COVID-19 Questions | Financial Aid
The Financial Aid Office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 am-1 pm and 2 pm-5 pm. The office is physically closed on Wednesdays for cleaning, but all staff are working remotely and can be reached by email or phone. If you need assistance, the easiest way to communicate is emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also email your financial aid counselor directly; you can find your counselor's contact information via your Boxer Online account.
I have an emergency situation right now. Does Pacific have any funds that can help?
There are two funds that can help currently enrolled Pacific students with educational expenses: the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II), authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and the Student Emergency Fund, established by numerous donors to aid students with emergency expenses. These programs have different eligibility criteria; please read through the descriptions to see which resource best meets your current circumstances.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) is funded by the federal government and provides U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents with financial aid grants, which can be used for any component of the student's Cost of Attendance or emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care, or child care. Students must demonstrate exceptional need, as determined by the information provided on the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Application deadline is February 28th, 2021. Distribution of funds will begin after March 1st, 2021. If surplus funds remain after the February 28th deadline, the application will reopen on April 1st, 2021.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Application: Application Closed.
The Student Emergency Fund assists students during a time of crisis where a clear need exists. This fund supplements existing financial resources to help students who are unable to meet immediate and essential expenses because of a temporary hardship caused by loss of a job or benefit, accident, illness, death of a family member, fire damage or a need for temporary housing. Funds do not need to be repaid.
Students may apply for funds when they have exhausted all other resources. This funding is not intended to replace existing financial aid and does not become part of an ongoing financial aid package. The spirit of this funding is primarily to support emergency circumstances and priority is given to students in the greatest financial need. Funding is usually limited to under $500. Award amounts will vary depending on the nature of the emergency, the individual circumstances, and the actual needs of the student affected by the emergency. Please note, the University may not be able to fulfill all requests.
The Student Emergency Fund helps with short-term financial emergencies and is designed to minimize immediate critical needs of students caused by acute financial stress, such as (but not limited to):
- Assistance with food, child care, rent, or utilities
- Emergency or temporary housing
- Replacement of personal belongings or other essential needs not covered by insurance
- Medications or costs related to medical care not covered by insurance
- Transportation costs
- Safety related expenses due to acts of violence or other victimization (shelter, changing locks, etc.)
- Books, tuition, fees, or other school related expenses
Pacific University students enrolled at least half-time are eligible to apply. Funds are limited; in order to qualify, you must demonstrate you have a financial emergency that impacts your ability to succeed at Pacific. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis; submission of an application does not mean you will be awarded.
Note: Student Emergency Funds meet the federal definition of estimated financial assistance; therefore, students receiving financial aid equal to their Cost of Attendance must document their need for additional funding. Your financial aid counselor can assist you with a Cost of Attendance increase request.
I've heard that Pacific is offering a Tuition Free Semester due to COVID-19 restrictions. Am I eligible?
Pacific’s Tuition Free Semester is designed to allow undergraduate students the opportunity to take advantage of some campus experiences that had to be limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information and the Tuition Free Semester FAQ is available here. The Tuition Free Semester Application is here.
My family has been affected financially by the pandemic. I’m worried about paying for tuition and other educational expenses. What should I do?
We realize that uncertainty about the future is stressful. Pacific is prepared to assist current students whose families are negatively affected by COVID-19. If your and/or your family’s financial circumstances change, we encourage you to be in touch with Pacific’s financial aid office.
If I have to drop a class that is in a sequence and end up having to enroll for an additional (9th) semester, will I receive financial aid?
You may appeal for an additional semester of institutional aid and all COVID-19 related appeals will be approved. If you enroll for less than full time (12 credits), you will receive a prorated amount of your institutional aid based on the number of credits you are taking. To qualify for federal loans, and to maintain an in-school deferment, you must be enrolled in 6 credits or more.
Will my financial aid disbursement be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
At this time, the Financial Aid Office will disburse financial aid at the originally scheduled times. Refunds are posted the first week of classes.
On March 20, the US Department of Education said I can suspend payments on my federal student loans. What do I need to do to suspend my payments?
You can ask for an administrative forbearance. Being in an administrative forbearance means that you can temporarily stop making your federal student loan payments without becoming delinquent. Because interest is being waived during the COVID-19 national emergency, interest will not accrue (accumulate) while you are in forbearance. If you request an administrative forbearance, you will not have any payments due for as long as the administrative forbearance lasts. Your loan servicer will cancel any scheduled auto-debit payments. After the administrative forbearance ends, you will have to resume making payments. If you wish to use auto-debit, you may restart auto-debit payments; they will not automatically resume.
Update: Interest and repayment for qualifying federal loans have been suspended until September 30, 2021.
How do I find my loan servicer? I don’t know what that means.
Your federal student loans are assigned to a loan servicer once the loan is disbursed. If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, log into studentaid.gov using your FSA ID. A summary of your federal student loans, as well as your loan servicer, is available on this site. All federal loan servicers have an online portal, through which you can manage your loan repayment. If you haven’t done so, we recommend creating an account immediately. Your loans do not have to be in repayment to create an account with your loan servicer.
Did you say that interest would be waived on all federally held student loans? Which loans are covered?
All loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will have interest waived. That includes Direct Loans, as well as Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED. Interest will not accrue on federally held student loans until September 30, 2021.
Please note that some FFEL Program loans are owned by commercial lenders, and some Perkins Loans are held by the institution you attended. These loans are not eligible for this benefit at this time.
My parents have Direct Parent PLUS loans and I have Direct loans, as well as other federal student aid. Where do we find more information on what’s happening?
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is updating the following site regularly:
This site will provide the most up-to-date information on federal student aid available. Legislation is pending; check this site frequently for updates!