The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed lots of aspects of our lives (not for the better) and is still raging. Some of the most vulnerable groups of people who suffered the effects of lockdowns rather than the coronavirus itself are people who do blue-collar and social jobs.
Another group that stands out is the students. The life of students, both American and international, in the United States was never easy by any means.
It’s either the cost of the program, which can lead to huge debts or overly intense classes. And now, we’ve got the coronavirus. Thankfully, help has arrived after all, and it’s called the CARES Act.
How Did the Pandemic Affect Student Life and How Can CARES Act Help?
The new problems in the lives of students that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the table are of a rather global nature. The economy has experienced quite a bumpy ride all through 2020 and came out of it slightly damaged, to say the least. This, in turn, led to lots of very unpleasant consequences, one of which is the rise of prices of goods and services, including tuition. So, students quite suddenly found themselves in trouble.
Not only do they have to pay more for the goods they buy, but they also must pay more for their education. The pain that the students started feeling rather suddenly had to be felt by someone else. Thus, in response, lots of initiatives were launched. If you look through the Top Writers Review website, you’ll find lots of reviews by thankful students. Most of them are praising some discounts and services initiated to help them cope with issues related to the pandemic and lockdowns.
In addition to private businesses, the government of the United States decided to lend a hand as well. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in March 2020 and aimed to provide financial aid of around $2 trillion to people working and studying in the United States at the time of the pandemic. Around $14 billion of those funds were allocated to postsecondary education students, so they somewhat got covered. And here are some of the benefits students get from the CARES Act.
- The process has become simpler this year. In 2020, there has been a lot of bureaucracy with getting help from the CARES Act fund, like getting registered in a Selective Service System (for male students), having a valid Social Security number, high school diploma, and some other documents. This year, the educational institutions must pass the money from the fund to students with exceptional needs. That includes nearly any financial damage caused by the pandemic. So, getting financial aid became somewhat easier.
- The volumes of aid might vary. In order to avoid any possible abuse from students and distribute the funds fairly, the universities and colleges were ordered to distribute the financial aid in accordance with the student’s needs. The amounts the institutions have received were the same as the previous year, so the distribution must also be proportional. This means that while more students will be eligible for aid, the amounts might be smaller.
- Students may need to take action. While the funds will be distributed in a way similar to the previous year, some students may need to fill in a separate application. For instance, if the student is not covered by some other grants provided by the universities, they might need to take additional steps to get the financial aid. In contrast, students that receive other grants may receive the funds automatically.
- Financial aid is supposed to cover even undocumented students. The government understands that the undocumented students located on the American campuses at the time of the pandemic are particularly vulnerable. That’s why the international students that are non-citizens of the United States will have an opportunity to fill out a separate special application form to become eligible for financial aid.
A Glimpse of Hope in Trying Times
The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that people in our world are ready to support one another and lend a hand to those in need. The CARES Act and its enormous help that is supposed to be allocated to many vulnerable population groups are only some proofs of that.
One of the greatest things about this act is that it covers even non-citizens and international students. This means that many young people will be able to receive quality education even despite all the financial hardships resulting from the pandemic and lockdowns.