ADEA State Update

Highlight: Puerto Rico

(State Policy, Education, Funding) Permanent link   All Posts

Puerto Rico is facing the most severe higher education budget cuts in U.S. history and the closure of one-third of its schools at a time when it is still rebounding from last year’s devasting hurricanes.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) posted a federal register notice inviting applications for FY2018 Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education, which assists institutions hit by natural disasters in 2017 to receive part of $100 million available in aid. Another $75 million was made available to colleges outside affected areas that took on displaced students. The application will not be available in Spanish, the primary language of school instruction and much of the population in Puerto Rico, nor will ED conduct any outreach efforts. The application process will require a pre-application and full application, as well as a detailed accounting of estimates for expenses covered by donors, insurance companies and/or federal agencies.

Puerto Rico’s Congressional Representative, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón, has introduced legislation that would allow higher education institutions impacted by Hurricanes Irma or Maria to waive the 90-10 rule for proprietary institutions. Proprietary institutions of higher education, often called “career colleges” since they focus on vocational degrees, provide a pathway to a postsecondary credential for millions of students.

ADEA continues to provide direct support our member institutions, faculty, and students affected by natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Texas and California. 

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