First lady Dr. Jill Biden comes to NJ to announce $200 million in funding for colleges
First lady Dr. Jill Biden came back to New Jersey on the one-year anniversary of her husband President Joe Biden being sworn in to office. The first lady visited Bergen County Community College to announce millions in new federal funding for colleges and universities across the country.
“It’s been one year that actually I stood at the Capitol holding our family Bible and watched my husband take the presidential oath,” Dr. Biden said.
Dr. Biden was back in her native state to announce nearly $200 million in stimulus money that will go to support higher education.
“Two years into the pandemic, our college students continue to need more support,” says Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
Cardona is the former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education.
“Colleges and universities have also recognized that during a pandemic, support for students must go beyond physical health and safety,” he said.
Bergen County Community College is already using stimulus money from an earlier round of funding to pay for on-site child care, allowing young mothers to stay in school.
“It’s the difference between trying to stay afloat and climbing into a better life,” Dr. Biden said.
President Biden had promised to cancel up to $10,000 of student debt per borrower. Though he's delayed payments, he hasn't made good on that promise just yet. But that didn't stop the first lady from professing amazement Bergen County Community College has used $5 million in stimulus money to cancel overdue tuition payments
“How Bergen paid the outstanding balances for more than 2,000 students – I mean that’s just incredible,” Dr. Biden said.
Progressives want Cardona and the Biden administration to go big and cancel up to $50,000 in student debt per borrower nationwide.
“We're coming together, and we're lifting up schools like Bergen who do it right,” Cardona said. “We know what's happening in Bergen needs to happen across the country.”
Applications for more aid to colleges and universities will open at the end of this month. The funding to colleges will be released in the spring.
Dr. Biden said that she spent two years living a short distance away from the college in Mahwah when she was a child.