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On September 4, the Federal Reserve System announced that its Main Street Lending Program is now fully operational. Nonprofit organizations may now submit applications for loans, with five-year terms under the Nonprofit Organization New Loan Facility (NONLF) and the Nonprofit Organization New Loan Facility and Expanded Loan Facility (NOELF).

The interest rate is LIBOR plus 3 percent, and the loans are not forgivable.

Although the Federal Reserve maintains the discretion to consider other types of organizations, numerous limitations to borrower eligibility apply that may exclude many institutions of higher education, including—

  • Must have 10–15,000 employees
  • Must have an endowment of less than $3 billion
  • Must have 60 days cash on hand
  • Total non-donation revenues must be equal to or greater than 60 percent of expenses for the period from 2017 through 2019

The Federal Reserve updated the nonprofit facilities FAQ, and interested borrowers can visit this website to find specific NONLF and NOELF program information and to subscribe for e-mail updates.

The Main Street Lending Program was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act, and the Federal Reserve sought public comments on eligibility criteria and terms earlier this year. NACUBO joined several other higher education associations in making recommendations, but the final structure of the program remains largely similar to the original proposal.


Liz Clark

Vice President, Policy and Research


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