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COVID-19 & Financial Aid FAQs

Q. Is the Financial Aid Office still open?

To help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, our staff will only will be available by phone and email starting Monday, March 30. For time-senstive or account-specific questions, we recommend calling our helpdesk at (435) 797-0173 Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with your securityphrase or delegate credentials. You may also contact us at financialaid@usu.edu for general questions. We may also be able to help you remotely through WebEX. Thank you for your patience while we all do our part to social distance and flatten the curve. 

Q. Can I still schedule an appointment with my financial aid counselor?

Yes! Our counselors are happy to answer any questions. We are currently taking phone appointments and may be able to help you over WebEx.

Q. What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from a class?

To avoid paying back any federal grants, our staff will check your Canvas records to verify that you participated academically in the course you withdrew from. If your course doesn't use Canvas, we will try to contact your instructor. You may also be able to document that you participated academically in your course to avoid repayment. We have until the end of summer semester to verify participation.

If you are on financial aid warning or probation, dropping a class may result in suspension of financial aid for spring semester. Please check with the Financial Aid Office if you are on warning or probation.

Dropping or withdrawing from classes will affect your academic progress, and you will receive a W "grade" for each withdrawn class on your transcript. Getting too many W's on your transcript could result in financial aid warning. Please work closely with your instructors to review all of your options.

Dropping below half-time enrollment (6 credits) may cause older loans to enter repayment immediately (if you have used up your six-month grace period).

If you drop or fail all of your classes this semester, you may be required to repay some of your financial aid. More information here.

Q. I need to stop attending this term, what do I do about my financial aid?

To drop all of your classes this term, you should visit https://www.usu.edu/sots/loa to get started. Our office will then determine how much financial aid you need to return and notify you by mail. For federal Pell grants, you may need to document that you participated academically in your classes. This may reduce how much money has to be returned.

Please note that withdrawing from classes will affect your satisfactory academic progress towards graduation and you may be required to return some of your federal aid. However, dropping courses may be in your overall best interest. We recommend consulting with your financial aid counselor about your options.

Dropping below half-time enrollment (6 credits) may cause older loans to go into repayment immediately (if you have used up your six-month grace period).

Q. Should I drop all my classes?

It depends. If you can continue online, we recommend finishing and passing your classes. Even if you can only remain in one or two classes online, you may be able to avoid financial aid repayment or financial aid warning/suspension. Please work closely with your instructors to review all of your options before withdrawing from Spring semester 2020.

Q. What happens if I fail a class?

To avoid paying back any federal grants, our staff will check your Canvas records to verify that you participated academically in the course you received an "F" grade in. If your course doesn't use Canvas, we will try to contact your instructor. You may also be able to document that you participated academically in your course to avoid repayment. We have until the end of the summer semester to verify participation in failed classes.

If you are on financial aid warning or probation, failing a class may result in suspension of financial aid for spring semester. Please check with the financial aid office if you are on warning or probation. Please work closely with your instructors to review all of your options.

If you drop or fail all of your classes this semester, you may be required to repay some of your financial aid. More information here.

Q. How do I make sure I don't lose my financial aid?

To keep your aid, you must meet the total institution GPA and credit requirements. Review USU Financial Aid's updated Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Q. My spring semester study abroad was just canceled. What happens to my aid?

USU Global Engagement is working with students to get them into other credits this semester. Please contact their office if you have any concerns, (435) 797-1124. If you cannot register for additional credits, you may have to return your federal aid.

Q. What would happen if I change all my classes to Pass/Fail?

It depends. If you are on warning or probation, changing all or some of your classes to Pass/Fail could prevent you from getting back into good standing or even result in suspension if there is no grade point average (GPA). We recommend consulting with your financial aid counselor about your options.

Q. What did President Trump say about my student loan interest? 

In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, President Trump announced that zero interest would accrue on student loans held by federal government agencies for at least 60 days beginning on March 13, 2020.

Q. What about Forbearance for Students, Borrowers, and Parents

You may be able to temporarily stop making your payments. To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. Read theses borrower Q&As to learn more, and contact your loan servicer to find out your specific options. Please note that some FFEL Program loans are owned by commercial lenders, and some Perkins Loans are owned by the institution you attended. These loans are not eligible for this benefit at this time.

All Federal Student Loans Held by the Federal Government—Zero Interest and Suspension of Payments
The CARES Act extended the interest reprieve and implemented an automatic forbearance until September 30, 2020, for any borrower with a student loan held by the Department.

All Federal Student Loans Not Held by the Federal Government—Zero Interest and Suspension of Payments
Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program lenders and institutions who hold Perkins loans may provide the same zero interest and cessation of payments benefits to the loans they hold on a voluntary basis. Borrowers of these loans should contact their servicer (or the institution if paying the institution directly) for additional information.

More information on forbearance

Other frequently asked questions:

Updated 04/06/2020