June 11, 2020
MIT statement on CARES Act funding
After careful consideration, MIT has decided not to apply for funds that were allocated to us through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund in the CARES Act. We appreciate that Congress created a program to allocate funding specifically to universities, by a formula based on the number of underprivileged students at each institution, to meet a real public need among students and their families.
While we have made and will continue to make every effort to address the financial pressures our students face in the wake of Covid, these Congressional funds would have been a help at a time when the Institute has already shouldered more than $50 million in Covid losses and expects far greater losses in the coming academic year. Nonetheless, MIT has decided to forgo these funds due to the unwarranted and sometimes inaccurate attacks on the program.
Additionally, while MIT is very fortunate to have built a strong endowment across the years, most of it is legally restricted to specific uses intended by donors and is not a resource we can simply liquidate. It is a critical source of approximately one-third of our campus operating funds, including financial aid to our students.
MIT will continue to do all we can to help address the pandemic – including by engaging in research on testing, treatment and prevention; offering assistance to our Cambridge neighbors and to the state; providing aid and innovative education to our students; and looking after the needs of our staff and faculty.