Trump Demands Harvard University to Give Back Taxpayer Funds

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Harvard UPDATE: Harvard as well as other nation’s most selective and richest universities are turning down millions in federal money meant to aid students whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus.

Others include  Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Stanford.

President Trump demanded on Tuesday that Harvard University give taxpayer funds back, citing the Ivy League school’s eye-watering $40.9 billion endowment.

Harvard is going to pay back the money,’ Trump said during the daily press briefing. ‘They shouldn’t be taking it. They have one of the largest endowments anywhere in the history of the country, maybe the world I guess. They’re going to pay back that money.’ Harvard, which planned to utilize $8.6 million of taxpayer funds doled out as part of the CARES Act, is among a number of elite American universities taking advantage of $14 billion allocated to higher education institutions to weather the economic downturn associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was speaking from the podium when Trump inserted that he would request the money back, said that other big businesses would be asked to give money back too. ‘The intent of this money was not for big public companies that have access to capital,’ Mnuchin said. He praised the restaurant chain Shake Shack for giving money from the Paycheck Protection Program back. College and universities are facing financial hardship because students have been sent home, and while they may be taking classes remotely, the schools risk not bringing in the totality of tuition fees.

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,800 undergraduate students and about 14,000 postgraduate students.