Last updated March 5, 2021 at 11:13 a.m.
What if I am now experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 closures?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on 02/26/21 a program to help those struggling to pay for internet amid the pandemic, stating that a household is eligible to receive the benefit if one member of the household received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year, among other possible criteria for eligibility. Under the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, eligible households can receive up to $50 per month to help pay for broadband internet service. The program has been authorized by the FCC, but the start date has not yet been established. The FCC is working to make the benefit available as quickly as possible. Please continue to check this page for program updates. Written or electronic confirmation from a student’s school that the individual is a Pell Grant recipient will serve as verification for the program, or a student’s financial aid award letter documenting the amount of their Pell Grant award received for the current year. A copy of a student’s paid invoice that shows the student’s receipt of a Pell Grant during the current award year or a copy of the student’s Student Aid Report will all serve as proper documentation, according to the notice from the FCC. Students may use this link: https://mobap.formstack.com/workflows/government_benefit_eligibility to access a form to request proof of eligibility, or they can access their financial aid award or billing statement through their myMBU. Students can access their Student Aid Report by signing into their FAFSA.
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was expanded as part of the sweeping relief package to allow college students to more easily access the program, temporarily removing work and eligibility requirements for students — a change that will be in place for the duration of the public health emergency due to the coronavirus.
The United Way is maintaining a webpage specifically for those who are affected and need immediate help with finding food, paying bills, or other essential services.
You can find the foodbank nearest you on FeedingAmerica.org.
The federal government is keeping a list of unemployment benefits, healthcare benefits, small business loans, and other resources at https://www.benefits.gov/help/faq/Coronavirus-resources .
Students are always encouraged to seek out additional scholarship opportunities. We list outside scholarships here on our website.
Students who are Missouri residents may want to investigate the state’s emergency funding programs, including the Director’s Choice Scholarship. Those resources are listed here.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development has also issued updated guidance for A+ Eligibility to allow temporary exceptions to some policy requirements.
Please see here for a list of broadband providers in Missouri and how they are adjusting charges, waiving fees, and providing other assistance with internet access.
The federal Department of Education is maintaining a page specific to questions and concerns from parents and students at this link.
Financial aid administrators (FAAs) have statutory authority to use professional judgment to make adjustments on a case-by-case basis to the cost of attendance or to the data elements used in calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA to reflect a student’s special circumstances. The use of professional judgment where students and/or their families have been affected by COVID-19 is permitted, such as in the case where an employer closes for a period of time as a result of COVID-19. In making professional judgment determinations, the school must obtain documentation that substantiates the reason for any adjustment on a case-by-case basis. Loss of investments due to stock market fluctuations are not considered. Contact the financial aid office for more information.
What if I have questions or concerns about my student loans?
Student loan servicers and lending agencies may be providing additional help and resources. You can find your loan servicer by visiting the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS for Students) or by following the directions on this page maintained by the Department of Education. Also, please visit this page frequently for updates as we receive them.
A borrower who has experienced a change in income can always contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment.
Where can I find additional information specific to this situation?
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is making all their financial aid information related to coronavirus available to the public at this webpage.