Sen. Patty Murray announces $2 million in relief for higher education

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced an additional $2 million in federal relief from the American Rescue Plan to support students pursuing higher education in Washington as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

The latest round of federal education grants, known as Supplemental Support under American Rescue Plan (SSARP), provides a total of $198 million in investments to support institutions across the country that have been most impacted by the pandemic. This includes community colleges, rural colleges, and institutions serving large populations of low-income students and students of color. 

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"When I helped write the American Rescue Plan, I wanted to make sure we were making a significant investment to ensure students who have weathered this pandemic had the support they needed to recover," said Senator Murray, Chair of the Senate Education Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Full list of Washington schools receiving SSARP funding

The pandemic has led to a steep decline in college enrollment, particularly for low-income students and students of color. As of fall 2020, high-minority and high-poverty high schools saw a 9.4 percent and 11.4 percent decline in college enrollment, respectively. 

The majority of institutions receiving SSARP grant money are required to distribute roughly half of the funds directly to students with the greatest need, in order to help them afford tuition, housing, food and other basic needs.

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"This funding is going to make a big difference in the lives of students across Washington state — helping our colleges and universities help meet students’ basic needs and invest in everything from mental health services, housing, and child care, to providing direct financial relief," said Murray.