Cover-HSIs and the CARES Act

Hispanic - Serving Institutions and the CARES Act: Preliminary Analysis of Funding

Janette Martinez
June 2020


Excelencia in Education’s analysis of the CARES Act found the formula used to allocate funds reinforces funding inequities for Hispanic students and the institutions that enroll them. The formula allocates funds based on the full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment of Pell Grant recipients.

  1. By allocating funds based on FTE, institutions that enroll high concentrations of students enrolled part-time received less funds per student than institutions with more full-time students. Students are facing economic hardships regardless of school attendance status. In fact, part-time students are likely facing larger economic hardships due to loss of work.
  2. By focusing on Pell Grant recipients, students that made college choices to limit costs — working full-time while enrolled (to cover expenses), enrolling part-time (to save costs), or beginning their studies at a two-year institution (for lower tuition and fees) — might not apply for Pell Grants and are thus not captured in the CARES formula despite having economic hardships.


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Learn more about how 21 HSIs strategically used their CARES funding to intentionally support Latino students in Excelencia’s Medium post, Intentionally Serving Latino Students During the Pandemic: Institutional Investments.

Amount Awarded by the CARES Act - HSIs vs non-HSIs

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