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Biden administration reversing Trump ban on pandemic aid for undocumented students

Biden administration reversing Trump ban on pandemic aid for undocumented students
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The Biden administration is reversing a Trump-era policy banning undocumented students from receiving pandemic aid. 

Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaLocal leaders build pressure on Biden to cancel student loans COVID relief vital to successful reopening of schools Judge ruling upholds Connecticut school mask mandate MORE announced the new plan on Tuesday, finalizing a regulation that lets universities distribute $36 billion in federal pandemic aid to students, regardless of their immigration status.

The move will help universities expand opportunities to students who are in need of financial aid. It also reflects the department's goal to provide resources and guidance to institutions, students and communities throughout the pandemic, according to a press release. 

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"These funds are critical to ensuring that all of our nation’s students – particularly those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – have the opportunity to enroll, continue their education, graduate, and pursue their careers,” Cardona said in the press release. “With this action, thousands of institutions will be able to provide direct relief to students who need it most, so we can make sure that we not only recover from the pandemic, but also build back even stronger than before.”

Many universities were opposed to the Trump policy, citing its complicated criteria and changing guidance from the Department of Education that slowed down school officials' ability to distribute the money, Politico reported. 

The new policy replaces the one former Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosErik Prince involved in push for experimental COVID-19 vaccine: report Biden administration reverses Trump-era policy that hampered probes of student loan companies DeVos ordered to testify in student loan forgiveness lawsuit MORE enacted last year. 

It also will set up coronavirus vaccination sites on campus for students as institutions plan to spread awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated.