"Over the past few weeks, college administrators have been grappling with how to distribute coronavirus stimulus money to their students. On Tuesday, they got some clarity — as well as some new complications," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
"In newly released guidance, the U.S. Department of Education informed administrators that they are only allowed to issue funds to students who are eligible for Title IV financial aid. That cuts out international students and undocumented immigrants — including those receiving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections — from receiving any of the roughly $6 billion that the Cares Act allocates directly to emergency student aid.
... Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said because of the way language in the department’s guidance is worded, it could be difficult, maybe impossible, for any student that has not yet filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Fafsa), to apply.
Under the guidance, students eligible to receive funds need to be a citizen or an eligible noncitizen and have other records such as a Social Security number, a selective service registration, and a high-school diploma or a GED — information colleges may not have unless a student submitted a Fafsa, Draeger said.
'The lengths the department will go through to exclude DACA students will hurt all sorts of students,' Draeger said. 'In all practical purposes, I don’t know how an institution would document those things without a Fafsa.'
The new guidance could delay the aid distribution further since some colleges will likely now need to modify the plans they used to determine which of its students would receive the funds, Draeger said. And it has already raised additional questions, he added."
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Publication Date: 4/22/2020