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Local colleges, universities to receive more than $146 million as part of relief bill

At least half of the money each school receives will go directly to students
Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 23:17:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) announced Thursday that local state colleges and universities would receive more than $146 million in emergency funding as a result of the recently passed $1.9 trillion relief package.

Local schools in the area receiving the funds are:

  • Florida A&M University: $36,273,000
  • Florida State University: $79,899,000
  • North Florida College: $2,673,000
  • Tallahassee Community College: $27,210,000

In accordance with the bill, at least half of the funding each institution receives will be issued directly to students in the form of emergency financial grants to help pay for course materials, housing, food, health care, childcare and other essentials.

That means more relief is coming to Florida colleges and students that are facing a hard time due to the pandemic.

"It's a very big need right now in the college community for sure," said Alexis Hardigree.

Hardigree, an FSU student, said she never expected the pandemic to hit the pockets of college students the way it has.

That, mixed with a new way of learning.

"Financially and emotionally I think we're all tired," Hardigree explained. "We're definitely struggling."

FAMU student Darel Bowers said that the educational benefits of getting more money is more important than ever, especially books and food.

"It's necessary at this point for tough situations like this for books," said Bowers. "The little money that we do have goes towards rent or as you said groceries."

Rep. Lawson added in a statement that this money could not have come at a better time.

“The American Rescue Package is a critical lifeline for North Florida institutions and students who are facing severe economic strains due to the pandemic,” Rep. Lawson said. “This funding will provide them with much-needed assistance during this crisis as I continue to work to bring additional resources to our district.”

The American Rescue Plan Act also includes an additional $3 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), other Minority-Serving Institutions, and other under-resourced institutions.

Rep. Lawson also added that students receiving cash assistance grants will be at the discretion of the college or university.