion, have been criticized for accepting federal funds during the Chinese virus pandemic.
Cornell claims that the $12.8 million that they receive from the CARES Act will go directly to Cornell students in need. Joel Malina, Cornell vice president for university relations, said that the funds will help the university ensure that every newly admitted Cornell student will have the resources to complete their degree.
“Even as our Ithaca campus faces an anticipated COVID-related budget shortfall of over $100 million for the coming fiscal year, we aim to guarantee that every single one, currently enrolled or newly admitted, has the financial resources to complete their Cornell education,” Malina told the Ithaca Journal.
Most universities and colleges have been forced to shut down their campuses as a result of the Chinese virus pandemic. Secretary Betsy DeVos has criticized wealthy institutions that have accepted federal funds from the CARES Act. DeVos has urged elite institutions to reject funds so that they may be diverted to institutions that may not survive the Chinese virus pandemic.
Thanks to @Stanford, @Princeton, @Harvard, @Yale, @Caltech and @Penn for doing the right thing and not accepting taxpayer funds. I hope all schools who can afford to do so continue to let the money go to those in greatest need!
— Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) April 23, 2020
Breitbart News reported last week that Harvard University had announced that they would reject the $8.7 million that they were eligible for under the CARES Act. During a press conference that took place last week, President Trump told Harvard that they would be required to return funds that accepted under the coronavirus relief act.
“They have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country, maybe in the world, I guess,” Trump said during the press conference. “And they’re going to pay back that money. They shouldn’t have taken it.”
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