Learn about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act and how it impacts your Federal Student Aid


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act will provide much-needed emergency aid for students. It will also grant waivers for financial aid requirements to students unable to complete the semester and will protect student loan borrowers by pausing their payments and accrued interest.

Congress has also granted permission for the U.S. Department of Education to provide waivers on federal student aid distribution. This flexibility will allow Federal Work-Study (FWS) recipients to receive their wages through the end of the academic year even if they cannot continue working. Additionally, students unable to complete will not have this semester counted toward their Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculations.

In order to access these supports, students need to take action. Currently enrolled students who are seeking emergency aid, reinstatement of FWS wages, or who need to withdraw for the semester, should contact their school’s financial aid office.

For more information about financial aid and COVID-19, the Office of Federal Student Aid has created a helpful Q&A page.

Federal student loan borrowers will receive relief as well. Borrowers currently enrolled in school will not have interest accrued on their unsubsidized loans, and if they must drop out for the semester, the loan balance will be forgiven.  For borrowers in repayment, student loan interest will not accrue and payments are not required through Sept. 30. Importantly, even if students do not make payments between now and September, these months will still count toward loan forgiveness programs such as Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

For more information about Federal Student Aid during the Coronavirus outbreak, please read the Federal Student Aid help page.