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Financial resources for students

How to connect Roadrunners with $7.2 million in federal funds, fraud prevention and more in this update from Financial Aid.

By Cory Phare

April 29, 2020

Haley KlineThe $2 trillion CARES Act COVID-19 relief package from the federal government is slated to include $14 million for Metropolitan State University of Denver, $7.2 million of which is required for direct distribution to students, said Haley Kline, initiatives manager with the University’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

“We’re currently working on the back end to get everything in place so that when we get the green light, we’re able to equitably distribute funds for the highest possible impact,” Kline said. “Additionally, the Department of Education announced that these funds can only go to Title IV-eligible recipients who were enrolled in at least one in-person class, so students must complete a 2019-20 FAFSA to be considered for distribution.”

Students can complete a FAFSA at or in the myStudentAid app.

The high-profile relief package has brought out the fraudsters, too. Within minutes of the bill’s passage, solicitors were popping up to take advantage of the automatic suspension of most federal student-loan payments through Sept. 30, Kline noted. Information on fraud awareness is at the office’s COVID-19 Resources FAQ.

“We are going to be very deliberate with our communications to students about accessing emergency relief dollars,” Kline added. “When in doubt, a student can always check the validity of an Office of Financial Aid communication by calling us directly. We expect there will be some sort of an acceptance process required of students to acknowledge financial hardships due to COVID-19, so students should expect to receive that information from us via email.”

Other items Kline noted included:

  • Promoting student awareness of the income appeal process, where a documented loss of income warrants a FAFSA correction and potential eligibility for more need-based aid, such as the Pell Grant.
  • The Ready to Run Grant offers $500 to 500 students who have enrolled by Thursday in six or more hours for the fall semester.
  • In addition to providing an automatic 0% interest rate and suspension of payments on Federal Direct Loans through Sept. 30, the CARES Act ensures that student-loan borrowers enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will not lose credit for any qualifying payments they would’ve made during the same time.
  • The office is finalizing the rollout of fillable PDFs and the LiquidFiles submission process, meaning students will now be able to complete, sign and submit forms 100% digitally – including smartphone compatibility.
  • The Department of Education has provided some flexibility to waive in-person requirements for receiving certain documentation, such as citizenship documentation, and a temporary suspension of notary requirements on other federally required forms.
  • Since each situation is unique, students should contact Financial Aid before dropping classes to explore potential resources and unforeseen impact.

Topics: Academics, Financial Aid, Funding, Policy, Student Success

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