NELSONVILLE — Gov. Mike DeWine announced he will ask for $200 million in federal CARES Act funding to support public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his regular coronavirus pandemic press conference, DeWine said the funding is intended to help relieve increased costs higher education institutions could incur to safely reopen in the fall.

DeWine said he anticipates the colleges and universities will be able to use the money flexibly. He gave examples of hiring nurses and support staff to test and screen students and employees, cleaning, purchasing PPE, purchasing testing kits and growing distance learning capabilities.

The new request is in addition to $190 million of direct federal funding issued to colleges and universities in Ohio earlier this year. Hocking College received $2.4 million from that pool, about half of which was allocated for direct student support.

The new funds will also be available to community colleges like Hocking College. In response to the announcement Dr. Betty Young, the president of Hocking College issued the following statement:

“Thank you, Gov. DeWine, our state legislators, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Chancellor Gardner for your support for Ohio’s community colleges and our mission to prepare the workforce to lead the state forward in these challenging times.

“Each of our colleges and universities is unique, serving the diverse needs of all Ohioans. Hocking College, a two-year technical college, looks and feels very different from other two-year colleges. Hocking College has residence halls and the student life that accompanies this type of campus.

“In his typical way, Gov. DeWine has personally listened to each of our institutions as we have shared our common concerns and our unique challenges. He’s listened not as a politician, but as a partner with us, as a parent, a grandparent and someone who cares about those in need. His belief that education is a pathway to prosperity for individuals and our state is not new.

“The support he has given to our colleges, for the specific needs we have at this time, will make it possible to deliver on the promise of opportunity for all who are willing to do the work, gain the skills and get back to work for Ohio communities.”

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