Harvard gets $8.6 million, hairdressing academy gets $2 million in federal higher ed coronavirus payments

At first glance, you wouldn’t see a connection between Harvard University, the oldest and richest school in the United States and Tony & Guy Hairdressing Academy, a school that teaches cosmetology and barbering.

But in the world of federal funding, they are two of more than 5,100 schools looking for money to continue to educate students after the downturn in the economy due to the coronavirus.

Where they differ is in their resources.

Harvard, which sits on an estimated $40 billion-plus endowment it can draw from in hard times, has been allocated $8.6 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to help it get through the loss of funds caused by the COVID -19 virus.

Tony & Guy Hairdressing Academy will see a total of $2.2 million divided between seven of the school's locations. The academy offers courses in cosmetology, barbering and other programs.

The money that Harvard and Tony & Guy Hairdressing will get is part of a nearly $14 billion slice of the $2 trillion CARES package. The $14 billion is allocated for higher education institutions and students.

The Department of Education used a formula to determine how the money will be divided among the institutions of higher education. According to the CARES Act, the allocation was determined by this formula:

  • 75% of the funds were awarded based on the institution's full-time in-person Pell grant recipients 
  • 25% of the funds were awarded based on the institution's full-time in-person enrollment who are not Pell Grant recipients.

Institutions receiving the funds are required to use half of the money to provide cash grants to students for expenses related to disruptions to their educations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including things like course materials and technology as well as food, housing, health care and child care, a statement from the Department of Education read.

The institution will determine which students will receive the cash grants, the DOE statement said. Institutions will be able to use the other half of the allocation to “cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.”

More explanation is to come about how the funds can be used, according to the DOE.

Soon after Harvard’s share of the money was announced the school came under fire for applying for the money when it had a $40 billion endowment fund it could draw from. After being slammed for taking the money by such famous alumni as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the university announced that it would be putting the entire $8.6 million in CARES funds into student grants.

“By federal formula laid out in the CARES Act, Harvard was allocated $8.6 million, with 50% of those funds to be reserved for grants to students,” University spokesperson Jason A. Newton wrote in an email to the Harvard Crimson newspaper.

“Harvard is actually allocating 100% of the funds to financial assistance for students to meet their urgent needs in the face of this pandemic.”

Arizona State University is set to receive the largest grant under the CARES Act. The school will be getting $63 million.

The top 20 universities receiving the most money are public institutions. Here is a sampling of what some institutions will receive:

  • Cornell University -- $12,800,980
  • Yale University, which has a $30 billion endowment -- $6,851,139
  • Stanford University, which has a $27.7 billion endowment -- $7,376,668
  • The University of California received a total of $260,289,151 with allocations to nine of the university's branches across the state.
  • Ohio State University -- $42,885,215
  • University Of Georgia -- $23,704,129
  • University Of Oklahoma -- $17,935,530
  • The University of Texas received an allotment of $173,166,080 for 14 of the school's branches.
  • University Of South Carolina - Columbia -- $21,415,130
  • Boston College -- $6,448,576
  • University Of Oregon -- $16,095,946
  • University Of Pennsylvania -- $9,907,683
  • Stillman College -- $1,206,208 
  • School Of Professional Horticulture, N.Y. Botanical Garden -- $12,767
  • Sacred Heart Seminary And School Of Theology -- $28,515
  • University Of Florida --$31,046, 411
  • Pensacola School Of Massage Therapy & Health Careers -- $228,149
  • Paul Mitchell The School Houston -- $1,300,078 
  • Oregon State University -- $15,559,998
  • Liberty University -- $15,205,124 
  • La' James College Of Hairstyling -- $120,456
  • Houston Community College -- $28,294,391 
  • Kennesaw State University -- $27,911,927

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