augusta free press news

State funding will support COVID-19 response at private colleges, universities

(© alexandra –

A new allocation of $22 million in CARES Act dollars to support Virginia’s private institutions of higher education.

This funding is proportionate to recently announced CARES Act funding for public institutions, and will be used to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts at Virginia’s private non-profit colleges and universities.

“Like public colleges and universities, Virginia’s private institutions are facing tremendous financial challenges as a result of COVID-19,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “My administration is proud to support these institutions as they continue to provide a world-class education while protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and communities.”

This funding will be allocated to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and distributed to institutions based on COVID-19 expenses incurred between July 1 and Nov. 1, 2020. The funds will support pandemic-related expenditures including personal protective equipment, sanitization and cleaning, and testing for students, staff, and faculty.

“Virginia is home to outstanding private colleges and universities,” Secretary of Education Atif Qarni said. “This funding will help them navigate the COVID-19 crisis while providing the high-quality education all students deserve.”

In June, the Commonwealth issued guidance to Virginia higher education institutions for developing plans to safely reopen campuses and resume in-person instruction.

“We are grateful to Governor Northam for extending this critical support to our colleges,” said Robert Lambeth, president of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia. “Virginia’s private colleges serve a highly diverse student population of 140,000 students, with many families who have experienced financial challenges in the pandemic. Our institutions have made significant investments to educate students while keeping our campuses safe and this funding will support these ongoing efforts.”