COVID-19 Update: Financial Aid Tips during COVID-19

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Sep 14, 2020 11:02:34 PM

Financial aid season is quickly approaching. We want to make sure you’re teed up to help your students afford college. This week, we’ll walk you through some new and existing information and resources and review trusted financial aid tips during COVID-19.

Before we dive in, I want to remind you to head to the Texas OnCourse Academy for the most up-to-date, trustworthy information on financial aid. We recently updated our financial aid modules with new info related to the coronavirus. Bonus: if you are a school counselor, you can earn rewards for completing these modules. 

Explore financial aid updates

Now, let’s get into updates.

First, if you’re looking for a central location for COVID-related financial aid updates, be sure to bookmark the Coronavirus Web Center from NASFAA, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Federal Student Aid also has a page with COVID-related info.

The next year remains an uncertain one for our students. Many will experience disruptions in their or their family’s income. The number one rule for navigating this year? Contact the financial aid office! 

If your students’ financial circumstances change, they should reach out to the financial aid office from each college or university they’ve applied to. The financial aid office may ask them to complete a special circumstance form, or they might even have a special COVID form this year. The process can vary from school to school, so students should look to each financial aid office at the schools they've applied to for specific instructions regarding a job loss due to a pandemic. 

Another important thing you can do to support your students on financial aid is to make sure they’re aware of the aid programs that exist. 

Here in Texas, students have the opportunity to qualify for the TEXAS Grant, which will help them to pay for a public university; the TEOG, which applies toward a public two-year school; and the TEG, which applies toward a private or independent institution. 

To qualify for these state grants, your student needs to fill out the FAFSA (or the TASFA if they are a Texas resident without documentation). You and your students can visit College for all Texans for more information.

Many colleges and universities across Texas also provide tuition guarantee programs for families who meet a family income amount, as determined by the institution. We’ve documented these tuition guarantee programs in a handout. This handout is included in Unit 1 of the College Finances module of the Academy.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to log in to the Academy and review our modules on financial aid before the FAFSA and TASFA open in a few weeks. Thanks, stay healthy, and see you next week.

NOTE: This is a transcript of a Facebook Live video that appeared on 9/10/20. Watch it here.

Topics: Finances, Educators, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning