PPP loans give university associations a financial boost


Dozens of struggling university associations have received tens of millions in loans as part of a $ 660 billion government aid package designed to prevent layoffs in small businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an analysis by, between $ 20.35 million and $ 45.85 million in eligible loans have been approved to support more than 1,200 jobs with 38 national higher education associations Inside Higher Ed A selection of key associations that received loans worth more than USD 150,000 were examined.

The American Council on Education, a leading higher education affiliation group influencing education policy, has received a PPP loan of between $ 2 million and $ 5 million – one of the largest amounts given to a national higher education association, according to published data, to date Small business administration Monday.

ACE was one of many organizations to suffer immediate financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jonathan Riskind, vice president of public affairs at ACE, said in an email. The organization lost revenue when it was forced to cancel its annual San Diego meeting in mid-March, as well as other personal events, Riskind said.

When higher education institutions have financial problems, it affects the associations they represent and creates great uncertainty, Riskind said. He noted that several national higher education associations are renting One Dupont Circle, a building owned by ACE.

ACE did not disclose the exact amount of funds received, but said it was on the “low end” of the $ 2 million to $ 5 million range. The funds were used to cover eligible wages, utilities and ancillary costs, as per the lending compliance criteria, Riskind said.

Educause, a membership organization for senior IT professionals, has also been approved for a large PPP loan. Federal data shows the organization has been approved for a loan of between $ 2 million and $ 5 million. However, according to Educause, the reported number is inaccurate. It received a $ 1.7 million loan and, like ACE, expects the loan to be fully honored.

“As many have noted, the financial impact of the pandemic on institutions and the wider college community has been profound,” said a statement from Educause shared by Marketing Director Marc Stith. “Because our association is made up of a strong community across the higher education technology ecosystem, we share the financial challenges many of our members face.”

Several associations have received $ 1 million to $ 2 million in PPP loans, including the Association of Public Universities and Land Granting Universities, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and NAFSA, the Association of International Educators.

The analysis shown in the table above focuses on members of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat, a membership organization for the heads of national higher education associations. Among WHES members, 38 out of 56 national associations have received more than $ 150,000 in PPP loans.

Many other higher education associations, including regional groups, have also been admitted to the program. Hundreds of higher education institutions have also qualified, most of which appear to be small private liberal arts colleges. To qualify for the PPP loans, organizations must have fewer than 500 employees, which may have excluded many larger colleges and universities from applying. In order to convert the loans into grants, the participating organizations need to meet Award criteria created by the Small Business Administration. Several associations contacted by Inside Higher Ed said their intent is to meet the lending criteria so they don’t have to repay the funds.

The Small Business Administration reports that the majority of PPP loans granted were for amounts less than $ 150,000. However, the database for these loans does not contain any recipient names. It is possible that some higher education organizations have received PPP loans of less than $ 150,000. According to the Small Business Administration website, employers applying for credit were required to demonstrate that the money was needed to support their day-to-day business, taking into account “their ability to access other sources of liquidity.”

For college associations, many of whom have been hard hit financially by the pandemic, the PPP loans are a welcome relief, said Henry Stoever, president and CEO of the Association of Colleges and Universities.

AGB would normally generate around 20 percent of its sales with in-person events and conferences, said Stoever. Online events generate less revenue but allow more participation, he said. Double the usual number of participants who attended AGB’s most recent online annual conference. The AGB has undertaken to hold all events online in the interests of safety for the next year, regardless of whether federal and state regulations would allow personal events – something only a few associations have publicly committed to, said Stoever.

Without the PPP it would be difficult for the AGB to continue their “essential role” in supporting the institutions through their own financial difficulties, said Stoever. The association has received a $ 1 million to $ 2 million loan that the federal government said will help keep and fund the salaries of 43 employees.

Colleges and universities need guidance from associations at this challenging moment, said Stoever. As board members and college presidents make plans for the coming academic year, the AGB has encouraged its members to consider not only the financial health of their institutions and student success, but the health and safety of their students, faculties, and staff too prioritize.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers, also a member of WHES, published an explanation In mid-June, he outlined and highlighted the financial challenges the association is facing the resources NACUBO was founded to help senior business professionals cope with the financial challenges of the pandemic.

“Like so many of our member colleges and universities and our business partners, NACUBO has suffered financial losses caused by changes in the US economy and the particularly negative impact of the pandemic on higher education in general,” wrote Susan Whealler Johnston, President and CEO by NACUBO in the June statement. “NACUBO’s leadership team and board of directors strive to strike a balance between the organization’s immediate needs and longer-term goals. As a result, we have carefully examined our budget and are implementing many of the strategies our members are using to weather the crisis, including layoffs and pay cuts. “

NACUBO has received a $ 1 million to $ 2 million PPP loan that is said to be used to preserve 52 jobs, according to SBA data. In an email, Johnston announced that conferences and events, similar to AGB and others, were an important source of income for NACUBO.

“NACUBO canceled many of its signature programs this year, including its annual meeting that typically has several thousand attendees,” said Johnston. “The proceeds from our annual meeting, as well as other smaller conferences, are a significant part of NACUBO’s operating budget. We also assume that our members and business partners will face unforeseen restrictions on their financial resources to support our work. “

While the PPP loan helped NACUBO continue its work, “it was not enough for NACUBO to maintain its previous operating capacity beyond the period covered by the loan,” said Johnston. Despite some downsizing, the organization still hopes to qualify to convert the PPP loan into a grant, she said.

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, a member of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat, received a PPP loan of between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million. “The PPP program has been very helpful to AKKU,” said Paula Moore, the association’s vice president for foreign affairs, in an email. “The pandemic reduced our income from four sources of income – membership fees, conference registrations, advice and sponsorship of meetings.”

It’s difficult to know the full extent of the loss of income as the pandemic continues, Moore said.

“But this one-off support has allowed us to keep our people busy, and we’re grateful for that,” she said.

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