Paying for college is a challenge even in the best of economic times, and the pandemic has made it much more difficult for millions of students and their families. Recent changes and rules could make school more financially feasible for many.
Ana Termyna was doing just about everything she could to help her son, Russel, pay for his education.
“It just got a little easier,” he said. “As for the early payments, the first year and a half I had to take out loans, borrow from my mother.”
While the pandemic has hurt student bank accounts, this unprecedented period has also been a catalyst for significant changes that could make higher education more affordable and student debt easier to manage.
“Many private schools whose enrollments have been affected by the pandemic are aggressively reducing tuition and fees to attract new students and retain current students,” said Octavio Blanco of Consumer Reports.
Study shows that, on average, undergraduates achieved a record 48% reduction in tuition and fees in the form of scholarships, grants and scholarships in the 2020-21 academic year of the private schools.
And Congress gave colleges a $ 36 billion prize pool to distribute in emergency financial grants, money that doesn’t have to be repaid, to students affected by the pandemic.
“This assistance will help keep people in financial difficulty in school and prevent them from taking on more debt. Eligibility varies by school, so you should check with your financial aid office to see how it works, ”Blanco said.
As for student loans, the pause on repayments has been extended until January 2022.
In addition, the US bailout enacted in March includes a provision that makes all student loan forgiveness tax-exempt until 2025.
The Ministry of Education has also simplified the process for people with total or permanent disabilities to request cancellation of their loan. Talk to your loan officer if you think you fall into any of these categories to make sure the new rules are applied in your case.
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