Do Graduate Students Qualify for Emergency Financial Aid Grants?

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Mark Kantrowitz

By Mark Kantrowitz

April 27, 2020

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. During our webinar about the Impact of Coronavirus on Paying for College, participants asked dozens of questions. Do graduate students qualify for emergency financial aid?

Use our Financial Aid Calculator to estimate your expected family contribution (EFC) and financial need based on student and parent income and assets, family size, number of children in college, age of the older parent and the student’s dependency status.

Check out our Complete Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA.

Do grad students qualify for emergency financial aid grants to students under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)?

Yes. The statutory language referred to “students” and did not limit it to just undergraduate students. Also, the amount of funding a college receives depends not just on Federal Pell Grant recipients, but also non-recipients, including undergraduate and graduate students. Some graduate-only colleges are receiving HEERF money.

It is up to each college to decide how to distribute the money. Most colleges will provide emergency financial aid grants to both undergraduate and graduate students.

If a student has needs related to the coronavirus pandemic, tell the college’s financial aid office and the graduate school’s office that you need help. They will do their best to help you.

Despite the funding from the CARES Act, colleges are feeling a lot of financial pressure. In addition to the cost of spring term refunds, most colleges will experience a 10% to 20% decrease in tuition revenue in the fall because new international students will not be able to enroll and because domestic students might stay closer to home or take a gap year or leave of absence. Public colleges may experience cuts in state support because of a decline in state tax revenue. College endowments are affected by stock market losses. Gift giving is also down.

A good place to start:

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