U.S. Department of Education commits $63 million in emergency assistance to local schools and more

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Houston Community College, University of Houston-Clear Lake and Wharton County Junior College received nearly $1.15 million total in federal assistance as part of the Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education program, according to a Tuesday announcement from the U.S. Department of Education.

More than $63 million of the available $100 million will be distributed to 47 institutions of higher education in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The funding will provide resources for schools and students affected by hurricanes Harvey, Maria or Irma or the California wildfires in 2017, according to the department.

Allocations were awarded based on damage and recovery costs, prioritizing students who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of displacement. Program administrators will evaluate additional applications to distribute the remaining funds.

“This emergency assistance will provide vital resources for those whose lives were impacted by disasters in 2017,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in the announcement.  “As those on the ground work every day to recover, the Department of Education will continue to be a partner and resource to get institutions, students and faculty back on their feet.”

The federal government has also awarded nearly $5.4 million of the $75 million available under the Defraying Costs of Enrolling Displaced Students program, which allows schools to cover associated costs of supporting displaced students—tuition, fees and room and board. For this program, the U.S. Department of Education will evaluate additional applications through Oct. 31.

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Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.
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