US Education secretary announces $22.9 million in funds for academic institutions impacted by hurricanes
SAN JUAN — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Tuesday the reallocation of $22.9 million in “unexpended funds” for students in academic institutions in Federal Emergency Management Agency-declared disaster areas impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as postsecondary schools that have enrolled students from the affected areas.
“Students and institutions devastated by last year’s hurricanes need and deserve our continued support,” DeVos says in her department’s announcing release. “These additional funds will help provide the resources colleges and universities require as they continue to assist hurricane-impacted students get life back to normal.”
The department will provide $5.4 million to students through the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program, at 285 colleges and universities, including 277 postsecondary schools in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The department wrote it has provided more than $13 million in additional relief funds since September through the FSEOG program to colleges and universities for undergraduate students with “exceptional financial need.”
Some $17.5 million will be made available as well through the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program, which provides “part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need.”
These FWS funds “will go to 1,179 affected colleges and universities, including 321 postsecondary schools in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In total, the Department has reallocated $27.9 million to colleges and universities for students participating in the FWS program.”
The release explains that Congress passed the Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017, which gave the secretary “authority to reallocate previously appropriated campus-based funds. Today’s reapportionment is in addition to $10.4 million provided through FWS in December 2017, and an initial $7.6 million through FSEOG in September 2017 prior to the Relief Act.”