ACE simulation shows how much new COVID-19 relief colleges could get

Dive Brief:

  • Several colleges and universities that received the most federal coronavirus relief money last year will likely top the list in the next aid distribution, according to a simulation developed by the American Council on Education. 

  • Arizona State University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Central Florida will likely again be among the institutions to receive the most funding, ACE’s model shows.

  • However, the formula for allocating aid money shifted in the latest coronavirus rescue package, allowing more community colleges to benefit. 

Dive Insight:

Colleges initially got about $14 billion in relief funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, signed in March. Institutions needed to split their share of this funding equally between their pandemic-related costs and student emergency grants. 

The formula in the CARES Act focused on colleges’ full-time-equivalent enrollment numbers, with an emphasis on how many students received the federal Pell Grant, a proxy for campus poverty. Yet observers noted this method would disadvantage community colleges, where many students attend part-time. 

This was corrected in the latest coronavirus legislation, which Congress passed in late December and provided colleges roughly $23 billion. The new formula includes colleges FTE enrollment and headcounts, giving part-time students more weight. Institutions still need to spend half their cut on students’ financial needs. 

The change boosted the amount certain community colleges will receive. ACE’s simulation projects Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College will reap more than $85 million, the fourth-largest amount colleges are due to receive. It got about $33 million in the CARES Act, ranking 23rd among colleges based on funding.

The organization predicts Houston Community College will get $64 million, ranking it 12th; it received $28 million in CARES money, putting it 44th on the list.

Arizona State is again slated to receive the most aid money — $111 million, more than individual allocations to 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to ACE. 

The states ACE predicts will receive the most funding are California ($2.8 billion), Texas ($1.7 billion) and New York ($1.5 billion).

The 10 states likely to get the most aid

State Amount (millions)
California $2,769.7
Texas $1,716.9
New York $1,450.7
Florida $1,227.5
Pennsylvania $727.4
Illinois $706.6
Georgia $661.5
Ohio $636.6
North Carolina $630.8
Michigan $581.0

To view all states and the top 20 institutions, click here.

The 10 institutions likely to get the most aid

Institution Amount (millions)
Arizona State University $110.8
Miami Dade College (FL) $98.2
University of Central Florida $86.7
Ivy Tech Community College (IN) $85.0
Pennsylvania State University $84.8
Rutgers University (NJ) $83.2
Georgia State University $80.0
California State University, Northridge $73.5
Florida International University $69.3
California State University, Fullerton $67.7

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