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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Northeast Ohio Universities To Receive Millions In CARES Act Funding

Universities and community colleges in Northeast Ohio will receive millions in emergency funding under the CARES Act, the federal relief package aimed at helping the U.S. economy during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Under the CARES – or Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act – at least half the amount a university or college receives from the federal government must go towards emergency financial aid grants for its students. 

In Northeast Ohio, Kent State University will receive more than $19 million. Cleveland State University will be allocated more than $12 million, Cuyahoga Community College is expected to get $10 million and Case Western Reserve University will receive $4.5 million.  John Carroll University will received $ 2.2 million and the University of Akron is being allocated $14 million.

The funding will be distributed immediately and universities and colleges will determine which students receive grants for expenses like housing, books, technology, healthcare and childcare, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a Thursday press release. 

"What's best for students is at the center of every decision we make," DeVos said in the press release. "That's why we prioritized getting funding out the door quickly to college students who need it most. We don't want unmet financial needs due to the coronavirus to derail their learning."

The money will be available as part of the Higher Education Relief Fund authorized by the $2 trillion CARES Act, which was signed into law less than two weeks ago.

According to the U.S. Education Department, the funding amounts were determined largely by the number of Pell grant-eligible students enrolled and the school’s total student population. 

Virtually all higher education classes in Northeast Ohio are being taught remotely through the end of the spring 2020 semester as part of the effort to “flatten the curve” and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

With in-person campus tours not an option, local universities are also providing virtual campus tours and doing away with admissions fees in order to entice prospective students to campuses for the next academic year.

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