A $45 million Higher Education Relief Fund, which will assist Delaware colleges and universities affected by COVID-19, was announced Nov. 24.
“This COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly everyone, including higher education institutions,” said Gov. John Carney in a press release. “Delaware’s colleges and universities not only provide students with an excellent education, but also contribute to economic development in our communities. This funding will assist with the expenses to help ensure a safe environment. But we all need to do our part. Avoid social events with those outside of your household. Wear a face mask in public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”
The Higher Education Relief Fund is funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Eligible institutions include University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical Community College, Wesley College, Wilmington University, Goldey-Beacom College, and Delaware College of Art and Design.
Per federal guidelines, eligible colleges and universities must use the funding on specific expenses that are directly related to COVID-19 response. These expenses include:
- Personal protective equipment
- Equipment purchased to make buildings suitable for COVID-19 safety (Plexiglas, air purifiers, etc.)
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting services
- Expenses for technical assistance on mitigation of COVID-19-related threats
- Costs incurred to conduct enhanced screenings for employees and students
- Technology and tele-services needed to adjust to COVID-19 response
- Signage necessary because of the pandemic
- Marketing and media expenses incurred to respond to COVID-19.
Officials said continuing to support Delaware higher education institutions and community colleges to avoid tuition increases or reduction in student loans/grants was a recommendation from the Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee.