Harvard University, backed by a $40 billion endowment, is facing criticism for taking in nearly $9 million from the coronavirus relief package.
All of the money is helping Harvard students with financial assistance, but some politicians are urging the Cambridge university to return the money to the federal government.
Harvard “now adds insult to injury by siphoning millions in taxpayer dollars away from desperate small businesses and workers,” U.S. Senate candidate Kevin O’Connor said in a statement on Monday.
The Republican is urging Harvard to “reject these funds so they can help people that actually need assistance to survive and have no other recourse.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education said in a statement that Secretary Betsy DeVos “shares the concern that sending millions to schools with significant endowments is a poor use of taxpayer money.”
“In her letter to college and university presidents, Secretary DeVos asked them to determine if their institutions actually need the money and, if not, to send unneeded CARES Act funds to schools in need in their state or region,” the spokesman said.
When asked about Harvard and major institutions receiving money from the CARES Act, President Trump on Monday said, “We’ll look at individual things, and some people will have to return it if we think it’s inappropriate … . If somebody got something that we think is inappropriate, we’ll get it back.”
Ivy League payments and entitlements cost taxpayers $41.59 billion over a six-year period (FY2010-FY2015). This is equivalent to $120,000 in government monies, subsidies, & special tax treatment per undergraduate student, or $6.93 billion per year.