JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Resources for students and families during the Coronavirus Outbreak: college planning, financial aid, and more

FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. Find out more at: https://www.fcc.gov

The pandemic has created numerous challenges and required significant—if temporary—changes to education in Illinois, from kindergarten through postsecondary education. But you can still 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.
  • Attend an online financial aid application completion event or other workshop for assistance with college planning and financial aid.
  • 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.
  • Need additional money for college? Find scholarships by doing a free search at Cappex.
  • Check out ISAC’s Financial Aid Tips for Students During the Coronavirus Outbreak.
  • Explore various colleges remotely using interactive & self-guided virtual campus toursYouVisit, 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
  • 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. For general FAQS, visit https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus/unemployment-insurance#find-state-unemployment-insurance-contacts.
  • If you have questions or concerns about changes in student housing related to the pandemic, 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: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and subsequent extentions provide some relief and flexibility for student loan borrowers during the Coronavirus Outbreak. See https://www.isac.org/COVID-19/student-loan-repayment.html and 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 isac.studentservices@illinois.gov 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, visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov.

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