$58M in coronavirus response awarded to UTRGV, STC and TSC

Rio Grande Valley higher education institutions have received nearly $58 million in federal grants to address the impact from the COVID-19 health crisis, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced in a news release Tuesday.

According to Cornyn, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will receive $34,334,258 in aid, while Texas Southmost College and South Texas College are obtaining $3,608,280 and $20,022,398, respectively.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund — authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act — is distributing the funding, with 50% of which going directly to students.

Of the funds, portions of $17,167,129, $1,804,140 and $10,011,199 will respectively go toward student aid for UTRGV, TSC and STC.

Specifically, this would help fund emergency financial aid grants and help cover operational disruption expenses experienced on campuses.

The CARES Act, according to the release, will allow each institution the discretion in awarding funding to students.

“No Texan should have to give up their education because of the economic effects of the coronavirus,” Cornyn said in the release. “In addition to allowing students to defer their federal student loan payments for six months, the CARES Act provides targeted funding to Texas institutions to help students continue their education — even if that means taking classes online.”

Of $14 billion currently available, more than $1 billion has already been awarded to Texas higher education institutions.