According to WVIR, the University of Virginia will receive $5.8 million in coronavirus relief through the CARES Act — emergency legislation signed into law on March 27. When the pandemic forced many students to leave Charlottesville unexpectedly, economic hardships followed. In response, the administration plans to direct all of its multimillion-dollar package toward financial aid grants.
Emergency grants will assist recipients with costs of course materials, food, health care, housing, technology, and other essentials. As the university decides how to select candidates for aid, University Spokesman Brian Coy told NBC29 that other relief measures are on the horizon.
In another effort to ease students’ financial burdens, Coy explained that the administration plans to award refunds for some dining and housing costs.
“There are other financial steps we’re taking as a university to save money and free up more resources because this is an uncertain time and there’s going to be a shift in all of our finances as a result of all this,” Coy said.
Aid from the CARES Act arrives at a time of economic hardship for the country at large and for the university. On April 14, the executive leadership team led by President James Ryan announced new fiscal policies designed to mitigate the financial toll, including a hiring freeze. Ryan, alongside Provost Liz Magill, Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis, and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. K. Craig Kent will take a 10% reduction in salary.
With UVA itself as a beneficiary of the CARES Act, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy plans to host an online panel on the broader political effects of the unprecedented legislation on April 21. Policy manager and Virginia alumnus Pat Cave will join Kyle Nevins — a founding partner of a D.C. government affairs firm and the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Eric Cantor in the House of Representatives — to discuss the impact of government relief efforts. Cave served in the U.S. Treasury under President George W. Bush and will focus on the economic state of affairs.
Also dedicated to analyzing the CARES Act is the University’s Miller Center for Public Affairs. Director and CEO Bill Antholis explained the significance of the law in a public webinar titled “Layoffs, Furloughs, Unemployment: Coronavirus and the Job Market” on April 17.
“The two-trillion-dollar CARES Act — perhaps the greatest emergency action ever, rivaling FDR’s New Deal — includes direct payments to businesses and workers, increased availability of paid leave and unemployment, expansion of unemployment insurance, and student loan aid, just to name a few pieces,” Antholis said. “And then we need to restart work, and provide security for workers…The reality is there’s no crystal ball, no one has the ability to fully predict what is going to happen and when.”
For updates on UVA’s coronavirus response, click here.