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Texas Tech, South Plains College share preliminary uses for their CARES funding

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In public disclosures for the second half of the spring semester, Texas Tech reports spending nearly $8 million of federal money on student safety and wellbeing.

That includes tuition and fee payback, testing, PPE and off-campus housing for students in quarantine.

President Schovanec says Texas Tech will distribute about $140 million in federal funding from the CARES program.

“Not all of it. We’ve been authorized, we expect to receive $140 million. Not every bit of that money is in place, the bulk of that has gone to students,” Schovanec said.

This is on top of money from the state. In late June, governor Abbott announced a $95 million investment in higher education. The university has some ideas on how to use these grants.

“We need to hire more faculty. We want to get to what we feel is an optimal student to faculty ratio, and get faculty in front of those students in class sizes that we think is better for them,” Schovanec said.

Over the last year, President Schovanec estimates Texas Tech has lost around $100 million in revenue. However, since it has the second-fastest rate of growth out of all public Texas colleges, it has benefitted from the growth.

“So financially, we’re in a very good position. We’re proceeding to give merit raises, we’re addressing equity and compression, we’re able to do things for a faculty that we couldn’t do...last year,” Schovanec said.

As for South Plains College, they released this statement about their CARES funding:

South Plains College has received the following amounts from the CARES, CRRSAA and ARP acts as part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The funds come in two different designations: student allocation and funds for institutional use along with additional funds for being classified a minority serving institution. The US Department of Education has determined criteria for the distribution of the funds with each federal act. SPC continues to be diligent to ensure we are using the money in accordance with federal requirements.

CARES (HEERF I):

  • Student Allocation (must go straight to students in need) = $2,591,110
  • Institutional Allocation (use for lost revenues, online instruction, etc.) = $2,591,109
  • Minority Serving Institution allocation = $328,752

CRRSAA (HEERF II):

  • Student Allocation = $2,591,110
  • Institutional Allocation (use for lost revenues, online instruction, and online student services support) = $7,527,689
  • Minority Serving Institution allocation = $550,448

ARP (HEERF III):

  • Student Allocation = $9,175,072
  • Institutional Allocation (use for lost revenues, online instruction, safety and stopping the spread) = $8,463,812
  • Minority Serving Institution allocation = $929,450

Revenues lost due to COVID-19 beginning with the date of March 13, 2020 was as follows:

  • Spring 2020 Room and board reimbursements to students = $272,045.28
  • FY 2020-21 lost room and board due to decreased students living in housing = $371,324.45
  • Estimates on lost revenue related to tuition and fees due to the reduction in enrollment have not been calculated at this time

The college has completed the distribution and expenditure of the HEERF I institutional and student allocations. As mentioned previously, the funds were expended based on the regulations of the US Department of Education. Institutional priorities ensured that all faculty were able to conduct class in an online format and to provide the needed online instructional support for students. The HEERF II dollars are being focused on continued services to students and ensuring student service staff have the ability to provide those services online. HEERF II student allocation was completely distributed in the early summer 2021 term. Students who are enrolled for the fall 2021 term are eligible to apply for HEERF III student funds. A form is required to determine need for resources such as assistance with completing tuition and fee payments, child care expenses, food insecurity, housing assistance, medical and mental health care, transportation, additional academic resource needs (computers, textbooks, etc.), and any other related expenses that would impact the person’s ability to attend college.

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