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cares-graph-03
Credit: Georgia Ray

This is a developing story that was last updated at 1:38 p.m on May 28. Please check back here for updates.

This week, Penn and three other Ivy League universities — Harvard University, Princeton University, and Yale University — have rejected all funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act after widespread backlash

On March 27, Congress passed the $2 trillion CARES Act, which allocated $14 billion for higher education institutions. At least half of each school's CARES stimulus package must be used to cover emergency aid for students, while the rest can be spent at each school's discretion. 

Here’s how all eight Ivy League universities are using — or not using — their CARES funding.

Credit: Georgia Ray


University of Pennsylvania

On April 23, Penn announced in a press release that the University will not accept funding from the CARES Act.

“Despite the serious financial impacts to Penn as a result of the pandemic, after analyzing the full scope of the regulations involved, Penn has determined that it will not apply for nor accept the funds that would be available through the CARES Act,” the statement read.

Penn would have received $9,907,683 in aid from the CARES Act, the third-highest level of funding in the Ivy League after Columbia and Cornell.

Penn's statement said that though it is refusing federal funding, the University is unwavering in its commitment to provide financial aid and support to students in need. 

Penn also announced Tuesday that it will provide students whose financial aid package includes a summer savings expectation with a supplemental COVID-19 Summer Savings Grant for the 2020-2021 academic year to mitigate the loss of potential summer income due to the pandemic.

The decision to decline the funding comes at the heels of criticism from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the size of the grant considering President Amy Gutmann’s $3.6 million salary and Penn’s large endowment.

Penn’s $14.7 billion endowment is the fourth-largest in the Ivy League after Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

Brown University

Brown is in the process of deciding whether the school will accept the CARES funding, according to The Brown Daily Herald.

Brown University Vice President of Communication Cass Cliatt told The Herald that Brown is still assessing whether Brown would be fulfilling the CARES Act by accepting the money. If Brown does accept the federal aid, 100% of the funding will be used for student financial support.

If accepted, Brown will receive $4,842,231 in aid, the sixth-highest level of funding in the Ivy League.

As of June 2019, Brown has the smallest endowment of the Ivy League at $4.2 billion.

Columbia University

Columbia has not released a statement on whether it will accept or decline the CARES Act funding.

Like Penn, Columbia came under fire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for receiving federal aid in light of its $10.95 billion endowment. 

Columbia is set to receive $12,830,199 in aid, the largest amount of aid in the Ivy League.

As of June 2019, Columbia’s endowment is the fifth-largest in the Ivy League.

Cornell University

Cornell will use 100% of CARES funding for student financial assistance, according to The Cornell Daily Sun

The Sun reported that Cornell expects to increase spending on tuition assistance by $145 million due to the pandemic. The school also expects to lose between $160 million and $210 million by the end of the next fiscal year.

Cornell will receive $12,800,980 in aid from the CARES Act, the second-largest amount of aid after Columbia.

As of June 2019, Cornell’s endowment is the sixth-largest in the Ivy League at $7.3 billion.

Dartmouth College

On May 28, Dartmouth announced it will apply for the first half of its allotted funding from the CARES Act, according to The Dartmouth. As mandated by the government, this half of the funding will go towards student financial assistance.

Dartmouth spokesperson Diana Lawrence told The Dartmouth that the College has not yet decided whether it will apply for the second half of funding, but if it does, 100% of CARES funding will go toward student assistance.

Dartmouth has yet to announce when it will apply for funding.

Dartmouth is set to receive $3,429,350 in aid from the CARES Act, the seventh-highest level of funding in the Ivy League. The first half of aid the College will accept amounts to $1,714,675.

As of June 2019, Dartmouth’s endowment is the seventh-largest in the Ivy League at $5.7 billion.

Harvard University

Following backlash from 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump, Harvard announced on April 22 it will not accept funding from the CARES Act. Trump called on the university to return the funds, citing its large endowment, which at $40.9 billion is the largest of any university in the world.

Harvard was set to receive $8,655,748 in aid from the CARES Act, the fourth-highest level of funding in the Ivy League after Penn.

Before ultimately turning down the funding, Harvard originally announced it would use 100% of its grant for student financial assistance.

Despite rejecting the federal funds, Harvard said in its statement that the school remains fully committed to providing the financial support it promised its students.

In its statement, Harvard acknowledged it will face “significant financial challenges,” and believes that the intense criticism Harvard faced for accepting the CARES funding might undermine participation in a relief act designed for "students and institutions whose financial challenges in the coming months may be most severe." 

According to the statement, Harvard hopes its funding will be reallocated to other Massachusetts institutions.

Princeton University

Princeton was the first in the Ivy League to officially announce it would not accept funding from the CARES Act, which it did on Twitter on April 22. 

“Princeton has not yet received these funds, and never requested any of these funds,” the statement read.

Princeton’s deputy University spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss told The Daily Princetonian that after debating whether Princeton could use the aid in a manner consistent with the Department of Education’s guidelines, the University determined it would not accept the funding. 

Princeton's statement said the University remains committed to providing students with financial support.

If accepted, Princeton would have received $2,424,099 in aid, the smallest amount out of the Ivy League.

As of June 2019, Princeton’s endowment is the third-largest in the Ivy League at $26.1 billion.

Yale University

On April 22, Yale announced it will not accept funding from the CARES Act. 

In its statement, Yale acknowledged the financial pressure it is experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic, but hopes that the Department of Education will reallocate its funding to support other colleges in Connecticut.

Yale was set to receive $6,851,139 in aid from the CARES act, the fifth-highest level of funding in the Ivy League.

Yale's statement said the school's decision to turn down federal funds does not diminish its financial support for students.

As of June 2019, Yale’s endowment is the second-largest in the Ivy League at $30.3 billion.

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