Five of the wealthiest private colleges in the U.S. have declined to accept their allocations of federal stimulus money designed to help institutions blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus, following criticism from the president and secretary of education.
On Thursday, the University of Pennsylvania joined fellow Ivy League members Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities, saying they wouldn't take their share of the sweeping package for colleges. Stanford University also declined the cash.
The U.S. government's $2 trillion stimulus to combat the effects of coronavirus lockdowns across the country provided for about $12.5 billion in direct aid for all colleges. Distribution of the funds was determined by a formula that meant some of the richest institutions were eligible for millions of dollars in aid.
Yale said it won't accept its allocation of $6.9 million even though it is experiencing "great budgetary pressure" because of the pandemic.
"Instead, we hope that the Department of Education will use Yale's portion of the funding to support colleges and universities in Connecticut whose continued existence is threatened by the current crisis," Yale, the second-richest private U.S. college, with an endowment of $30.3 billion, said Wednesday in a statement.
UPenn would have been eligible to receive roughly $10 million, based on government data.
"Despite the serious financial impact to Penn as a result of the pandemic, after analyzing the full scope of the regulations involved, Penn has determined that it will not apply for nor accept the funds that would be available through the CARES Act," said spokesman Ron Ozio.