BYU-Idaho turns down federal coronavirus aid

BYU-Idaho is turning down $18 million in federal coronavirus aid — including $9 million in direct student assistance.

University officials announced their decision in a Monday email to students. East Idaho News reported on the email Thursday.

“At this time, the university is prepared to meet the needs of our students without accessing these federal funds,” officials at the Rexburg-based university said in their email.

Other schools owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — including BYU in Provo, Utah, and BYU-Hawaii — are also refusing the federal aid, East Idaho News reported.

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, passed in March, will provide $36 million for the state’s public colleges and universities, including $18 million in direct student aid. The law requires colleges and universities to put at least half of their CARES money into student aid.

Under the feds’ funding distribution formula — based largely on the percentage of a school’s students eligible for federal Pell grants — BYU-Idaho stood to receive more CARES money than any of the state’s public institutions.

The state’s colleges and universities have drawn up their plans for distributing the student aid. (Click here for details.)

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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