Joe Biden

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the national economy in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 5, 2021. 

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, also known as the American Rescue Plan. Within the package, $170 billion was allocated for K-12 schools and higher education institutions. 

More specifically, $130 billion will be used for schools to safely reopen and about $40 billion will go toward the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which provides universities that have endowments of less than $1 million with critical resources to implement public health protocols, create distance learning plans and arrange emergency grants for students in need. The amount a university receives depends on the number of students using federal Pell Grants.

The remaining $5 billion is for the Hardest Hit Education Fund, which governors will use to support schools that were severely impacted by the novel coronavirus.

As of now, Virginia Tech does not have specific details on how the money will be used. However, it is likely that it will be used in a similar manner from when the university received federal funding under the CARES Act last April.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund requires that at least 50% of the federal funds given to universities must go toward emergency need-based grants for students.

The relief package also includes $1,400 stimulus checks for all working adults, as well as adult dependents, who were previously ineligible during the first round of stimulus checks last March.