AskRegs Update: To What Payment Periods Does the COVID-19 March 5, 2020 Electronic Announcement Apply?

To What Payment Periods Does the COVID-19 March 5, 2020 Electronic Announcement Apply?

According to the COVID-19 FAQs attached to ED's March 5, 2020 Electronic Announcement, the COVID-19 guidance has been extended to include students who enroll in payment periods that begin on or before June 1, 2020.

Per the FAQs:

Q: "The guidance in the Electronic Announcement published March 5, 2020 indicates that the guidance and relief do not apply for students who have not yet enrolled, or whose term has not yet begun, as of that date. We plan to switch from an on campus to an online format for a term that begins in May. Does this guidance apply to us?"

A: "The original guidance did limit the flexibility to students who were already enrolled in a term when COVID-19 related interruptions occurred. Given recent advice from the CDC about social distancing, we have determined that it would be prudent to extend this flexibility to students who enroll in payment periods that begin on or before June 1, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and will extend the timeframe for the guidance if appropriate."

Update: NASFAA recently asked if ED will be extending this guidance to cover future payment periods. ED replied that it is aware of the challenges schools face related to future payment periods, particularly summer terms, but a decision has not yet been made. NASFAA will notify the community if/when that happens, so stay tuned to Today's News.

Note: This does not mean students can be paid Title IV funds for payment periods in which they did not begin attendance. There is a very limited exception for a Title IV credit balance that was generated by Direct Loan funds and delivered to the student. See the Electronic Announcement for more information.

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Publication Date: 3/20/2020

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