Stimulus checks, student loan relief, and money for education

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The Democrats in the House of Representatives released an updated Heroes Act on Monday night. The new $ 2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package contains much of what was in the original May bill, though the price is about $ 1.2 trillion cheaper.

The legislation contains many popular provisions, including another round of stimulus checks for American families. And this time around, students who are dependent could be counted towards payments, unlike in the CARES law. The House Democrats also restored the $ 600 weekly unemployment benefit that had expired this summer.

In the field of education, the bill contains a number of important elements. The CARES student loan suspension bill expires later this month, though President Trump extended it through the end of the year. However, the new CARES law would extend the payment and interest break until September 30, 2021. The bill would also extend credit relief to borrowers with non-federally held student loans under the old bank-based system.

The new Heroes Act would provide a total of $ 225 billion to “support the educational needs of states, school districts and institutions in response to the coronavirus.” It provides a total of $ 208 billion to the state financial stabilization fund created under the CARES Act, of which $ 175 billion for elementary and secondary schools and another $ 27 billion for public higher education. The money for higher education goes to institutions to cover their pandemic-related costs and includes a portion for emergency student grants.

The state financial stabilization fund would also provide governors with $ 4 billion to meet education needs across the board. Another $ 2 billion would be allocated to the outskirts, schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education, and tribal colleges and universities.

Outside the fund, the bill provides an additional $ 5 billion to ensure school buildings can provide the necessary protection for students and staff during the pandemic. This includes improving ventilation systems as schools make improvements to prevent the coronavirus from spreading through air systems.

A further $ 11.9 billion is earmarked for higher education in the bill. It sends $ 3.5 billion to traditionally black colleges and universities and other institutions that serve minorities, in addition to the money many would receive from the Stabilization Fund. The remainder would be split with $ 7 billion for private, nonprofit colleges and universities and $ 1.4 billion for other institutions with additional unmet needs due to the pandemic.

While the updated Heroes Act is significantly cheaper, the bill is still twice as expensive as the “thin” proposal that Republicans tabled in the Senate. According to Speaker of the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Spokesman and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on Monday evening to try to work out a negotiated aid package and they agreed to speak again on Tuesday morning.


Related readings:

Trump’s proposed arrangement raises questions for student borrowers

The CARES Act helps most student borrowers make loans

The Senate GOP wants stimulus checks, but no student loan relief

What the coronavirus stimulus means for your student loans


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