April 22 (UPI) -- Harvard, Princeton and Stanford announced on Wednesday they would not accept funding allocated to them in a coronavirus aid package.
The universities each issued statements saying they would not accept the funds made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act signed last month. The announcements came after President Donald Trump criticized Harvard for taking the money Tuesday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would further explain the certification of the funding and give companies and other institutions an opportunity to return their own loans.
Stanford announced that it contacted the Department of Education on Monday morning to request that the university's application for relief funds under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Section of the CARES Act be rescinded.
"The combination of lost revenue, increased costs and the market downturn that could have a substantial impact on our endowment are all expected to negatively affect the university's finances for some time to come," Stanford said in a series of tweets. "However, we realize that this crisis represents an existential threat for many of the smaller colleges and universities that are such a critical part of the fabric of higher learning in the United States."
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Harvard and Princeton both stated they had not requested nor received any of the funds.
"Congress allocated CARES Act funding to colleges and universities to ensure that they could support Pell grant recipients and other students impacted by COVID-19," Princeton wrote on Twitter. "Funds were allocated based on a formula determined by the federal government."
In a statement, Harvard said it would inform the Department of Education of its plans to return the funds and request the federal government to act swiftly to reallocate the resources.
"While we understand that any reallocation of these resources is a matter for the Department of Education, we hope that special consideration will be given to Massachusetts institutions that are struggling to serve their communities and meet the needs of their students through these difficult and challenging times," the university said.
All three universities pledged that they would continue to provide various forms of financial aid and grants to students.