Resources for students and families during the Coronavirus Outbreak: college planning, financial aid, and more
While Illinois stays home to slow the transmission of the Coronavirus, you can stay on track with college planning, get help with financial aid, and find student loan answers and relief. Here’s a list of resources to help:
- Get one-on-one assistance with the college-going process, including help with how to pay for college, by connecting with one of our Illinois Student Assistance Corps (ISACorps) members.
- Text ISAC’s experts with your college planning and financial aid questions and get answers sent directly to your phone with ISAC College Q&A, isac.org/collegeqa, a free text messaging service.
- Join an ISAC Facebook Live event on college planning and financial aid throughout April and May. Visit our events page or visit us on Facebook@ILStudentAssistance.
- Need additional money for college? Find scholarships by doing a free search on College Greenlight.
- Check out ISAC’s Financial Aid Tips for Students During the Coronavirus Outbreak.
- Explore various colleges remotely using interactive & self-guided virtual campus tours: YouVisit, CampusTours, YOUniversity and CampusReel.
- If you were planning in-person visits to different colleges or universities, note that most are offering virtual campus tours or other online events instead of in-person / on-campus events: UPCOMING VIRTUAL COLLEGE ADMISSION EVENTS
- For high school seniors or transfer students, check out the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) information for changes in college admission events, deposit dates, and more as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
- If you or your family need assistance during the Coronavirus outbreak, the Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA) has compiled a list of student & family assistance resources: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pwlmNFyTlq2hbA1LnUb4yisX7WU7xD9OdJJ7QwfEJMY
- If you are a college student who was working part-time and lost your position due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This includes college students who lost a summer job, had an offer for an internship or other job offer rescinded due to COVID-19, have a family member diagnosed with COVID, adult students who had to leave a position for childcare reasons, and more. To receive PUA, the individual must not be eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Apply by December 2020 to see if you are eligible for backdated benefits from April 2020 and through at least July 2020. For general FAQS, visit https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus/unemployment-insurance#find-state-unemployment-insurance-contacts. See a helpful overview at https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemorad/2020/07/10/how-college-students-can-get-nearly-800-a-week-in-pandemic-unemployment-assistance-backdated-from-april-2020-through-july-2020/#6a501afb695a. For information on how to file for PUA in Illinois, visit https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/pages/learn-about-pua.aspx.
- With in-person classes suspended, if you have questions or concerns about housing during that time, please contact your campus housing/residential life office or your dean of students to ask about accommodations.
- Parents, students, and professionals can access a number of educational resources, including webinars through the office of Federal Student Aid.
- Student loan borrowers: a new law called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides some relief and flexibility for student loan borrowers during the Coronavirus Outbreak. Check out the U.S. Department of Education’s FAQs for more information.
Students or parents with questions about ISAC’s financial aid programs, student loans or other related topics can also contact the ISAC Call Center via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 800.899.ISAC (4722), Monday through Friday from 8 am through 4:30 PM Central Time. Please note that due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, all ISAC Call Centers are operating with limited staff. We respond to voicemails within 1-2 business days and emails within 2-3 business days.
For important State of Illinois news about Coronavirus and resources, including information about economic assistance, FAQs, and prevention, as well as Governor Pritzker’s daily press conferences, visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov.