Federal Student Aid (FSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Education, has created a new webpage to inform students, parents, and borrowers about important updates regarding federal student aid in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The page includes a student and borrower question and answer section and links to resources about COVID-19.
For your convenience, here are some of the questions and answers currently available on the page:
- What if my campus has closed due to coronavirus? Will I be able to finish the term and keep my federal student aid?Please contact your school. Many institutions are making arrangements (such as take-home assignments or online classes) so students can complete the term.
- If my campus is closed or only offering online instruction, will I still get paid for the hours I am unable to work for my Federal Work-Study job?If you’re unable to work your scheduled hours because of coronavirus-related disruptions (such as school or employer closures or student quarantines), your school may pay you for any scheduled hours or allow you to work by another means—for example, completing work online or remotely, depending on the job. Contact your school for more information.
- My mom can’t go to her job because of coronavirus, and she doesn’t get paid if she doesn’t work. This means my financial need has increased. Can I get more financial aid?Talk to the financial aid office at your school. They have flexibility to work with students to ensure the students are able to stay in school.
- I’m making payments and hoping to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), but I can’t work right now due to coronavirus. If I miss a payment, can I still qualify for PSLF?If you don’t make a payment for a month, or enter a deferment or forbearance because you cannot afford your payment, that month will not count toward PSLF. However, qualifying payments do not need to be consecutive, so you will not lose credit for payments that you’ve already made. As a reminder, all borrowers seeking PSLF should enter an income-driven repayment plan, which bases monthly payments on income instead of on loan debt. If you believe that your work will be impacted for a long period of time, you can recertify for your repayment plan early, to take into consideration your drop in income. Of course, PSLF also requires you to be working full-time for a qualifying employer to receive credit toward PSLF for a month. If your employer does not consider you to be working full-time during this period, then this month or these months will not count toward PSLF even if you make a payment. However, paid sick leave or other leave time may be counted by your employer as hours worked for the purposes of PSLF. To learn more about PSLF, visit StudentAid.gov/publicservice. To learn more about income-driven repayment, visit StudentAid.gov/idr.