A recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse shows that enrollment at community colleges across the country has dropped 10% from fall 2019 to fall 2020.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on college and university plans for prospective students of all ages. Choosing to go to college for two or four years can be one of the biggest financial investments of your life, especially during a time of high national unemployment and financial difficulties.
The current health crisis, however, is to blame for the smaller number of students entering colleges or universities. A recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse shows that enrollment at community colleges across the country fell 10% from fall 2019 to fall 2020. The report also shows that four-year colleges and universities experienced only slight declines, exceeding many predictions that the result would be worse.
Even in favorable economic times, many university students struggle to stay in school while dealing with the demands of supporting and feeding families, paying rent and covering tuition. Jessica Brown is a financial aid specialist, author of “How to pay for college when you’re broke, “and founder of”College Gurl. “She recommends completing the”Free application for Federal Student Aid“as well as resort to neglected strategies in the community to pay for college.
“If you belong to a church, you can consider checking whether the church offers financial support for students or scholarships,” said Brown. “If your parents have affiliations with brotherhoods and fraternities, you may want to check whether the organizations offer financial assistance or programs. In addition, many high schools have scholarships given by alumni. Many parents also have careers where their jobs provide monthly benefits. So, you may also want to consider having your parents follow up with the human resources department to see if these opportunities are available. “
After submitting the FAFSA form, you can apply for additional grants, scholarships, study and work programs, or personal loans for students. You can also get a part-time job, if possible, to help cover minor or unexpected expenses.
Data from Federal Reserve shows that there are 45 million borrowers who collectively I owe more than 1.7 trillion in student loans. In response to the debt mountain and the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers are giving most federal student loan borrowers additional space to pay the bills.
On March 20, 2020, the Federal Student Aid office began providing temporary relief for federal student loans. This includes suspending loan payments, interrupting the collection of non-performing loans and offering zero percent interest rates on student loans.
Seven days later, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, became the law to continue providing relief measures for federal loans to students. The COVID-19 emergency relief measure was originally set to expire in September, but the Trump administration extended it until January 31.
Then, on his first day in office, President Joe Biden extended the benefit until September 30, 2021. But, if his budget permits, Brown recommends making monthly payments on his federal student loans to obtain huge financial benefits in the future.
“If you have the financial stability to currently pay off your student loans, I strongly suggest you do so,” said Brown. “In this way, you can ensure that your credit improves so that you can guarantee all the luxuries of life, such as a car, a house and all the other things you may want or need to achieve financial success.”
Brown also suggests that you make monthly student loan payments, although it is not necessary at the moment, to help develop financial discipline and manage your money properly. To learn more about paying for college or paying off student loan debt, visit the Gurl college website.