Making a college decision has always been stressful but now we have an entirely new challenge. The Coronavirus has added a new complexity that was never anticipated. The impact on funding and admissions is enormous. The stress for parents and students has always been highlighted, but the pressure on a college’s admissions office has also skyrocketed. Why? Their traditional strategies and models are insufficient because of economic, legislative and financial changes that have occurred in the last month.
Below you will find a list of what PayForED determined to be the most significant issues. We will continue to update you on breaking news and events.
Major Impacts on College Funding and Financial Aid for families
- Federal Student Loan Interest Rate for 2020-21 possibly at a historic low.
- Paying for tuition through low-interest loans or withdrawing from 529 plans.
- New advantages to student loan repayment via the new CARES Act.
- Urgency to create an award letter appeal due to job loss or income changes.
- Transfer decisions and determining if current credits will be accepted at the new institutions.
- Leaving campus housing and making the decision to commute to college.
- More colleges implementing tuition resets changing current pricing and scholarships.
Recent changes to College Funding and Financial Aid before Coronavirus Crises.
- A person’s ability to use 529 assets to pay student loan debt (Secure Act)
- Department of Justice implemented new rules regarding admission and recruiting.
- Both the college admissions and financial aid offices have new challenges to face. Due to both the economic and travel changes, families and colleges will be working in a new environment. Here are some top concerns:
- Decreased demand in enrollment due to tours and visits being canceled
- Postponement of commitment date to June 1st causing stress to college budgets.
- Reduction of full-pay international students due to travel restrictions could increase tuition
- Possible increase in transfers from current enrollment due to college affordability & distance from home
- Increased number of award letter appeals requiring additional staff or delay in responses.
- Cancellation and postponement of SATs and ACTs this year putting pressure on the current system which may require policy changes
- Impact of a Pass/Fail semesters on a college transcript for transferring students
The main question is: Will this virus change the way people look at college and how they make their decisions?
As an example, does an online degree make more sense? While more demand has risen for this type of learning, we believe you need to look at the statistics. According to the Department of Education, the national graduation rate for 4-year traditional college is 59% after 6 years. In comparison, according to Top100onlineColleges.org, the national graduation rate for online 4-year colleges is approximately 20% after 6 years. So, although students are finishing the semester online, we at PayForED do not believe online courses, on a full-time basis, are the answer.
If you have had changes in your financial situation and need answers, PayForED has those answers. Our In-College Payer was created with the intention of parents and students clearly understanding their financial aid, academic timeline and repayment options. As life changes, your educational journey could also change. Let PayForED be the second opinion you are looking for today.
Good Luck and Stay Safe.