May 21, 2020
COVID-19 (coronavirus) is going to hit everyone – hard. Some may even be feeling its effects already. And amidst all the uncertainty that is brewing, the question of college may fall to the side of the road. However, it is still important to be cognizant of the impact these trying times will have on the future of your academic career.
You may be wondering what options are available to you moving forward, especially now that you or your parents may have had a substantial reduction in income due to COVID-19. Luckily enough, there are plenty of options for students looking to attend college with income constraints in the wake of the pandemic.
As of 2019, graduating seniors having attended a high school in California, and having been accepted into one of the 115 community colleges across the state, are eligible for two years of free tuition. How does one qualify you ask? They must be first-time, full-time students (taking at least 12 units per semester). This is becoming an increasingly popular option as students look to knock out their undergrad general education requirements for free before transferring into a four year university to finish up their bachelor’s. If you are asking about why community college, check out our blog piece Should I go to community college and then transfer to a university?
It sounds too good to be true, right? According to Forbes.com, there are currently 75 colleges offering free and/or reduced tuition across the United States. The list of schools runs the gamut, including top tier universities like Brown and Cornell, as well as college staples like Arizona State University and Miami University. These offerings have cropped up in light of the 44 million student debtors that collectively owe roughly $1.5 trillion in student loans. As college tuition costs continue to climb, student loan debt is skyrocketing alongside it. Many schools are offering “no-loan” financial aid packages, which aim to curtail the increasing pool of student debt, and instead seek to replace loans with grants and scholarships. Some universities require a minimum student or parental contribution (which can be met with loans), or part time employment of the student.
The light amidst the darkness in all of this is: your financial aid options will remain the same despite many schools closing their campuses and moving classes online. Scholarships and grants are still available; in fact, even though some schools and funds are finding their awards to be limited, other institutions are upping the ante and pouring out even more money to support their students with Student Relief Funds. Furthermore, loans will still be available, and perhaps more manageable as well. According to the office of Federal Student Aid, student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, allowing them to temporarily stop making their monthly loan payments.
Communications Director – Write Track Admissions