"While the controversy over U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s decision to exclude college students brought illegally to the U.S. as minors has been well publicized, critics say guidelines released by the department also exclude other students for having bad grades or having defaulted on student loan payments," Inside Higher Ed reports.
"In addition, Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said guidelines the department issued a little more than a week ago have confused campuses and slowed getting the grants into the hands of needy students who are struggling to pay for housing and food."
..."Imposing the same requirements for getting the grants as for getting financial aid limits who can get help at a time when many students are in dire need, Draeger said. Federal student aid requirements contain a long list of conditions, from not having defaulted on student loan payments to making satisfactory academic progress, defined as having a C average.
'A student who had a minor drug conviction, who was attending school and had to move off campus and incurred significant moving costs, wouldn’t qualify,' Draeger said in an email. 'Neither would a student who needed to purchase a laptop to stay enrolled as their school went online, but didn’t register for selective service.'
He added, 'Or what about a student who defaulted on a loan, hasn’t rehabilitated it yet, but came down with COVID-19, incurred significant medical expenses? Or how about a student who was recently married and fails a Social Security match because they haven’t updated their SSN information? Obviously they are an eligible citizen, but they’ll have an SSN error, which at the very least will delay their grant.'"
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: 4/30/2020