When Congress approved the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the measure included a “Christmas-in-March” gift of $801 million to the nations 25 most-richly endowed colleges and universities.
The largesse for the campus institutions was first exposed May 5 by Open The Books, a Chicago-based government spending watchdog, but President Donald Trump sparked a national outcry in April, when he demanded that Harvard return the $8.6 million it was slated to receive.
But the $801 million was only a small part of the total allocated by the CARES Act for colleges, universities, and trade schools across the nation, according to Open The Books President Adam Andrzejewski, who announced the findings of his groups analysis in a Forbes magazine article.
“We scoured the backend of the U.S. Department of Education website and found the full database: 5,137 colleges and universities that were awarded $12.5 billion in coronavirus relief. None of it has to be paid back,” he wrote.
Harvard, with its $40.9 billion endowment, opted not to accept the funds after Trump spoke out and Princeton, which was slated to get $2.4 million to supplement its $25.9 billion endowment, did so as well soon after.
The nations largest university systems are slated to receive huge checks and there are no signs as yet that officials with those schools intend to follow Harvards example.
The University of California System has a $21 billion endowment and stands to receive more than $260 million under the CARES Act, according to the Open the Books analysis.
The University of Texas System has an even larger endowment at $31 billion, but was included in the relief act for $173 million. The Lone Star States other large public university system, Texas A&M, has a $13.5 billion endowment and will get $82 million.
The Pennsylvania State System has the smallest endowment among the 25 at $4.5 billion and will receive nearly $55 million from the federal government under the measure.
Fifth on the list is the Ohio State University System that also has a smaller endowment than most of the top 25 institutions, at nearly $5.3 billion. A total of $42.8 million will go to the Ohio system.
It should be noted that the funds going to these schools were determined by the U.S. Department of Education, according to a formula Congress included in the measure.
Higher education institutions collectively spent nearly $75 million lobbying Congress in 2019.
Brian Darling, former senior counsel to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), told The Epoch Times that “it is a sad fact of government that when they offer up aid, the institutions and corporations who can afford to hire lobbyists are the ones who get help, while the truly distressed Americans are left behind.”
Other critics of wasteful federal spending interviewed by The Epoch Times also jumped on the big allocations for schools with huge endowments.
“Giving colleges and universities who have a combined endowment of $350 billion any taxpayer money shows that Congress isnt interested in oversight or smart and targeted spending,” said Taxpayers Protection ARead More From Source