Additional federal coronavirus relief aid may be available to eligible students:
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a federal initiative to provide qualifying households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also provides a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households.
There are a number of ways to qualify for discounted broadband service, including if you receive a Federal Pell Grant. For more information and a full list of eligibility criteria, click here. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will begin accepting applications starting May 12, 2021.
Eligible households will apply through participating broadband providers or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Please check the USAC’s website, https://getemergencybroadband.org/ regularly for the latest information on the enrollment process.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Expansion
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has expanded as part of the recently approved federal relief package. This expansion may allow College and Graduate students to more easily access SNAP benefits, as it temporarily removes the work and eligibility requirements for students. These new flexibilities will be in place for the duration of the public health emergency due to the coronavirus.
These temporarily expanded SNAP eligibility requirements include students enrolled at least half-time, who either:
1.) Are eligible to participate in Federal Work-Study (FWS) during the regular school year or;
2.) Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year
You can determine your FWS eligibility by reviewing your Financial Aid Award. A student’s EFC can be found on your SAR Report. For more information on the expanded eligibility requirements for students to receive SNAP benefits, please click here.
To receive SNAP benefits, you must apply in the state in which you currently live and meet certain requirements. For additional information about SNAP in your state, to file an application for SNAP benefits, or to get information about how these eligibility rules apply to your household’s circumstances, you will need to contact your local SNAP office. Office contact information can be found here.
COVID-19 and Student Loans
(Scroll down for College and Graduate School Financial Aid FAQ's)
I currently have federal student loans in repayment. Am I required to continue making payments on these loans?
Yes. The pause on federal loan repayment has ended and payments on loans owned by the federal government have resumed. You will be contacted by your loan servicer with information on resuming payment. You can find out more about the rewumption of student loan payements, as well as if a different payment plan will benefit you, here.
Please note, Perkins Loans awarded by the University of Chicago are not owned by the Department of Education and have resumed monthly repayment requirements. For more information on repayment of Perkins Loans administered by the University, contact the Office of the Bursar.
Do any of the recent federal student loan changes apply to private student loans?
No, currently the above-mentioned loan changes are only applicable to federal student loans. Individual private loan servicers may be offering borrowers assistance during this time. If you have questions or concerns about your private student loan payments, you will need to contact your private student loan servicer for possible options.
UPDATE 5/4/2020: The state of Illinois announced on 4/21/20 that Illinois residents with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) or private student loans, who are struggling to make their payments due to COVID-19, may be eligible for expanded loan relief options. Possible options may include a minimum of 90 days of forbearance, waiving late payment fees, or enrollment in other borrower assistance programs. If you are a borrower in need of assistance you must immediately contact your private student loan servicer to identify the options that are available for your circumstances. For more details on this program, please click here.
College Financial Aid FAQ's
My family's financial situation has changed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can I appeal for additional financial aid?
The University understands that the current global pandemic is affecting families financially. You can appeal for additional financial aid if your family has experienced a job loss, reduction of income or loss of business income as a result of the COVID-19 situation. We encourage you to follow the instructions listed on the Special Circumstances form and submit it to our office along with all relevant documentation. We will review your appeal and determine if any changes can be made to your financial aid award. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee an increase in financial aid.
Are there any additional funding options if I am experiencing an unexpected financial issue
Please visit: https://bursar.uchicago.edu/financial-wellness/emergency-assistance-programs for information on emergency funding options.
Graduate School Financial Aid FAQ's
I have emergency expenses that I cannot cover with my upcoming living expense refund.
If you experience emergencies that impact your finances please visit: https://bursar.uchicago.edu/financial-wellness/emergency-assistance-programs for more information on emergency funding options.