The New Rules on Paying for College

"Paying for college is a challenge in the best of economic times. So when the worst of times come, as they did for millions of Americans during the pandemic, affording a degree gets dramatically harder," Consumer Reports reports. 

..."What to do: Talk to your school. You can use the funds on any college-related cost, including food, housing, healthcare, and mental health and child-care needs, as well as tuition, says Megan Coval, vice president of policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 

While the Department of Education directed schools to give priority to students with greater financial needs, the grants are not just for low-income students. But the exact criteria for eligibility vary by school, so you should check with the financial aid office at your school to see how it works, Coval says. 

Some schools may automatically give the grants to students who are eligible for a Pell Grant, a federal financial aid award for the lowest-income students. Others may distribute money to all enrolled students, regardless of whether they qualified for financial aid in the past. And some schools may require you to fill out an application. The amount you get depends on your need and how much money your school was allocated, but it can be several hundred to several thousand dollars, Coval says."

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Publication Date: 7/1/2021

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