A medical school is using COVID-19 relief funds to give back to its students in time for the holidays.
Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine made the announcement Wednesday in an email from school president Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice. In it, she said all over 750 students in the school would receive a payment of $ 6,300.
These payments are intended to help Morehouse students meet education-related expenses and are expected to be distributed by December 15.
“I am pleased to announce that the Morehouse School of Medicine will be providing a financial donation of $ 6,300 to assist each of our currently enrolled and degree-seeking students with additional costs of academic, financial and mental health support such as child care, food, transportation, shelter and health care needs, âRice’s email read.
The money for these payments is taken from the coronavirus relief funds provided to Morehouse by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress. and promulgated by former President Donald Trump in March 2020.
Among the original provisions of the CARES Act was $ 14 billion to help universities and their students, known as the Higher Education Emergency Assistance Fund (HEERF). HEERF received a raise of $ 21.2 billion in January and an additional $ 39.6 billion in March as part of President Joe Biden’s US bailout.
Throughout these allocations for schools, Morehouse received approximately $ 56 million in aid.
In September 2020, the Morehouse School of Medicine received $ 26.3 million from Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies organization to help pay off student debt. The money was distributed to students enrolled in aid programs, each receiving approximately $ 100,000.
Earlier, in June 2020, the school received a $ 40 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to address the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on African American communities. .
Originally founded in 1975, the Morehouse School of Medicine was initially part of Morehouse College but became independent in 1981. It remains one of the few medical schools in the United States to be considered a âHistorically Black College of University âor HBCU.
“I think [the school] makes better use of taxpayer money by giving it directly to intended beneficiaries than less productive uses chosen by other institutions, âeducation policy expert Jay Greene told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Although it would have been more appropriate if the taxpayers had not provided these funds at all.”
News week contacted the Morehouse School of Medicine for comment.