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Fri Apr 24, 2020, 05:37 AM

Kansas Universities Had Serious Budget Problems Before Coronavirus And May Ax More Staff

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas colleges will soon get millions in federal money to help with the ripple effects from the coronavirus, but educators and experts say it’s not nearly enough.

The roughly $2 trillion CARES Act, meant as a life preserver for the national economy, added higher ed to the list of its beneficiaries. The government said half of the $13 billion for public and private universities must go to student grants. But the need is greater than that: Some students have lost the ability to pay hefty tuition bills — not to mention rent or groceries — and universities have lost revenue sources on top of already-strained budgets.

Without another stimulus boost from Washington, campus leaders and experts say Kansas’ colleges and universities must make two tough choices: which students to help and which employees to cut.

“It’s much easier to figure out how to give money to students, but even that takes time,” said Robert Kelchen, an associate professor at Seton Hall University who researches higher education finance. “Figuring out how to use several million dollars (at) a college is much more difficult just because you don’t know how long this thing will last.”

Read more: https://www.kmuw.org/post/kansas-universities-had-serious-budget-problems-coronavirus-and-may-ax-more-staff

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