March 13, 2020 – NASFAA President Justin Draeger today issued the following statement on S. 3489 Supporting Students in Response to Coronavirus Act, a bill introduced Friday morning by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.):
“Over the last week we’ve seen colleges and universities across the country taking preventative measures to protect their students and campus communities from the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Some have moved their operations completely online, while others have asked students to leave for their scheduled spring break and not return to campus, or to vacate campus premises immediately. Widespread closures and shifts to online learning of this sort are wholly unprecedented for college students and those in financial aid offices. The Department of Education has taken steps to offer guidance and support to institutions of higher education as the situation continues to unfold, but many outstanding issues will require Congress to take action.
Sens. Murray, Gillibrand, and Schumer today introduced a bill that would provide $1.2 billion in emergency financial aid funds to support students and institutions as they navigate this unprecedented territory. The bill also provides institutions flexibility as they consider students’ academic progress and calculations on Federal Student Aid funds that need to be returned in the face of disruptions.
NASFAA applauds these lawmakers for acting quickly to find a solution to support financial aid recipients, who may now find themselves in dire situations in the face of this pandemic. We look forward to working with lawmakers as this situation unfolds and the impact of these closures and shifts to online learning come into focus.”
For more information and resources on how the spread of the novel coronavirus is impacting student financial aid, please refer to NASFAA’s COVID-19 Web Center. To request an interview with a NASFAA spokesperson, please email Erin Powers at [email protected].
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 28,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit www.nasfaa.org.
Publication Date: 3/13/2020