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Harvard Denies Trump Claim It Took Money Meant for Small Businesses

This article is more than 1 year old.

Harvard University is denying a claim from President Trump that it took coronavirus stimulus money meant for small businesses.

In a press briefing Tuesday, Trump said he would ask Harvard to return stimulus money after a reporter asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin if he would ask large corporations to return money meant for small businesses.

But the money Harvard received was not destined for small businesses. The university received funds as part of the Higher Education Relief Fund. In a statement Tuesday, Harvard said it has committed 100 percent of those funds "to provide direct assistance to students facing urgent financial needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Harvard received nearly $8.7 million from that fund. Boston University received nearly $15 million, Boston College nearly $6.5 million, Northeastern University more than $11.6 million, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology more than $5 million and UMass Amherst more than $18 million.

Colleges and universities are directed to spend 50 percent of the funds on financial aid to students and may use the rest to cover costs related to the pandemic. Harvard said it has chosen to spend 100 percent of the funds on students.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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