COVID-19 & Financial Aid
We know and understand that there might be challenges in the coming weeks and we hope to ease those to the extent possible. Please email SFS with any questions or concerns and we will help you navigate through this difficult time.
All functions of SFS will be online and will remain intact. Financial aid applications will be processed in the same manner and time as in previous years. The process of disbursing financial aid to student accounts will continue.
Federal Financial Aid Updates
We continue to receive updated guidance from the University and US Department of Education. In general, students must participate in online courses and maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive financial aid.
Federal Direct Loans
All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% until September 30, 2020. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.
For all Federal Direct loans, after you graduate you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. Learn more about repaying your loan. To learn more about Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), visit StudentAid.gov/publicservice. To learn more about income-driven repayment, visit StudentAid.gov/idr.
Federal Work Study
The US Department of Education released guidance that gives schools the option to pay students who received a Federal Work-Study Award as part of their financial aid, even if they are unable to continue working due to COVID19. Since most BU work-study students will be unable to work during the remaining weeks of the spring semester, the University will be disbursing the remaining funds to students who were working during the spring semester. In April, BU paid out the remainder of your award in one lump sum.
At this time, if a student’s semester began before Monday 3/16, the VA will continue to disburse the same amounts for the remainder of the semester. However, any semesters that begin after Monday 3/16 will be treated by the VA as online classes regardless of the original on-campus designation. Please direct any VA-related inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Institutional Financial Aid Updates
For BU need-based loans, repayment beings 12 months after you graduate. The Student Loan Interest Freeze only applies, at this time, to loans that are directly held by the Department of Education. Your BU Perkins/HPSL/PCL and Institutional Loans are not held by the Department of Education. Therefore, BU is unable to freeze interest accruing on your loans without applying a deferment. If you are experiencing financial hardship during this emergency, please contact Student Loan Accounting.
Unfortunately, for private loans there aren’t as many options. If you have a private loan and if you can’t afford your payments call your lender and see what they can offer. Click here for more details regarding Massachusetts’ involvement in a multi-state, student loan relief initiative. The initiative involves a 90-day forbearance, interest/fee waiving, prohibiting negative credit reporting and connecting students with resources.
May 8th was the deadline for students to apply for emergency funding under the federal CARES Act to offset unexpected financial problems caused by the campus shutdown and COVID-19 emergency. After May 8th, students are no longer eligible for the CARES emergency funding.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting students in many ways and may be creating concerns about your financial aid. To discuss any financial concerns related to COVID-19 please contact OSFS@bu.edu summarizing your circumstances. SFS will help you navigate the potential options available through Federal, Institutional and Credit-Based student loan programs.
We realize that uncertainty about the future is stressful. It is too early to determine the financial impact on changes in you or your family’s income at this time. These requests will be accepted later in the application cycle. More information regarding this process will be forthcoming on this web page.