"Although help for student borrowers in Congress’s massive economic stimulus package has been widely publicized, including a six-month reprieve from making loan payments, more than a million people with loans may be surprised to learn they will not get any relief under the new measure," according to Inside Higher Ed.
"Borrowers with Perkins and commercially held Federal Family Education Loans are excluded from the $2 trillion bill, which is expected to pass the U.S. House today after being approved by the Senate Wednesday.
As higher education policy experts pored over the bill over the last few days, several consumer groups said the next relief Congress takes up should include those who won't be reaping new benefits, including a waiver of federal interest on student loans and a moratorium on having overdue payments taken from wages, tax refunds and Social Security benefits, as well as temporarily being excused from making monthly payments.
But it was unclear, as campuses close and offer students remote instruction during the pandemic, how the Education Department would view giving grants to help students pay for things such as airline tickets to go home because of campus closures, or to buy computers so they can have access to online instruction, said Robert Shireman, director of higher education excellence and a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a progressive think tank.
'Schools were afraid the Department of Education in a year or two would do an audit and say you have to return a bunch of money to the federal government,' he said.
But Karen McCarthy, director of policy analysis at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said Murray's provision waives the requirement for institutions to calculate the amount of need before giving a student an emergency grant. Another provision also allows institutions to give students up to the amount of a Pell Grant in emergency aid, on top of their grant amount, thus clearing up institutions' uncertainty over how much the institutions could give."
NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.
Publication Date: 3/27/2020