Weekly Market Update

UNIVERSITIES AFFECTED BY RECENT NATURAL DISASTERS TO RECEIVE MILLIONS IN AID

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Betsy DeVos announced the distribution of the initial $63 million in federal grants to 47 higher education institutions that have been directly affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria, out of $100 million appropriated by Congress. The grants will be distributed to schools across different regions, including Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, with the University of the Virgin Islands receiving the largest portion, $11.2 million. In addition, Congress appropriated an additional $75 million for a program called Defraying Costs of Enrolling Displaced Students meant to help institutions that have been supporting students displaced by the disasters.

In Other News

  • Robert Morris University now has a program called the Public Price Match Plus that awards scholarships based on the average cost of attendance at University of Pittsburgh and Penn State, plus an additional $3,000 scholarship meant to undercut the flagship universities. These scholarships will be available to students admitted to either Penn State or Pitt in addition to Robert Morris.
  • St. Louis University received a $50 million donation, the largest in its history, from alumnus Jeanne Sinquefield and her husband Rex. The gift will establish the St. Louis University Research Institute and create a fund to hire professors and finance faculty research.
  • Graduate students at Brandeis University have reached a labor contract deal, the first ever at a private institution, following a federal rule change in 2016 that gave graduate teaching assistants the right to unionize. The tentative contract, subject to union approval, would provide significant pay increases over the three-year life of the deal.
  • The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History will undergo significant renovations after receiving an $160 million gift from alumnus Edward P. Bass. The gift, the largest on record for a natural history museum, will fund the expansion of visitor gallery space by 50% and other improvements.
  • The Ohio State University is proposing several affordability initiatives which include the elimination of 278 course fees, waiving costs of additional classes for students enrolled in more than 18 credit hours, and improved support for military families.
  • The University of Richmond will soon be one of only two higher education institutions in the U.S. to meet 100% of its electricity needs using solar energy. The university has revealed plans to build Spider Solar, a 20-megawatt array of 47,000 solar panels located 50 miles from campus.