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Financial Aid & COVID-19

The Virginia Tech Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid provides the following FAQ to provide information to current and prospective students about financial aid as it relates to the impact of COVID-19.

Currently, the best way to contact the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid is to email us at finaid@vt.edu. Our ability to respond to phone inquiries is limited at this time due to reduced on site staffing. We are working very hard to respond to your email inquiries as quickly as possible.

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic may have a financial impact on our current students and families. The full financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown. Please review the questions and answers on this page to learn about potential options.

Financial aid appeals for significant financial hardship attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic are available on an individual basis. Please visit our Appeals page for more information.

By its very nature, financial aid is case-by-case, so it depends. Please email us with your contact information, including a phone number, at finaid@vt.edu with a description of your situation, and we will work with you to see what we can do.

The full financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown. We understand that families will be affected in different ways. Financial aid appeals for significant financial hardship attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic may be submitted after June 2, 2020. Please visit our Appeals page for more information. 

Additionally, newly admitted students who have not submitted a FAFSA should consider doing so. FAFSA completion is the first step in reviewing a student's eligibility for Federal Student Aid grant and loan programs and parent eligiblity for the federal Parent PLUS Loan.

May I still work my FWS job?
Undergraduate and graduate students who have remained in Blacksburg or other campus locations and are healthy and want to work, may work at the discretion of their supervisor and based on the work of the department that needs to be done. Students should not return to campus in order to work in their undergraduate or graduate student job.

Will I be paid my FWS wages if I do not return to campus?
Yes, if you are unable to return to campus you may still earn FWS wages. Your future FWS wages will be calculated based on the average hours worked on a weekly basis since the start of spring term. If your calculated average is less than 2 hours then you will not receive FWS wages. All calculated averages will be rounded to the nearest hour.

How often will I be paid?
Payroll dates will remain unchanged from the current wage payroll calendar.  

Can I exceed my current award amount?
No. FWS payments will not exceed current spring term award amounts. For example, if your spring FWS award is $1,000 and you’ve already earned $500 then any future payments cannot exceed $500.  

If I am working my FWS position on campus will I still receive the average calculated amount?
No. You will receive payment for actual hours worked if you continue to work in your FWS position.

What if I chose to remain on campus and work but this changes in the future?
If a change in your FWS employment occurs, please reach out to our office by email, finaid@vt.edu

Having eligibility to increase an education loan depends on whether or not you borrowed up to your current loan limit for the academic year. You may email us at finaid@vt.edu by May 1, 2020 to inquire if you have remaining eligiblity.

Yes.

For the Federal Direct Student Subsidized and Unsibsidized Loans, please email us at finaid@vt.edu. We will review your eligibility and post your student loan to your Virginia Tech once, if eligible. For the Federal Direct Parent and Graduate Plus Loans, you will need to complete the PLUS application and Master Promissory Note at studentloans.gov by May 1, 2020, so that we may post the loan before the semester ends. All federal education loans require completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is not too late to complete and submit your FAFSA for the current academic year, 2019-2020.

For alternative education loans we offer a search tool, FastChoice, to assist you. You may find more information about student and parent loans on our loan page.

You certainly may file a 2019-2020 FAFSA. We will award you the types of federal aid for which you are eligible.

This process takes time and may involve additional steps after submitting the FAFSA. So, please know that this is not necessarily a speedy means of receiving financial assistance to help with immediate financial hardships. 

Please note that  you must file a FAFSA to apply for the Parent PLUS Loan. 

The Federal Student Aid website and your loan servicer are the best sources for information about loan repayment and interest relief for federal education loans.

The new grade options have different effects on your Satisfactory Academic Progress contract depending upon the reason you are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. We describe each situation below.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for GPA.

If you have a Satisfactory Academic Progress contract due to GPA requirements, transitioning a class or classes to Pass/Fail, CC, CD, or CN, will not help you bring your GPA back into compliance because these grades will not calculate in your GPA. Further, these options may not allow you to pass your current semester contract because the minimum GPA requirement of your contract. Remember, in order to be eligible to receive Federal, State, Intuitional Aid, or Loans you must meet a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

We will review your contract at the end of the semester after grades post. If you choose the new grading option and earn P, CC, or CD grades, we will extend your contract through the fall 2020 semester with updated requirements. If you earn and F or CN grade you will not pass your contract, but you may appeal.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for 67% Pace of Progress

If you have a Satisfactory Academic Progress contract due to not meeting 67% (passing 67% or better of all attempted classes), transitioning a class or classes to Pass/Fail, CC, CD, will allow you to meet your contract criteria and as you are getting credit for those courses as long as you pass the classes. A CN grade does not help you meet your contract criteria or get back into compliance, as you will earn no credits if you earn this grade.

We will review your contract at the end of the semester after grades post. If you choose the new grading option and earn P, CC, or CD grades, we will extend your contract through the fall 2020 semester. If you earn and F or CN grade you will not pass your contract, but you may appeal.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Maximum Timeframe

If you have a Satisfactory Academic Progress contract due to approaching 150% of your degree requirements, transitioning a class or classes to Pass/Fail, CC, CD, will allow you to meet your contract criteria and as you will earn credit for those courses as long as you pass the classes. A CN grade does not help you meet your contract criteria, as you will earn no credits if you earn this grade.

We will review your contract at the end of the semester after grades post. If you choose the new grading option and earn P, CC, or CD grades, we will extend your contract through the fall 2020 semester. If you earn and F or CN grade you will not pass your contract, but you may appeal. 

On May 6, we began posting CARES Act emergency relief funds to student accounts in groups. Please note that only students enrolled in the spring 2020 semester who have continued enrollment through the semester and who were eligible for Title IV Federal Student Aid (Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Work Study) are eligible for the funds. If you received a Pell Grant or accepted your subsidized loan on or before April 15, you are eligible and will receive an email from our office.  Students who did not complete a FAFSA are not eligible for relief funds from the CARES Act. The Dean of Students is no longer accepting CARES Act emergency relief fund applications.

These are federal funds, and the US Department of Education states that the student portion of the CARES Act allotment to institutions of higher education is "to provide students with emergency financial aid grants to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus."

We understand that the current situation may make it difficult for students to meet all criteria to maintain renewable scholarships for the next academic year. Students with renewable scholarships administered by our office who do not meet their renewal requirements as a result of disruptions caused by the pandemic will have the opportunity to explain their circumstances and provide any relevant documentation in support. We will reach out to those students who did not meet renewal criteria after the spring term has ended. If you have a scholarship awarded by a college or department, you should contact the respective office to inquire about how they will handle scholarship renewal eligibility.

Please understand that we may not have complete answers for you at this time. As we work through details, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We will do our level best to work with you.