Financial aid is an essential part of the college experience. According to the National Center For Education Statistics, 85% of undergraduates in the US were awarded financial aid in the 2016/2017 school year. However, in the age of COVID-19, many students are worried that income changes may impact their ability to pay for school. Here are a few tips to navigate the unchartered territory many colleges students find themselves in for the 2020/2021 school year.
FAFSA is the form that is used to determine how much your expected family contribution (EFC) will be. Because of COVID-19, your situation may have greatly changed in the last six months. If you have already filled out this form, contact your school's financial aid office to see what steps to take next. Remember, you will need to provide documentation to reflect the change in your EFC.
The CARES Act
The CARES Act has provided $6 billion to universities and colleges to help with emergency assistance with tuition in the form of cash grants. These funds do not need to be paid back and are not taxable. Contact your financial aid office for more information on qualifications.
File an appeal
If you have already received your award letter, you can contact your financial aid office for information on filing an appeal for additional funds due to loss of income incurred by COVID-19. Some documentation that may be required could include unemployment award letters or notices of termination from an employer.
COVID-19 should not be a barrier to higher education. There are many options to those who have been impacted by the pandemic. Knowing your options for assistance will help ease your worries and keep on track for collegiate success.