6 Kinds of Financial Relief for College Students in 2020
In the midst of the pandemic, like many other schools, colleges closed their campuses and opened up distance learning. That decision left a lot of college students with unanswered questions.
For students forced to leave campus and move to distance learning, there is relief. Some options come from the government, and others from each student’s college.
Here are 6 kinds of financial relief for college students in 2020.
(1) Stimulus Checks
If a college student was named as a dependent on their parents’ tax returns, they do not qualify for the stimulus check. But, students who weren’t claimed as dependents will receive the stimulus check if their incomes are less than $75,000 per year, or $150,000 if married filing jointly.
Those who were laid off or suffer job loss due to the pandemic may be eligible for unemployment benefits. You may also qualify for additional Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. Compensation varies by state and you will have to contact your state unemployment office to apply.
(3) Federal Work Study
If you lost your Federal work study job due to closures, you may be eligible to receive aid for the remaining time you were set to work. The amount you can receive depends on your award amount. You need to contact your college to find out more.
You may be able to get refunds if you were forced to leave campus. Many colleges are refunding non-tuition costs, such as housing, meals, and facility fees.
It’s unlikely you’ll get any money back for distance learning, but check into classes that aren’t held remotely– like science labs.
Your reimbursements will come as a full refund or as credit. If you receive a refund on money you paid out from a loan, consider repaying that money to your lender to get ahead on student loan interest.
Reach out to your school’s financial aid office for more information.
(5) Emergency Aid
Colleges generally have emergency funds on hand and the recent CARES Act provided more funds to colleges for emergency financial aid. These funds may include emergency grants, loans, or scholarships to cover COVID-19 related expenses.
Contact your school for availability.
(6) Pell Grant and Loan Limits Waived
If you have not completed college this semester, the CARES Act calls for colleges to waive limits on some types of aid, including Pell Grants and direct Federal loans. This means the funds you used this semester won’t count toward your lifetime limit. So, you are able to request more financial aid.
If you have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you can appeal your award based on changes to your family’s finances, like job loss or medical expenses.
If you need to update your FAFSA, sign into your account at fafsa.ed.gov and choose “Make FAFSA Correction.” Enter your ID, make your changes, and submit the changes. You can make changes until the FAFSA deadline. That’s usually June 30 after the school year for which you need aid. So, to update your FAFSA for the 2020 – 2021 year, you have until June 30, 2021.
You may also reach out to your school’s financial aid office with a request for more aid. Be sure to include a specific amount you need with supporting documents.
To find out what Estate Planning documents college students need, click here.