Nearly 40% of Parents Who Didn’t Plan to Apply for Federal Aid Now Say They Will as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The cost of College has continued to rise in recent years as many parents know. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting, we may have hit a tipping point and many parents are realizing they don’t have the funds necessary to fully fund their children’s education. A recent study by Discover Student Loans bears this out as nearly 40% of parents that didn’t plan to apply for Federal Aid now say they plan to as a result of COVID-19.

Other notable findings include from the survey include:

  • More parents are planning to take advantage of federal aid given their shifting financial situations
    • 48% of parents lost income as a result of the pandemic, and 44% said they can’t afford to pay for as much of their child’s education as they had originally planned.
    • Of parents worried about paying for college, 53% are concerned their child is not receiving enough financial aid – up 9% from the pre-pandemic survey.
    • 26% of families said they would appeal their student’s financial aid package given COVID-19.
  • Despite a greater focus on financial aid, there’s confusion about when the FAFSA application becomes available
    • Discover Student Loans’ published an earlier survey in March that revealed (50%) believed the FAFSA was available year-round.
    • That survey also revealed just 25% of parents correctly identified the FAFSA application becomes available in October.

If any of your parents are having trouble filling out the FAFSA Discover has a nice primer – FAFSA 101: Your Financial Aid FAQ’s answered