Many families have been negatively impacted in some way due to the new coronavirus pandemic. We have received several questions regarding the effects the pandemic will have on current and future financial aid, and if there is any relief available.

As of today (April 17, 2020) I am posting all of the financial assistance and resources, that we’re aware of, currently available to families. Unfortunately, as the pandemic unfolds and affects different parts of the country at different rates, it’s impossible to say for certain what financial aid will look like in the summer and fall this year. I will provide updates for you as needed and as they’re available.

Current Assistance Already Available:

  • FSA (Federal Student Aid) has significantly cut back on its requirements/guidelines for funding to allow most current students to take online/virtual classes
  • Many states have been able to replace clinicals/practicals with virtual training to continue licensing requirements (every state has different guidelines and availability)
  • Most colleges are offering at least a partial refund for Room & Board costs for the spring 2020 semester
  • Federal Direct Student Loans interest (and any payments due) has been delayed for 6 months, automatically, until September 30th, 2020.
  • Any Spring 2020 Federal Direct loans and Pell Grants do NOT count towards a student’s lifetime limit
  • Work-study pay may still be available for some students

Upcoming Assistance:

  • Federal Stimulus Checks (for those that qualify) – see irs.gov
  • Decision and deposit deadlines extended for many colleges (Beyond May 1st)
    • See this NACAC website for updates: www.nacacnet.org/news–publications/newsroom/college-admission-status-coronavirus/
  • Special Circumstance Appeals due to Coronavirus-related setbacks
    • Recommended, but check with your college; note that every college’s response will be different
      • All appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis
    • Many colleges may now have lower funding; less available to offer for special circumstances
      • Though the government CARES Act does give colleges additional “emergency” aid
    • It’s very likely there will be More requests you are competing with
      • There are already long wait times just to speak to someone in the Financial Aid Office
      • Be prepared and be direct in your requests
    • Unemployment benefits have been extended (check your state’s website)
  • Low Interest Rates for new Student Loans (expected this summer)
  • Re-financing may also be a consideration or option for you during this time, but keep in mind you may forfeit certain payment plans, or loan forgiveness, that were previously offered.
  • Summer semesters/programs may be delayed
  • Note that 2019-2020 financial aid runs until June 30th. The 2020-2021 aid year begins on July 1st, 2020.
  • Fall semester enrollment and plans largely remain unchanged for now
  • We will update you on any changes to FAFSA/financial aid for the fall

For additional information, you can check the FSA website for coronavirus/financial aid related updates: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus.

If you are confused about what assistance may be available to you, feel free to contact us at College Dream Builder!

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