Higher Education COVID-19 Response Fund
The Higher Education COVID-19 Response Fund provides $50M in funds to assist institutions of higher education and students in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
Governor Chris Sununu has authorized the expenditure of a total of $50 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund ("flex funds") for the Higher Education COVID-19 Response Fund. These funds will be utilized to not only assists New Hampshire higher education institutions with responding to the new and emerging challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic but also students accessing education at said institutions.
Funding is allocated as follows: $34 million for the Public High Education System Grant Program, $10 million for the Safer Scholars COVID-19 Campus Modification Program, and $6 million for Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) Scholarship Program.
Public Higher Education System Grant Program
The Governor has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $34 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund ("flex funds") for the Public Higher Education System Grant Program. $29 million to the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and $5 million to the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH).
The $29 million in flex funds for USNH are to cover eligible COVID-19-related expenses incurred from March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020. Specifically, the funds are intended to support USNH's plan to build out the infrastructure to strengthen and expand its ability to consistently deliver remote, online learning and degree programs, as well as funds for coronavirus testing and contact tracing of students, faculty, and staff. These programs are critical to USNH's ability to open campuses this fall and to ensure the resumption of classes, research, and other programming.
The $5,000,000 for CCSNH is to fund "Back to the Lab" learning supports, funding needed to enable socially distanced learning, and funds for coronavirus testing. CCSNH had a robust online learning platform prior to the pandemic, enabling it to transition to remote learning efficiently. The Back to the Lab learning supports are needed for lab and hands-on courses that need to be delivered in person. These funds will assist students who are completing degrees and certificates in the technical trades as well as students working to complete lab hours to meet licensing requirements. In addition, CCSNH seeks to outfit facilities to allow for more socially distant on-campus learning. This includes expanding lab times and instruction and setting up additional lecture capture technology.
Safer Scholars COVID-19 Campus Modification Program
Governor Chris Sununu has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $10 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund ("flex funds") to assist private, nonprofit colleges and universities as they modify their operations in light of COVID-19 and prepare to reopen their campuses to students in the fall.
COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the operation of colleges and universities in New Hampshire. These institutions must rapidly adapt in order to provide students, staff, and faculty a safe and effective learning environment. The Safer Scholars Program will provide resources to qualifying private nonprofit colleges and universities as they modify their operational practices in response to COVID-19.
Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) Tuition Assistance Program
Governor Chris Sununu has authorized the expenditure of $6 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund ("flex funds") for the CCSNH Tuition Assistance Program, which will allow CCSNH to provide assistance to New Hampshire students who have faced COVID-19 related economic impacts.
Grants are available to students that need assistance to meet tuition and fees at New Hampshire's community colleges for the fall semester. In order to be eligible, students must be a New Hampshire resident and show a financial impact related to COVID-19, such as a reduction in household income or increased expenses. Funding will be available for both current and incoming students.