The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major financial impact on the University of Illinois System, with approximately $274 million in costs and lost revenues through July 3. As Congress negotiates another COVID-19 relief package, please ask your federal legislators to support higher education by providing:
Financial assistance for institutions of higher education and students. Support the request made by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) that Congress provide an additional $47 billion in emergency funding to help universities reopen and students continue or begin their studies.
Additional funding and regulatory relief for research. The pandemic has closed labs and disrupted federal grants, which help pay salaries. Support APLU’s request for at least $26 billion in emergency relief funding for federal research agencies.
Tax credits to help public institutions recover the costs of providing enhanced employee benefits. Pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) enacted in March, the U of I System is offering expanded employee paid sick leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits. While private employers are receiving refundable tax credits to pay for these costs, FFCRA excluded public employers from eligibility.
Direct funding to hospitals and physicians based on actual COVID-19 costs and lost revenue to better address the needs of health care providers like UI Health that serve vulnerable patient populations.
The University of Illinois System is working to support its 89,000 students and 28,000 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic while harnessing our technical expertise, medical resources and research capabilities to help steer Illinois and the country through the crisis.
To support our students and employees, the U of I System has:
- Launched the Students FIRST COVID-19 Emergency Fund to assist students who are facing increased need. The $36 million fund includes money from the federal CARES Act enacted in March, as well as institutional and philanthropic contributions, and savings from temporary 10-percent salary reductions for senior U of I System leaders.
- Provided approximately $49.5 million in refunds for room and board and fees.
- Continued to pay all undergraduate employees, including federal work-study students, through the end of the spring semester whether or not they were able to work remotely.
- Avoided layoffs or furloughs for faculty and staff.
You can read more here about the different ways in which the U of I System is supporting students, staff and its campus communities in responding to COVID-19.
While welcome, the relief approved by Congress to date in the CARES Act only covers a fraction of these costs. The U of I System needs your help. Please TAKE ACTION and ask your federal legislators to support the U of I System and higher education by voting for additional federal resources for students and universities.