Consider the Needs of Small and Mid-Sized Colleges in Emergency Loan Programs, Higher Education Groups Ask
April 27, 2020

​​President Donald Trump signed the latest coronavirus relief bill into law Friday, a $484 billion package that would revive the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for distressed small businesses and provide much-needed funds for hospitals, many of which are connected with universities.

The bill includes $210 billion for PPP and $10 billion for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. These programs may be used for payroll costs, costs related to the continuation of health care benefits, payments of interest on mortgage obligations, rent, utilities, and interest on other debt obligations.

The bill also includes $1.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health to develop and implement testing, and $75 billion for hospitals to cover treatment for coronavirus patients and lost revenue from canceled elective procedures.

A number of small colleges and universities have been trying to access the Small Business Administration (SBA) program, especially given the forgiveness options available. ACE and 34 other higher education associations sent a letter Thursday to the House and Senate small business committees, asking that any future expansions and any future SBA loan programs created to address the COVID-19 crisis address several issues that will make it easier for higher education institutions to access, including the exemption of student workers under employee threshold eligibility standards.

On a related note, ACE and 35 other associations sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee on the Main Street Lending Program, a new program at the Federal Reserve for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis. It will offer four-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion.

The groups asked that student workers also be exempted in calculating this cap, and that nonprofit private and public higher education institutions be explicitly made eligible for the programs.

​COVID-19 Policy Developments

Learn more about the higher education association effort to urge Congress and the administration to craft a comprehensive response that addresses the challenges students and campuses are facing.

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