Coronavirus has had an impact on almost all segments of people, including students. The CARES Act, which was passed in March, allotted billions of dollars to help students during the pandemic. However, most students and parents have no idea about this coronavirus stimulus aid besides checks, and thus, the funds still remain largely untapped.
Many students unaware about this coronavirus stimulus
The CARES Act allotted about $14 billion to colleges and universities across the nation as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). About half of this amount, i.e. about $7 billion is supposed to go directly to students. The fund was meant to help graduate and undergraduate students who are facing “unexpected expenses and unmet financial need” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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This student aid is on a first-come-first-served-basis. To receive the aid, eligible students need to send an application to the school along with relevant documents proving that the pandemic had an adverse economic impact on them. For instance, students can produce proof of income loss, such as being furloughed, reduced job hours or facing any unforeseen expenses.
Though this coronavirus stimulus money for students could prove immensely useful, not many students know about it, or they are not sure if they are eligible for this. Moreover, colleges largely have also failed in informing and distributing the aid to students in need. As of late-April, only 1% of the amount had actually been distributed, notes a report from Yahoo Finance.
Another reason for the lack of student interest in the aid could be the changing distributions rules. Guidance from the Department of Education to limit the fund to Title-IV students, who were on financial aid, was recently blocked by the court. Thus, colleges now have more say in the distribution of the aid.
Online tool: how does it help?
To ensure eligible students get the coronavirus stimulus, Frank teamed up with Chegg, an education technology company, to assist students to apply for the stimulus money. Frank is a platform that helps students apply for financial aid.
Frank and Chegg have come up with a new online tool. This online tool helps students determine their eligibility, as well as compile the information and documents they need. Based on the input, the online tool generates a letter that students can submit directly to their school.
Coronavirus stimulus help for students: Not checks but other aid available
The tool is easy to use, and you can complete the process in just a few minutes. Several students have already benefited from this tool.
“In about 10 hours we got over 10,000 applications submitted,” rank CEO Charlie Javice told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM.
Eligible students should apply as soon as possible as this coronavirus stimulus is on a first-come-first-served-basis. The school will decide the amount of stimulus a student gets. This amount could range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars per student.
“Students could be eligible for anywhere from $500 to up to $5,000 of aid,” Javice says.