Coronavirus Aid: How COVID-19 Affects College Finances

As a student or recent alumni, you might wonder how COVID-19 affects your colleges finances. Is there coronavirus aid available? Do you qualify? The quick answer: it depends. Here are some facts you need to know:

Dollar sign on a brick college wall.

Most Students Keep Their Financial Aid…

Colleges have switched over to online courses, but this has not affected financial aid for most students. As long as they continue taking their classes online, students can still qualify for the original financial aid they received.

However, if labs or similar hands-on courses were being taken and are no longer available, this could affect a student on a case to case basis. The financial aid may no longer be available to you. It’s important to be in touch with the financial aid office if you’re in this boat and keep on top of the news. This is a developing situation and a lot could change in the coming weeks and months.

…And Some Are Getting More Coronavirus Aid

Some parents of students are losing their jobs and facing unemployment or less income could increase the amount a student is eligible to receive from financial aid loans. If you’re in this situation, you need to talk to financial aid administrators to see if you qualify.

Some Schools Are Refunding

In some cases, colleges and universities are refunding money for certain costs, such as meal or room and board fees, that went unused. Other schools are assisting their students with travel and other unexpected costs. This will help students who found themselves in a situation where they had nowhere to go or have little support outside of college.

This is not the same across the board and your college may be reacting differently than another. Just as with everything else education related, students need to keep on top of developing news.

You Can Pause Your Federal Student Loans

A new coronavirus aid stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, is now allowing students to pause their federal student loan payments,. This bill allows you to suspend payments for up to six months, but also stops federal student loan interest and the collection of federal student loans in default.

Whether or not you take advantage of this offer is up to you and your individual situation. This is fairly new, so you may see conflicting news and updates regarding this bill and any developments. If you are struggling to pay your bills, this could be a great choice for you. Former students should also note that if qualified for paid sick leave, there are other financial resources available.

How the coronavirus is affecting the education industry is changing quickly. Students, parents, and alumni need to keep on top of all the latest developments to be sure they’re making the right decisions for their finances and future. For more resources and developments, check out the NCAN’s latest updates here.

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