President Donald Trump announced Thursday student loan payments have been waived for six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump said during a news conference loan payments will be revisited after the six months are up. Trump didn’t specify if the six-month period applied to only federal student loans in the news conference.
The administration waived all interest on federal student loans until further notice on March 13 and suspended all federal student loan payments for 60 days on March 20.
At the University of Georgia, 23,128 undergraduate and graduate students received federal loans during the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to the UGA Fact Book. UGA students received nearly $180 million in federal loans that year.
In the news conference, Trump said the Department of Education will release more than $6 billion in emergency grant funding for college students impacted by the cancellation of classes and the suspension of housing.
The aid will be distributed to colleges and universities to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students, according to a Thursday Department of Education news release.
Colleges must use the funding to provide cash grants for expenses such as course materials, technology, food, housing, health care, childcare and other expenses related to disruptions caused by COVID-19, the release said. The college will determine which students will receive the cash grants.
The allocation of money is determined by a formula in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, according to the release. The formula takes into account the number of full-time students who are eligible to receive Pell Grants, which are federal student loans dependent on financial need. Total population of the school and the number of students who were not enrolled full-time online before the outbreak are also considered.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated President Trump suspended federal loan payments for 60 days on March 23, not March 20. The Red & Black regrets this error and it has since been corrected.