Harvard University, after uproar, declines coronavirus stimulus money

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

With an endowment fund valued at $41 billion, Harvard University was slated to receive a $8.6 million in coronavirus stimulus funds from the federal government. But public criticism convinced the Ivy League institution to decline the funds, a New York Times report reveals.

President Donald Trump criticized the university and, at a press briefing, said, “Harvard’s going to pay back the money.” He added, “They have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the country.” The next day, Harvard University announced it will not use the apportioned funds.

Harvard University said that “confusion” surrounding the stimulus law led to the university’s unaccepted reception of the federal relief funds. It said that it had not applied “for this support, nor has it requested, received or accessed these funds.” It was a reversal from Harvard’s previous statement, when it said the funds would support students in need of financial help.

Not only did Harvard reverse its position on the federal funds, but Princeton and Stanford also announced that they would decline federal funds. The confusion about wealthy universities and colleges receiving federal funds was due to the $14 billion federal aid package for higher education institutions, which was a part of the federal government’s $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus law.