COVID-19 Federal Stimulus Funding on its Way to CSU Campuses

Nearly $2 billion is directed toward California higher education to help colleges manage hardships due to COVID-19.

Known as the CARES Act, the $2 trillion federal stimulus bill is meant to provide economic assistance for American workers and families, and small and large businesses. 

According to EdSource, the 23 CSU campuses are eligible to receive more than $525 million in federal funds from a portion of the CARES Act. Other stimulus money is marked for higher education, but this is the allocation coming directly to CSU campuses.

The federal law mandates that at least 50 percent of this money be used for emergency financial aid grants to help students cover expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions. So, the CSU must use at least $262.5 million for emergency financial aid grants to address the general cost of attendance, including housing, food, etc.

The other 50 percent of this pool of CARES Act funding is given to campuses to use at their discretion.

Three of our campuses – Northridge, Long Beach, and Fullerton – are among the top 10 nationally in stimulus money allocations.

What we do not yet know is how individual campuses intend to allocate the funds not earmarked for financial aid.  As a union, we will vigorously advocate for transparency and the appropriate use of these funds that support the core mission of the CSU: our students and their direct instruction. 

“Our CSU campuses must prioritize helping our students with the most need from falling between the cracks.  We must invest this relief aid in programs tied to student success – maintaining a stable workforce and support programs like counseling and basic needs,” CFA President Charles Toombs said.

We’ll update you as the U.S. Department of Education releases more guidelines on the allocation of CARES funding to the CSU.

Visit the CFA COVID-19 resource page for updates between Headlines.