Get Help With Financial Aid
Last updated January 20, 2021
The closure of colleges across the country due to COVID-19 is further complicating the already confusing process of applying for and receiving financial aid. Many colleges have delayed their admissions notifications, and others have delayed their “commitment deadline,” which is the deadline to respond to a notification of acceptance. Even more students have had their financial situation change dramatically in just a few short weeks due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy. If you’re getting ready for college, or already in college, and the news is stressing you out - you aren’t alone - and we put together a ton of information and resources together to help you navigate this situation.
Here’s everything you need to know about recent event’s impact on financial aid.
If you’re waiting for a decision from colleges you’ve applied to
Try to stay patient and avoid stressing out if you haven’t heard anything back from colleges yet.
- More than 200 colleges have pushed their admissions notification timeline and/or their “commitment deadline” (the deadline to respond to a notification of acceptance) back one month - from May 1st to June 1st
- Click here to see if any colleges you applied to have delayed either process.
- Once you receive a decision from the colleges you’ve applied to, carefully compare financial aid packages. This crisis is a critical time to ensure you’re getting everything you need with respect to financial aid.
If you or your family are experiencing any hardship due to COVID-19 and you need more financial aid
You can request a change in circumstances form from your college’s financial aid office. A “Change in Circumstances” form is a formal request process. You will need to:
- Set up a virtual appointment or call your financial aid office (they may be closed due to COVID-19. But leave a voicemail - and as soon as they re-open, call again).
- Provide documentation that indicates that you or your family underwent notable changes in your financial situation. So, for example, if you or your family were laid off due COVID-19, bring documentation citing that loss of income.
- Once/if approved, your financial aid award will be adjusted to reflect your current financial circumstances - i.e. an increase in financial aid.
If you’re an incoming college student and have already received your financial aid package, you can also request a change in circumstances form.
Changes in circumstance apply to incoming freshmen just as much as current college students. Follow the same procedure above to have your financial aid package updated to reflect your current financial situation if COVID-19 has caused hardship.
Got questions about financial aid during COVID-19, or in general? Text “Hello” to 33-55-77
Need help writing your financial aid appeal letter? Let SwiftStudent do it for you.
SwiftStudent is a new, free digital tool for requesting changes to college financial aid packages. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we know many of the 18.8 million college students who receive financial aid now, or soon will, are experiencing changes to their economic circumstances. SwiftStudent carefully walks users through the financial aid appeal process and produces customized appeal letters. The site features 14 templates for specific types of appeals.