Press Release

Rep. Castor Announces $180 Million for Tampa Colleges, Universities, Students Through American Rescue Plan

Biden-Harris Administration releases American Rescue Plan funding to support local higher education institutions, struggling students

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Washington, May 12, 2021 | comments

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced more than $180 million in emergency funding for Hillsborough Community College (HCC), the University of South Florida (USF), the University of Tampa (UT) and students in Florida’s 14th Congressional District under the American Rescue Plan. The funding will help local institutions cope with the severe financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue serving their students safely. At least half of the funding each institution receives will be distributed in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to students who are facing hunger, homelessness, and other hardship.

The American Rescue Plan provides $36 billion for nearly 3,500 public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities nationwide.  This follows on the heels of over $58 million in emergency CARES Act funds for HCC, USF and UT that provided direct emergency cash grants to college students and helped cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction.

“Our local colleges and universities are major economic engines and provide the highest quality education, but they have struggled during the unprecedented pandemic,” said Rep. Castor. “The American Rescue Plan makes much-needed investments in HCC, USF and UT to support the work of these valued local institutions as they recover and fully reopen. Importantly, struggling students will receive urgent relief to allow them to stay on track and complete their education. I am pleased that this aid is on its way to HCC, USF, UT and students throughout Tampa Bay, and I will continue to work hard to secure the relief our community needs to crush COVID-19 and rebuild our economy.”

The colleges and universities in Florida’s 14th Congressional District receiving funding under the American Rescue Plan are:

Hillsborough Community College: $60,701,920

University of South Florida: $102,286,829

University of Tampa: $18,395,344

“Finances must never be a barrier to higher education, and with the funding made available to Hillsborough Community College through the American Rescue Plan, HCC will be able to expand our ability to provide access to affordable, high quality programs and services and ultimately a meaningful career to our students, particularly those adversely affected by this pandemic,” said HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater.

“The emergency funding released under the American Rescue Plan will directly benefit students at the University of South Florida who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said USF President Steven C. Currall. “A top priority for USF throughout the pandemic has been the continuity of academic instruction and critical services to support the success of our students. We are grateful to Rep. Kathy Castor for her work to support our efforts, especially through funding to offset the financial strain on our students.”

Students should contact their institutions for more information about how they can apply for an emergency grant.

The American Rescue Plan also includes nearly $3 billion in additional funding – which will be distributed at a later date – for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), other Minority-Serving Institutions, and other under-resourced institutions.

To read more about emergency education funding under the American Rescue Plan, click here.

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