FAQs for Financial Aid & COVID-19
We understand that many students and parents have questions related to COVID-19 and available financial assistance. We know and understand that you will face challenges in the coming weeks, and we hope to help ease those to the extent possible. Please see below for answers to some of the frequently asked questions we have heard from our UNO Community. These questions will be updated in the coming days and weeks.
I heard that the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will relax certain requirements related to financial aid due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is that accurate?
Please rely on the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding financial aid, student employment, and scholarships. We will use every flexibility to help our students, but those are determined by federal and state offices. All important information will be announced to our students and UNO Community, so please continue to visit our website and check your UNO email accounts often.
If I have an emergency expense related to going to school, will the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office be open and available to help?
All functions of the Financial Aid, Scholarship, and Veterans Services Offices will remain intact. Although our staff is working remotely, you may still contact them through their email accounts listed on our website. If you have a unique expense related directly to COVID-19, contact your financial aid counselor for a review of your remaining aid options. Emergency funds are limited at this time. New funding provided by the federal or state government will be announced to our student population, so please be vigilant in reviewing our website for updated information and your UNO email accounts.
If I am not able to continue my student employment by working remotely, are there options to replace lost earnings?
Yes. You must first confirm with your supervisor that you are unable to work remotely. Your supervisor will then submit your name to our office (email@example.com). We will then review your award options on a case-by-case basis, to include available federal student loans. Our office will review all students requesting assistance for gift aid options first, however, this type of funding is limited. Most students have access to interest-free loans, which are a better choice than credit card debt or private education loans.
My verification process has not been completed for the spring semester. May I still submit my paperwork for completion?
Yes. Please follow the instructions given to you for the Verification Process. All of our operations, including the awarding process, will continue as usual. If you or your parent(s) need assistance in completing this process, please contact your financial aid counselor through email.
Will payment of financial aid and scholarships continue throughout the spring?
Yes. All functions of the offices will remain intact. The process of paying aid to student accounts will continue. If you have not already done so, it is imperative that you set up Direct Deposit to receive any eligible excessive refund amounts as quickly as possible. You may do so online by following these directions:
Sign into Webstar, main menu, self-service, campus finances, self-service direct deposit. You will need to enter your banking routing number and your account number. Please double check these numbers. Students without a direct deposit will be cut a check, but this will not be mailed out until after normal operations commence.
If I am unable to complete the semester, will I have to return or repay funds I have received for this semester?
If a student does not successfully complete a semester in which (s)he received federal funding, including federal loans, the student may have to return a portion of the funds. The amount that has to be returned, if any, is determined by the student’s last day of attendance or participation in his or her class. This review process is called Return of Title IV. If it is determined that a student owes funds due withdrawing or unofficially withdrawing (ceased attendance or participation in classes), the student’s aid package will be adjusted at the end of the term, and the student will be notified.
How do I reach the Veterans Services Coordinator (VSC) during the COVID-19 outbreak?
You may contact the VSC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to include your UNO student id number, if you are a current student.
What options are available if I cannot make a student loan payment due to circumstances related to COVID-19?
All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.
All federal student loan servicers will grant an administrative forbearance to any borrower with a federally held loan who requests one. The forbearance will be in effect for a period of at least 60 days, beginning on March 13, 2020. To request this forbearance, borrowers should contact their loan servicer online or by phone. The Dept. of Education (DoE) has also authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower more than 31 days delinquent as of March 13, 2020, or who becomes more than 31 days delinquent, essentially giving borrowers a safety net during the national emergency.
Some borrowers may want to continue making payments, like those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or those enrolled in a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment. For borrowers continuing to make payments, the full amount of their payment will be applied to the principal amount of their loan once all interest accrued prior to the president's March 13 announcement is paid. The DoE will work closely with Congress to ensure all student borrowers, including those in income driven repayment plans, receive needed support during this emergency.
Any borrower who has experienced a change in income can contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment.
If I resign from UNO this spring term due to the COVID-19, am I still allowed to work remotely?
If a currently working student worker/employee (Federal or Budget) resign from the University of New Orleans for spring 2020, he/she becomes ineligible for employment. The student’s supervisor will be required to submit (via SharePoint) the proper paperwork to the Office of Enrollment Services to terminate the student’s employment.
Federal Work study undergraduate students must be enrolled for 6 credit hours or more for this semester to continue working to earn their remaining Work study funds.
Federal Work study graduate students must be enrolled for 5 credit hours or more for this semester to continue working to earn their remaining Work study funds.
For the purpose of BUDGET EMPLOYMENT, if a student drops below half time status(undergraduate students 6 credit hours and graduate students 5 credit hours)for this semester, but is still enrolled, he/she may
continue to work for the department.
How does the grading policy for Spring 2020 affect my financial aid and scholarships?
One of the options given to students is to take an Incomplete (“I”) in a course. If you take an incomplete there is a chance your federal aid and scholarship(s) may be affected. Incomplete grades are generally treated as a non-passing grade. Should you choose to take an incomplete, it will need to be resolved in a timely manner to prevent a possible delay of your award being posted for Fall. Once the grade has been resolved please reach out to the financial aid office to inform us of your grade change (grade change must be reflected in Webstar). Should you decide to attend summer school, taking an incomplete may affect your summer financial aid package if the incomplete grade is not resolved before summer tuition and fees are due.
*One of the other options students were given is to repeat courses that earned a grade of a “D” or "F" and have the subsequent grade used in calculating the grade point average. Please note the Department of Education does not permit us to forgive repeated courses. Any course you retake will be counted towards your maximum timeframe limit. Remember undergraduates earning their first bachelor's degree must earn their first degree within 180 attempted hours and post-bacc students must earn their second degree within 225 attempted hours.
How will my TOPS be impacted by if I had to resign or did not meet the other maintenance requirements to keep my TOPS?
Please review all important updates for TOPS here.