Students Need Emergency Federal Aid in the face of COVID-19

Today’s students rely on college campuses for much more than classes – they rely on institutions for access to food, housing, work-study wages, and more.

St. Louis Graduates joins Higher Learning Advocates and 50 other organizations across the country in urging Congress to support students through emergency legislation.

We urge Congress to include the following in their COVID-19 package:

  • Allow for direct emergency funds to cover basic needs. Many students struggled to cover costs for food, housing, transportation, and child care, even before the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent campus closures. Congress should consider ways to support students through emergency aid, such as allowing institutions to directly provide resources to students.
  • Allow for flexibility with the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Usage. Students and administrators have little clarity on how suspension of classes will affect the number of semesters they are eligible to receive a Pell Grant. Congress should make clear that usage of Pell in any semester where a student is impacted by COVID-19 should not count toward a student’s lifetime limits.
  • Ensure no penalty to a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress status. Students’ class and instruction time will likely dip over the next few weeks or months. Congress should consider allowing for flexibility in students’ ability to access Title IV if they dip below satisfactory academic progress requirements.

Read the full letter here.

Join us in supporting students by contacting your Congressional representatives. Look up contact information through the League of Women Voters.