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Columbia Business Monthly

Gov. McMaster allocates $2.4 Million to State's Historically Black Colleges, Universities

Jul 09, 2020 01:04PM ● By David Dykes

Gov. Henry McMaster said he is allocating $2.4 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund to the state’s eight historically black colleges and universities. 

Originally a recommendation from accelerateSC, the investment will be used to support online instruction at each institution by upgrading hardware and by purchasing software, eLearning resources, and electronic textbooks, according to the governor's office.

“This spring when learning went from in-person to online, the faculty and students at our HBCUs faced significant technology challenges," McMaster said. "These funds will be used to upgrade the capabilities of these institutions to serve students with online learning.”

The allocation to each HBCU was based on the formula by which federal funds authorized under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) were dispersed: overall student enrollment at each institution and the percentage of Pell Grant recipients enrolled at each institution. 

According to the governor's office, the funds will be distributed:

SC State University$  632,397
Denmark Technical College$  119,174
Allen University$  217,527
Benedict University$  547,539
Claflin University$  546,023
Clinton College$    53,493
Morris College$  166,048
Voorhees College$  141,195

As a condition of receiving the funds, each institution will provide to the Office of the Governor a report detailing the expenditure of funds and the outcomes achieved, state officials said.

GEER funds are federal funds awarded to each governor through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. 

A governor can allocate GEER funds to school districts and institutions of higher education “most significantly impacted by coronavirus” and to education-related entities that the governor deems essential.

Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president and CEO of Benedict College and member of accelerateSC, made the original request for GEER funds to be allocated to the state’s HBCUs, state officials said.