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How college students should navigate financial aid amid COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak is affecting financial aid for incoming and current college students. Local 5 on Your Side has some tips.

DES MOINES, Iowa — For future and current college students, trying to navigate the realm of financial aid and tuition assistance is more challenging than ever.

Local 5 On Your Side talked with an expert at Iowa College Aid about how students should manage this. 

Incoming for first-year college students should continue to fill out the FAFSA application, even if the student or family's financial situation has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, the FAFSA relies on previously filed tax information. Since your financial situation may have changed since then, Iowa College Aid representatives suggest contacting your school's financial aid department directly to discuss your options and potential solutions. 

Current students who rely on financial aid should do the same thing with their respective colleges and universities.

Iowa College Aid says all university and college admissions and financial aid offices understand the difficulties families may have during this time. 

Since it is so unprecedented, your school will likely be willing to assist you as you attempt to figure out your next steps in higher education. 

In the new CARES Act passed by Congress, there are provisions in it for student loans. 

RELATED: 5 benefits from the CARES Act you need to know about besides the stimulus check

If you are paying off federal student loans, your payments and accrued interest have been suspended until September 30, 2020.

According to Iowa College Aid, their biggest piece of advice for students is to continue forward with future planning and college goals. 

Don't let the coronavirus pandemic derail your higher education plans! 

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