In 2015, the Ohio State University Health Center found that 70% of students across the country were reporting financial stress. That was before the COWID 19 pandemic, which left 22 million Americans unemployed.
The Pitts Admissions and Financial Aid Service is currently available remotely to provide advice and financial support to students who are in financial difficulties due to the pandemic and do not know how to pay for their education. Molly Swagler, Executive Director of the applicant services, said students can contact the office at 412-624-7488 or by email at [email protected] to discuss their specific situation.
If a student or family is in trouble because of issues related to the pandemic, they should contact the financial emergency service, Schwagler said. When students contact the financial aid department to discuss their specific needs with advisors, the advisors do their best to help them.
Randy McCready, executive director of financial aid, said the university expects a growing demand for financial aid this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He added that he hopes the $21.3 million Pitt will receive as part of the $2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus rescue package from the federal government will help students. At the beginning of March, Pitt already agreed to continue to pay the salaries of student assistants and teachers according to their established work schedules, as well as 173 student assistants dismissed by the contractor of Sodexo, who works in the canteen of Pitt, while retaining a scholarship.
The federal government included additional support for colleges and universities in the CARES legislation, McCready said. We hope this will help new and existing students to apply for financial support for next year.
Chancellor Patrick Gallagher told a Senate session last Thursday that at least half of the $21.3 million will be used to provide emergency aid to students. Gallagher said that Pitt had not received clear instructions about the money, but the university hopes to announce the details of the application process this week.
Gallagher said the only guidance Pitt got was to maximize the number of people receiving help at the same time and make sure the students who need it most get the most help.
The advice we’ve been given is aimed at maximising the help we can offer to those who need it most, but at the same time expanding it as much as possible, Mr Gallagher said. It’s a bit contradictory, but we’ll try to find a balance.
During the meeting, Mr Gallagher also discussed the possibility of extending financial support rather than offering a discount on training.
If the needs of the families of those who come here are much worse, perhaps we should increase the financial support, said Gallagher. As in most schools, we tend not to offer lesson discounts.
But Mr. Gallagher said this issue is being discussed at the national level, not just in Pitt.
We have tried to look at the issue of financial support and to ensure that we meet the needs created by these unusual circumstances by trying to strengthen them, said Mr Gallagher. However, this is an important national dialogue. There’s a lawsuit going on.
Mr Gallagher said that many universities do not have the ability to offer higher packages with financial support and education discounts at the same time. Pitt has already lost 30 to 40 million dollars. The United States of America also received about $10 million in response to the pandemic.
It would be a great historical shock to burn this candle at both ends, Gallagher said. There’s just no way to support them.
Pitt has also established the Student Emergency Fund through a joint effort of the Office of Charities and Alumni Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs. The fund makes it possible for students, graduates and professional students who need emergency assistance to apply for a scholarship from the fund to cover these expenses. The maximum scholarship per student is $600 and the approved stipends are paid via PittPay.
According to the fund’s website, the SBB will award scholarships to students to cover expenses such as medical needs, sudden loss of housing, food insecurity, late energy bills and unexpected transport. Funds Management does not authorize the provision of grants to cover expenses such as tuition fees, funds to cover lost or stolen items, or insignificant personal accounts such as credit card and telephone bills.
Mr McCready stated that the procedure for applying for federal funding is the same as in previous years. Students can apply for free student assistance from the federal government and university advisors can decide whether a student is eligible for assistance.
FAFSA information is the information that financial advisors use to identify need-based assistance that goes beyond what is available to students through federal and state scholarships, McCready said. For example, Pitt Success Pell Match is Pitt Success Pell Match is Pell delivers dollars for dollars.
Mr McCready indicated that the deadline for applications to the FAFSA is 30 days. June will probably stay the same. The application was opened last October and students must use Pitt’s federal student code, 008815, to forward the results to the Financial Aid Service.
The FFAFA determines the expected family contribution, taking into account income, wealth, taxes paid, household size, household members going to university, dependency status and other variables. At Pitt, financial support in the form of scholarships, grants, subsidised loans and vocational training is provided to meet demonstrable financial needs.
However, the family contribution provided for may be adjusted in the event of special circumstances such as the death, incapacity for work or unemployment of an employee, substantial non-refundable medical expenses paid by a dependent family member and sometimes the divorce or separation of the parents.
McCready said that students should consult with a financial advisor to determine whether they can benefit from adjustments in the event of a coronavirus pandemic.
At the University of Pittsburgh, there is a process that allows students to apply for additional funding due to special conditions, McCready said. The student works together with a personal financial support advisor to determine the best approach.