COVID-19 Resources & Webinars
CECU’s Coronavirus webpage includes a multitude of helpful resources to assist higher education leaders understand the various legal and operational implications of COVID-19, including temporarily closing a campus or adapting courses to online learning.
View all past COVID-19 response webinars here.
Guide for the Distribution of the Student and Institutional Portions of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
First published on April 13, 2020 to address the student portion of the HEERF, this CECU-developed guide was updated on May 5, 2020 to include a new section describing how institutions should manage the institutional share of funds. With the recent update, this guide now comprises three distinct sections detailing the student and institutional portions of the HEERF as well as additional resources for school leaders.
In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the proprietary school sector has a unique opportunity. The federal government has included our schools in the Emergency Stabilization Fund for institutions of higher education authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). Starting the week of April 13, 2020, institutions are provided the opportunity to direct critical Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) grants to those eligible students most impacted by the pandemic. This guide, developed with the assistance of sector leaders, supports institutions in understanding what they should know regarding the student and institutional portions of the HEERF, provides example formulas for the distribution of emergency financial aid grants to students, includes a sample grant application form, and lists general principles institutions should consider. This guide will be updated regularly based on ongoing stakeholder feedback and federal updates, so institutions are encouraged to check back often.
View the guide here.
Template Now Available for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting – Student Portion
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced new reporting requirements for institutions of higher education that received their student portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. To support the sector, CECU has developed a reporting template that institutions can use to meet the Department’s initial 30-day reporting deadline. For some institutions, the reporting deadline could be this week!
“Stronger, Safer: The New Normal” Webinar Series Presented by KACCS
Running May 11 - June 22
Noted lecturers, authors and legal experts Dr. Wallace K. Pond and Yolanda Gallegos, Esq., in collaboration with Anthony S. Bieda, public policy authority and KACCS Executive Director, present a series of webinars on the “Stronger, Safer New Normal” confronting career colleges and schools at a time of teaching, guiding and serving students from a distance.
Coronavirus Education News
Colleges Worry They’ll Be Sued if They Reopen Campuses – Inside Higher Ed
College presidents tell Vice President Pence that being shielded from lawsuits if students get sick would make them likelier to physically reopen their campuses.
Frank Assessment From a Private College – Inside Higher Ed
Wells College relies heavily on student fee revenue in its operating budget. Without students on campus, the college will be forced to shut its doors, its president said.
What’s Next: Will the pandemic dampen interest in tuition benefit programs? – Education Dive
Tuition benefit programs aren’t new, but several high-profile examples have made headlines in the last few years as indicators that companies are changing how they use education support.
Additional Coronavirus Coverage
Open or Closed for the Fall? Colleges Begin to Decide, and Make Different Calls; Colleges push viral testing, other ideas for reopening in fall. But some worry about deepening the health crisis. – The Washington Post; Re-Opening Campus This Fall: After The Testing Challenge, The Hard Work Begins – Forbes
CARES Act News
NASFAA Members Say ED Guidance Delayed Ability to Disburse CARES Act Student Grants – NASFAA
Notably, more than 80% of respondents across all sectors said the fact that ED released multiple rounds of guidance regarding the CARES Act has either greatly or somewhat delayed their ability to disburse emergency grants to students.
Coronavirus Education Politics and Policy
Senator Lamar Alexander on the Response to the Coronavirus – Education Next
I recently had the chance to ask Sen. Alexander about the coronavirus and how he’s thinking about the congressional role in education right now. Here’s what he had to say.
House Democrats Scale Back Student Debt Cancellation In The Heroes Act – Forbes
Just two days after releasing the Heroes Act, House Democrats have released an amendment to the bill. The original bill called for $10,000 in student loan cancellation for all borrowers and a suspension of student loan payments through September 30, 2021
Legal and Regulatory Issues
ACLU, Survivor Advocate Groups Sue Dept. of Education – Inside Higher Ed
The American Civil Liberties Union and the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Education on May 14 on behalf of four organizations that advocate for the rights of survivors of sexual assault in the first of many anticipated legal challenges to the final Title IX rule issued by Secretary Betsy DeVos last week.
For-profit colleges see enrollment boost from newly unemployed – The Washington Times
Capella University and Strayer University both reported double-digit increases in enrollment through the first three months of 2020, with increasing projections from company officials as more Americans fell into joblessness during April and May.
Zoom Ups Security with New Acquisition – Campus Technology
Zoom officials said the technology developed by Keybase would speed up the company’s plans to add end-to-end encryption that could scale with Zoom adoptions in an era when school, work and family events are being handled remotely as a response to coronavirus lockdowns.