The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides some support for higher education institutions and students. For higher education, notable provisions include:
1. Funding for Higher Education to Respond to Coronavirus
The legislation includes $14 billion for higher education institutions to respond to the coronavirus. Institutions can use a portion of this money to defray expenses for technology costs associated with distance learning, provide faculty and staff training, and continue payroll.
2. Emergency Grants for Student Support
Half of the funding institutions receive is set aside for colleges and universities to provide emergency grants to students for things like relocation, food, housing, course materials, health and childcare.
3. Suspended Payments and Interest Accrual for Federal Student Loans
Until September 30, lenders are required to stop payment for federally held student loans. However, Perkins and commercially held Federal Family Education loans are excluded from the suspension.