GW offers loan relief to students

Students whose family incomes have been affected by the recent terrorist attacks can contact GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance for immediate financial counseling, Director of OSFA Daniel Small said.

“If any students are affected by (the terrorist attacks or the hijackings) and see that their family income is reduced, they should make themselves known to the student financial aid office,” Small said.

The effect on students could involve a loss of a family member’s life, injury or layoffs related to the recent economic slowdown in the airline or other industry.

Contacting the OSFA will also ensure students’ visibility when federal funds become available, Small said.

Small said last week he expects the Department of Education to
contact him with the amount of federal funding that will be made available and the criteria for which it may be dispersed to students.

The amount available to GW’s OSFA will be based on the number of GW students who contact the office, Small said.

The Department of Education announced Sept. 19 federal loan relief would be granted to students who were affected by any of the terrorist attacks and hijackings, according to a press release.

The Department of Education directed bank lenders to allow students to postpone or reduce the amount of monthly payments on federal loans from Sept. 11 through Jan. 31, according to the press release.

To qualify for relief, students only need to contact the financial aid office. After January, students will be required to provide documentation of their financial need.

The relief is only provided for individuals who are currently repaying their loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan and Federal Perkins Loan Programs.

Current GW students are very unlikely to be in repayment, but their parents who have taken out loans for their children may be eligible for relief, Small said.

Parents who have taken out a Federal Parent Plus Loan on behalf of their children, and who are already repaying it, could get relief until January without any proof of need, Small said. Parents must contact their lender to be eligible.

An e-mail sent to Small by William D. Hansen, deputy secretary of the Department of Education, said lenders must maintain students’ loans while they serve, and until they can re-enroll if they wish. Students who have “in-school status, an in-school deferment status or in a grace period status” will qualify.

Also, lenders must grant relief to students called to active service who are repaying loans, according to the email.

“If we can reduce the financial burden . then hopefully the student can continue to progress here,” Small said.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.