College Students' COVID-19 Resource Guide | Scholarship America

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College Students’ COVID-19 Resource Guide

Scholarship America By Scholarship America

We know that this year is a school year like no other. There’s no real precedent for a college experience that’s online for some, in-person for others and constantly changing in response to a global health crisis.

At Scholarship America, we believe in student success – and, beyond scholarships, we want to provide you with some resources to help you prepare and succeed during this uncertain school year.

In Case You Missed It: Scholarship America Resources

In the months since COVID-19 hit the U.S., Scholarship America has been working to keep students informed about scholarships, COVID-19 and the CARES Act.

Voting and Civic Engagement

Voting while in college can be a complicated process – especially during the 2020 election cycle, where absentee and mail-in ballots are expected to play a major role.

Below are some resources to help you know what your voting options are, how to get a ballot and where you can find more information. Be sure to research the candidates and issues to make an informed decision on who you would like to cast your vote for.

  • You can register to vote or check your voter registration status on Vote.Org.
  • If you are voting absentee, Vote.Org also has a great set of resources for you to visit into order to vote in your home area.
  • Every state has its own rules regarding absentee ballots. The New York Times has a very good resource guide that details mailing times by state.

Financial Assistance

The pandemic has affected millions of jobs across the country. But a change in your or your family’s financial situation doesn’t have to mean putting your college career on hold. Here are some options that can keep you on track.

  • If the Expected Family Contribution you reported on your FAFSA has changed due to illness, job loss or any other reason, here’s a guide to requesting more assistance from your school’s financial aid office.
  • The CARES Act distributed $7 billion in emergency funds to colleges, and schools may have other sources of emergency aid to help you cover unexpected costs. NerdWallet has more about your options.
  • To find out specifically about emergency grants at your school, Google “COVID Emergency Grants” plus your school’s name, or contact your financial aid office. Here’s a general roundup of eligibility questions; note that it was published over the summer and situations at specific schools may have changed.
  • The federal government has temporarily suspended student loan repayments, collections and interest charges. In addition, if you’ve received Pell Grant or work-study funds for semesters you couldn’t complete, these will not be counted against your lifetime maximum. See the StudentAid.gov FAQ for more on federal funds.

Mental & Physical Health

Whether this fall semester finds you in a classroom, in your bedroom or on a coffee-shop WiFi network, the level of uncertainty and stress can take a toll. It is important that, through all of this, you take the time to focus on yourself and your well-being. Take moments just for you, take breaks and know that doing all of that is okay.

If You (Or Your Family) Get Sick

Just because COVID-19 is here does not mean colds, flu, allergies and every other sickness has gone away. If you or a loved one needs to access healthcare, there are options for you for you to make sure you take care of your health.

  • Use the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) health center tool to locate treatment in your area. You can find COVID-19 testing sites as well as the health centers who do not conduct COVID-19 testing so you can get other symptoms treated.
  • Paul Shafer, Assistant Professor of Health Law, Policy, and Management at Boston University, wrote an article on “4 things students should know about their health insurance and COVID-19 before heading to college this fall.”

Taking a Break

Sometimes you just need time to yourself (that doesn’t involve your latest binge-watch). You can use the time to learn a skill outside of your classes, play a game or think of something completely off the topic of school or work.

Did we miss anything? Join the discussion on Facebook or Instagram and let us know how you’re keeping healthy, happy and productive!