Last Updated: May 11, 8:30 a.m.
Text in red has been added or edited within the last 12 hours.



Will there be any impact on financial aid for the spring term now that classes have been moved on-line?

As long as you complete all of your coursework, your aid for the spring term will not be negatively impacted by the change from in-person to on-line classes.  The fact that classes moved on-line is not an issue.

What happens if I decide to withdraw from all of my spring classes?

If you decide to withdraw from all of your classes, then you might end up having to repay part of the aid you received for the term.  This is because the aid you received was for a full term’s enrollment, and if you do not complete the full term, regulations may require that some of it be returned. 

You can learn more about this in Section 12: Effects of Dropping and Withdrawing from Classes of our Financial Aid: Terms and Conditions – Consumer Information document on our website.

When JMU determines how to refund housing and unused dining plans, will that refund create any problems with my existing financial aid?

The U.S. Department of Education has provided guidance that schools do not need to count any refund for these prorated charges as part of a student’s financial aid package, or reduce the Cost of Attendance that was used to determine your eligibility.  Pending any change in that guidance, this means a refund for prorated charges would not negatively impact your spring term financial aid.

I’m a Federal Work Study student and lost my job due to COVID-19. Do I have any options for being paid in response to this?

Based on the changes JMU has made in response to COVID-19, we realize there are many FWS students who may have lost their ability to continue their employment this year.  Fortunately, federal regulations may allow JMU to continue paying certain FWS employees who are no longer working.

The following must be true in order to be considered for continued pay:

  • Student must be displaced from their FWS job due to COVID-19.
  • Student must have already been working in a FWS position prior to being displaced.  This flexibility to continue paying students who are not working does not apply to Institutional Employment (IE) positions, or FWS employees hired after changes were made to the JMU calendar (March 11, 2020) in response to COVID-19.
  • If you have already met your maximum FWS award amount you will not be eligible to receive continued pay.  Once you reach your maximum eligibility your payments will end.
  • Your supervisor must be able to work with you to either find additional work you can do remotely (in place of your regular duties), or document the hours you would have worked during the pay period had it not been for the COVID-19 situation.

It should be noted that this is only allowed for employment through the end of the Spring 2020 term, and does not carry forward into subsequent periods of enrollment.

If you feel you qualify for this consideration, please contact your FWS supervisor for instructions on how to proceed.  Please do not contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships or Student Employment, as we are unable to assist you with this.  You must work directly with your supervisor, or his/her designee, if you feel consideration of continued pay is warranted.

Has the COVID-19 situation changed anything regarding applying for summer school financial aid?

At this time, the only change this has created is that the JMU Summer School Financial Aid Application will be available later than planned, as the date summer school registration will open has been postponed.  The financial aid application goes live that same date. In the meantime, please visit our website to learn more about Summer School Financial Aid.

What is the best way to submit documents to the Financial Aid Office for my 2020-21 financial aid?

If we have requested documentation from you to complete the financial aid review process for the 2020-21 school year, the best way to get them to us is by mail or fax.  To be respectful of social distancing, we do not recommend visiting our office.  

Our mailing address is:

JMU Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Student Success Center
MSC 3519
738 S. Mason St.
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807 

Our fax number is 540-568-7994

My parents have experienced a reduction in income due to a job loss as a result of COVID-19. This will create some challenges in paying for my school next year. Is there anything you can do to help?

We understand there may be some students, and parents, experiencing a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.  Our hope is the hardship will resolve itself before the 2020-21 school year begins, but if not, we are happy to review the situation and determine if there is anything we can do to help with the educational expenses. 

You may visit the Financial Aid Appeals (PJ) section of our website to learn more about how to submit information for us to review.  If the appeal is being submitted due to a job loss or reduction of income, please wait 90 calendar days after the event occurred to submit the appeal.  If at that point the income situation has not resolved itself, then please reach out so we can review your situation and determine if we can provide any additional assistance.

I have a private educational loan and I’m not sure how I will make the payments as a result of financial challenges I’m experiencing in response to COVID-19. What should I do?

We recommend that you contact your private educational loan lender directly and explain your situation. While each lender may respond differently, we have heard from several lenders that they may be willing to help their borrowers through this period.  The type of help offered will vary by lender.

What is the impact on my Spring 2020 financial aid if I change my spring classes from letter grades to CR/NC?

Financial aid for the Spring 2020 term will not be impacted by changing from letter grades to CR/NC. 

What is the impact on my Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 financial aid if I change my spring classes from letter grades to CR/NC?

As you review this section, please keep in mind the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards being discussed are not the same as academic progression standards required to be enrolled at JMU.  The information we are presenting here only addresses financial aid eligibility. Please review the Registrar’s website if you have questions about the general academic standing requirements.

There are three areas of SAP where CR/NC grades can have an impact. These are the progression standards, grade point average standard and situations where students are receiving financial aid now on a probationary status.

Progression Standards (Pace and Maximum Time)

CR Grades:

  • Count as attempted credits
  • Count as earned credits

NC Grades:

  • Count as attempted credits
  • Do not count as earned credits (they are unearned by SAP standards)

What this means is CR grades will help you progress toward meeting your degree requirements, whereas NC grades will not. This has implications on whether you are meeting the Pace or Maximum Time SAP requirements to receive financial aid in the 2020-21 school year. Here is an example of what this looks like in a Pace situation:

  • The SAP policy requires students to earn credit that progresses them toward degree completion in 80% of their total classes attempted
  • Student attempted 24 credit hours in Year 1 (2018-19) and earned passing grades in 20 credit hours, for a completion percentage of 83.3%
  • In Fall 2019, student attempted 12 more credit hours and passed all of them, which brings the total attempted to 36 and earned to 32
    • Attempted credit hours = 24 from 2018-19 + 12 from Fall 2019
    • Earned credit hours = 20 from 2018-19 + 12 from Fall 2019
  • In Spring 2020, student attempted 12 credits and had grades of NC in all of them, which brings the total attempted to 48 and earned to 32
    • Attempted credit hours = 24 from 2018-19 + 12 from Fall 2019 + 12 from Spring 2020
    • Earned credit hours = 20 from 2018-19 + 12 from Fall 2019 + 0 from Spring 2020
  • The student’s completion percentage at the end of the 2019-20 school year is now 66.7%
    • 32 credit hours earned / 48 credit hours attempted
  • The student will fail SAP for the 2020-21 based on not having earned passing grades toward his program study in at least 80% of the courses attempted

 

Grade Point Average (GPA)

CR/NC grades are not included in your GPA, which has the potential to create challenges for some students. For example, according to the Financial Aid SAP Policy, an undergraduate who has attempted 90 – 104 credit hours must have a cumulative GPA of 1.994 to meet the minimum SAP requirements. Here is an example of one scenario that could occur:

  • End of Fall 2019 a student who has attempted 80 credit hours has a cumulative GPA of 1.90
  • The student takes all CR/NC grades for his 12 credits in Spring 2020, meaning he now has attempted a total of 92 credit hours in his school career
  • When the SAP process runs for 2020-21, it will look to see if he has a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.994
  • The student will fail SAP for the 2020-21 school year since his cumulative GPA will only be 1.90
  • Had the student received letter grades in the Spring 2020 term, it may have been possible for his cumulative GPA to be at the 1.994 threshold

 

SAP Probation and Academic Plans

Students who are currently receiving financial aid on a SAP Probationary basis and associated Academic Plan should review their plan to determine if changing their grades to CR/NC will create a situation where they cannot meet the terms of that plan.

SAP Appeals and Information

When a student fails to meet the minimum SAP standards they are given the opportunity to appeal the denial. All of this will be explained in the SAP denial notice the student will be sent once the process runs. We will begin running the SAP process for the 2020-21 after Spring 2020 grades are posted.

You may view the Satisfactory Academic Progress section of our website for more details. 

Please e-mail the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at finaid_sap@jmu.edu if you have specific questions related to SAP.

What is the impact on my scholarship renewal if I change my spring classes from letter grades to CR/NC?

Please visit https://www.jmu.edu/scholarships/resources.shtml to learn how JMU is treating Spring 2020 CR/NC grades as it relates to the evaluation of a renewable scholarship.

How can I access the “emergency aid” dollars I’ve heard about in response to the COVID-19 situation?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was recently passed into law. As you may have read, a component of this bill created “emergency aid” for students impacted by COVID-19. You may review information about how JMU is distributing these funds on the JMU Cares Act Student Emergency Aid website.

I understand there was some Federal Direct Loan relief provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. How do I determine if it applies to me?

As part of the CARES Act signed into law on March 27, Congress mandated the Department of Education (ED) suspend federal direct loan payments and the accrual of interest on those loans until September 30, 2020. In order for federal loan servicers to implement this mandate, they needed to receive guidance from ED on how to do that. ED provided that guidance to them on April 1 and stated they need to implement the six-month loan forbearance and interest waiver by April 10.

It is our understanding that based on the instructions Federal Direct Loan servicers received from ED, President Trump's announcement to waive interest starting March 13 includes loans for borrowers in school and in their grace period. This means students entering repayment following their graduation in May 2020 should also have their interest waived through September 30, 2020.

ED has updated its website at https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus with information about this provision of the CARES Act and will continue to update the site as more details unfold. If you have Federal Direct Loans, we recommend you review ED’s site for the most up-to-date information.

NEW - How will JMU use CARES ACT relief funds?

You may review information about how JMU is distributing these funds on the JMU Cares Act Student Emergency Aid website.

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