COVID-19 Financial Aid FAQ
Please note that the Financial Aid Office is working diligently to ensure financial aid (FA) continues to be processed as seamlessly as possible. Most importantly, we remain available to help guide and support students with funding their education during these uncertain times.
We appreciate that many students may have questions regarding their specific aid. As such, the FA hotline remains operational during normal business hours with multiple experts available to answer important student questions. Additionally, students can still reach the Financial Aid Office through the general FA email address at [email protected] and can expect to receive a prompt response.
In an effort to be proactive, the Financial Aid Office has created the following FAQs that answer some of the general questions students may have.
Q. My courses have been switched from on campus to online. Am I able to use my financial aid for online courses?
A. FA eligibility does not change for on-campus courses now being taken online. Students should feel comfortable attending all online courses as they would on campus. If students decide not to attend some or all of their courses, they should contact the Financial Aid Office immediately for further information on how FA may be impacted.
Q. I decided to take less than full-time courses during the COVID-19 outbreak. How does attending part-time affect the aid I’m eligible to receive?
A. Pell Grant and Cal Grant eligibility is predicated on a student’s enrollment status. Students attending full time receive 100% of their grant eligibility, three-quarter time receive 75% of eligibility, half time receive 50% and less than half time could receive 25% of grant eligibility.
Scholarships, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), and Federal Work Study (FWS) typically require students to be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible. However, some exceptions are being made to allow students to maintain eligibility for these funds due to COVID-19. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional details regarding eligibility of these funds.
Student loans require students to be enrolled at least half time to maintain loan eligibility. However, a student’s enrollment status will impact their total Cost of Attendance (COA) and subsequently may impact a graduate student’s Graduate PLUS loan amount (if applicable). Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional details.
Q. I have extra expenses or have lost income due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Am I able to receive additional FA to assist with personal expenses during the Spring 2020 semester?
A. The Financial Aid Office has statutory authority to use professional judgement to make adjustments on a case-by-case basis to the cost of attendance or to the data elements used in calculating the expected family contribution (EFC) to reflect a student’s special circumstances. The use of professional judgement when students and/or their families have been affected by COVID-19 is permitted, such as in the case where an employer closes for a period of time as a result of COVID-19. In making professional judgement determinations, the Financial Aid Office must obtain documentation that substantiates the reason for any adjustment.
- EFC recalculations only provide potential benefit for undergraduate students as the results from recalculations may impact need based aid and, with the exception of Federal Work Study, graduate students do not qualify for need-based aid.
- Cost of Attendance adjustments must be based on student expenses related to attending school. Unfortunately, if students incur other expenses related to COVID-19, those expenses may not be used for additional financial aid eligibility.
Q. I am a Federal Work Study student and I am unable to work because of COVID-19 disruptions. Are any options available to me?
A. Yes, options are available for you. Your supervisor may allow you to work by another means (online, remote, telecommute, etc.). If that is not an option, students who were already working can be paid for scheduled hours at the wage rate that they would have been paid if they were able to work the scheduled hours.
Q. I am currently in repayment on my student loans. Are my loans still accruing interest, and am I still required to make monthly payments during the COVID-19 outbreak?
A. Interest will not accrue on federally held student loans for 60 days, beginning on March 13, 2020, for both current and out-of-school students. The Department of Education may extend that period, depending on the status of the COVID-19 national emergency. Regarding your monthly payments, you should call your loan servicer to discuss all options. For more information, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Q. I am scheduled to go on a study abroad trip this summer. Is there any chance that trip goes on as scheduled?
A. Unfortunately, all institutionally sponsored international travel has been canceled through August 30, 2020, due to COVID-19. However, if you are enrolled in a Field Experience course that is required for degree completion, the course itself is not canceled. The travel portion will be converted to a virtual experience. For more information regarding this, please contact your program chair.
Q. I am a current student utilizing my Post-9/11 GI Bill military benefits to attend school. All of my classes have been moved online due to COVID-19. Will this affect my monthly housing allowance?
A. Post-9/11 GI Bill students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID-19 will continue to receive the monthly housing allowance rate for resident training.