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McMaster: $2.4 million going to HBCUs in S.C.

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COLUMBIA – Gov. Henry McMaster announced Thursday that 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.

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“I am pleased to announce this investment in our HBCUs,” McMaster said. “This spring when learning went from in-person to online, the faculty and students at our HBCUs faced significant technology challenges. 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.

The funds will be distributed as follows:

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  • S.C. State University -- $632,397
  • Claflin University -- $546,023
  • Voorhees College -- $141,195
  • Denmark Technical College -- $119,174
  • Allen University -- $217,527
  • Benedict University -- $547,539
  • Clinton College -- $53,493
  • Morris College -- $166,048
  • TOTAL: $2,423,396

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.

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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 may 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.

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