The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted nearly every facet of life, and students have not been immune from its impact, with schools and colleges closing for an indeterminate amount of time. Fortunately, the CARES Act, signed into law two weeks ago by President Trump, contains provisions that will help students affected by this unprecedented health crisis.
Below are provisions that detail how Ohio students will benefit from the CARES Act during the coronavirus crisis:
Support For Schools:
CARES includes $30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts, and colleges and universities that are dealing with unexpected costs due to coronavirus.
This includes $13.5 billion for state formula-grants to go to local school districts to fund coronavirus-response activities, including remote learning technology.
This also includes $14.25 billion for higher education emergency relief. These funds can be used for distance learning, as well as for grants to help students pay for food, housing, and other education-related expenses.
A further $3 billion will be distributed among state governors for emergency grants for school districts and institutions of higher education that are the hardest hit by the coronavirus. These funds can be used to ensure these particularly vulnerable education systems can continue to function.
Financial Relief For Students and Student Loan Debtors:
$6 billion of the Educational Stabilization Fund will be used for emergency financial aid grants to college students affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
CARES puts a hold on payment and interest for federal student loans through the end of the fiscal year
Students who have taken out federal student loans for school and have been forced to leave college due to the coronavirus pandemic do not have to return these funds or repay their loans.
Students who work part-time and are laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible to receive expanded unemployment benefits included as part of the CARES Act.
CARES creates a new tax incentive for employers to implement student loan repayment programs when the economy reopens.
This would allow employers to provide up to $5,250 per year in student loan repayment for the employee completely tax-free.
CARES also provides direct financial assistance to Ohio families in need. As of last week, the government has begun mailing checks of $1,200 for individuals making less than $75,000 per year, with lesser amounts sent to individuals making up to $99,000 per year.
Couples making less than $150,000 will receive $2,400, with lesser amounts sent to couples making up to $198,000 per year.
Families with children would be eligible for an additional $500 per child.
This means the average family of four will receive approximately $3,400 through the CARES Act.
NOTE: This is the latest in a series of policy summaries about how the CARES Act will help Ohio during the coronavirus crisis. Previous summaries detailed how it will help individuals and families, small businesses, hospitals, veterans, seniors, rural communities, and manufacturers.