U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) announced today that the CARES Act will provide more than $288 million to Arizona colleges and universities to first support their students and then cover costs related to the dramatic changes to the delivery of instruction after the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted the academic semester.

The funding will be made available to institutions through the Department of Education, as part of the Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act. More than $144 million of that funding is being distributed immediately and must be used to provide emergency cash grants to Arizona students experiencing unforeseen financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus. The emergency cash grants will cover student expenses like course materials, technology, housing, food, health care, and childcare. Colleges and universities will receive their share of the funding in the coming weeks.

“Arizona college students have seen their lives disrupted in a major way due to the coronavirus outbreak,” McSally said. “We want to make sure they are able stay on track and continue their education, without an additional and unexpected financial burden. I’m grateful to see incredible innovation from Arizona’s higher education institutions as we all adapt in these difficult times.”

The cash grants are part of nearly $14 billion to support postsecondary education students and institutions. The school allocations are based on a formula prescribed in the CARES Act that puts a greater emphasis on the number of full-time, Pell-eligible students but also takes into consideration the school’s total population and the number of students who were not enrolled full-time online before the coronavirus outbreak. The Department of Education is utilizing the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and Federal Student Aid (FSA) for this calculation.