Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.
Bowdoin College in Brunswick is facing down a loss of more than $8 million due to the new coronavirus.
The Times Record reports that the hit is coming primarily from room-and-board refunds after the college opted to not have students return after spring break, making it one of the first Maine universities to close its campus in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
That loss also includes financial assistance Bowdoin provided to low-income students to cover travel expenses and other coronavirus-related costs, according to the newspaper. Reimbursement for room-and-board ranged from $2,500 to $4,125, it reports.
The loss, which is forecast through June’s end, accounts for 5 percent of the college’s $175.8 million operating budget, The Times Record reports.
In response, Bowdoin has frozen hiring and moved to limit expenditures in various departments.
Bowdoin has been allocated $1.12 million in federal coronavirus relief, but a spokesperson told The Times Record that school officials have not decided whether to accept it. That comes as many well-endowed universities across the nation came under fire last week for receiving allocations of federal coronavirus relief, prompting many, including Harvard and Yale, to return the funds.
Bowdoin has a $1.74 billion endowment, but the spokesperson, Doug Cook, told the newspaper that it is not a “big pot of money or a savings account” the college can tap anytime, noting it is comprised of 1,700 different funds, half of which are dedicated to student aid.
Maine schools received about $41 million in federal aid, including $17.2 million for the University of Maine System, $1.24 million for Colby College in Waterville and $953,516 for Bates College in Lewiston, according to The Times Record.