April 14, 2020

Durbin, Duckworth Announce $218 Million For Illinois Colleges To Provide Emergency Aid To Students


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded $218 million to Illinois institutions of higher education for emergency financial aid to students. The funding – which comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – will be used to provide cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Like all of us, college students are working to navigate the public health and economic crisis we are currently in, and for low-income students and families this can be especially difficult,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to work with Senator Durbin to advocate for federal support for the students who need it most right now.”

College students are experiencing unprecedented disruptions to their education due to this pandemic and it's especially harmful for students already struggling to make ends meet. I’m pleased this funding has quickly been made available to provide direct cash relief for students in need,” Durbin said. “Senator Duckworth and I remain committed to finding more legislative solutions to provide additional relief for students and colleges.”

Colleges and universities are required to use today’s funding to provide cash grants to students to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic, including things like course materials and technology, food, housing, health care, and childcare. The college or university will determine which students will receive the cash grants. Additional funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund will be provided to institutions of higher education in the coming weeks to assist with institutional needs and costs related to COVID-19.  Illinois is expected to receive $437 million in total from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

The allocation by Illinois institution is available here.