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‘Leave the $$ for those with the greatest need!’ DeVos applauds Stanford for surrendering coronavirus funds, calls on Harvard to follow

Mary Margaret Olohan 

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos called on elite schools Wednesday to follow Stanford University’s example and withdraw applications for CARES Act funding.

The Education Department secretary applauded Stanford’s actions in the wake of a Tuesday Daily Caller News Foundation report showing that all eight Ivy League schools are slated to receive millions in taxpayer-funded coronavirus stimulus money despite controlling endowments with a combined value in 2019 of over $140 billion.

DeVos’s comments came after President Donald Trump remarked Tuesday at the White House that Harvard University should return the funds it received as coronavirus relief aid, pointing out that Harvard has one of the largest endowments in the world.

“Harvard is gonna pay back some money,” Trump said Tuesday. “They shouldn’t be taking it. Harvard is going to, and I’m not gonna name any other names, but when I saw Harvard — they have one of the largest endowments anywhere maybe in the world, and they’re gonna pay back that money.”

Trump signed the CARES Act into law in March, legislation that will provide nearly $14 billion in relief funding to more than 5,000 universities across the United States, according to the Education Department. The funds will be distributed through a formula set by Congress based on the number of Pell Grant recipients at each school as well as the schools’ total student enrollment. The formula does not take into account a school’s financial health.

Harvard did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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