Lily Fang 3 min read Coronavirus

How Will Coronavirus Impact Financial Aid?

As the economy is impacted by COVID-19, many families may face financial hardship. This can make the prospect of paying thousands of dollars in college tuition extremely stressful and daunting. 

 

How will college financial aid offices likely respond to any change in your family’s financial situation? How will the coronavirus impact financial aid not just for this year’s seniors, but also next year’s college applicants? Here’s what you need to know.

 

What Seniors Should Know

 

If you receive a financial aid award that your family can no longer afford, contact that college’s financial aid office. Colleges will likely take your current financial situation into account, and adjust your award accordingly. Financial aid offices routinely make adjustments for changes in family income, and will be expecting increased requests for more financial aid. 

 

If your family can’t afford the deposit, also let your college know. You may be able to request an extension, or a reduced deposit. Many colleges are already extending their deposit dates to June 1st, and others are expected to follow suit.

 

For tips on negotiating financial aid, check out our post This Family Got an Additional $11k/Year in Merit Aid—Here’s How

Stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 situation

The impact the current Coronavirus situation is having on high school and college admissions is constantly changing. We're posting up-to-date information at our COVID-19 Information Center.

What Juniors Should Know

 

In the upcoming admissions cycle, some colleges may need to accept more students who can pay full tuition, as many schools will take massive hits to their budgets and endowments. This is because colleges have much of their endowments invested in stocks and bonds, which have sharply fallen due to the virus. Colleges will also likely need to increase financial aid awards for accepted students with a loss in family income from the virus. Additionally, international students may not be able to get visas if the travel bans continue into the fall. While international students may be given the option to complete their first semester or year remotely, many of them will likely stay local if the coronavirus isn’t under control by the fall. As a result, colleges would lose a significant chunk of tuition money, since most international students are full-paying. 

 

Because of this, it’s a good idea to apply to some need-blind schools. These schools publicly commit to making admissions decisions regardless of a student’s ability to pay. Here’s a complete list of need-blind schools to consider.

 

If you’re expecting to need financial aid, other types of schools to look into are no-loan schools and those that meet 100% of demonstrated need. No-loan schools don’t offer loans in their financial aid packages; instead, they award grants, scholarships, and work-study. Schools that meet 100% of demonstrated need pledge to award enough financial aid so that you won’t need to pay more than your expected family contribution (EFC). There are some schools that are even need-blind, no-loan, and meet 100% of your demonstrated need, and these tend to be the schools with the most generous financial aid.

 

If you want more help looking for schools that are affordable for your family, our college search tool allows you to see your estimated cost of attendance for over 500 colleges. You won’t need to put in your financial information 10 times for each different school—it’s all in one place! Sign up for your free CollegeVine account to start finding schools based on your preferences, chances of acceptance, and finances. 

 

These are difficult times for everyone. At CollegeVine, we’re here to support you. COVID-19 is a constantly-changing situation, and we want to ensure you have access to the most up-to-date info in one place. Visit our Coronavirus Info Center to check for any new developments in college admissions during these unusual circumstances.

Lily Fang
Blog Editor at CollegeVine
Short bio
Lily Fang is 2018 grad of Amherst College with a degree in math and French. She has called three countries “home”: the U.S., France, and England. In her spare time, she trains for marathons and writes for her travel and running blog.