Federal relief on the way
Author: University Communications
Posted: April 1, 2020

We know that many of you in the PSU family and extended family are facing significant unexpected financial challenges due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government last week passed the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion relief package that offers economic support for many of those impacted by the growing financial crisis. Included in the bill are incentives for which employees and students may be eligible, as well as provisions that ease student loan repayment. There are also a wide array of resources on campus.

Here is a guide to both the CARES Act and PSU’s campus resources:

Economic impact payment
Many in our campus community are eligible for payments of up to $1,200 per individual. Parents also receive $500 for qualifying children. The IRS anticipates distributing payments later this month. If you are claimed as a dependent, you are not eligible for the payment. Unfortunately, there are also some whose immigration status may restrict access to payments.

Federal aid for universities and students
The CARES Act also includes more than $12 billion for higher education relief, with half of those funds designated for student support. In the coming weeks, the U.S. Department of Education will finalize how these funds will be distributed. We’ll share an update when we have more information. 

Student loan relief
Borrowers do not need to make payments on student loans held by the federal government (Direct Loans and FFEL Loans held by U.S. Department of Education) through September 2020. Privately held student loans are not eligible. There will be no involuntary collections or negative credit reporting for late payments. Additionally, interest will not accrue during this period. Payments will resume on September 30, 2020.

Student employees
The CARES Act allows for continued payment of Federal Work Study wages. For the majority of students who are not in the Work Study program, supervisors are being asked to arrange for remote work or learning engagement experiences when possible. Not all students hold positions for which remote work is available. The University Career Center will be working with supervisors and students to identify opportunities.

Additional resources: 

  • The PSU Food Pantry remains open. It is operating from a temporary location at the 5th Avenue Cinema (510 SW Hall St.) to better meet the needs of students while adhering to state social distancing guidelines. Appointments are required.
  • SNAP benefits are available for students in Oregon. More information about this program, which offers access to nutritional food, is available from the Oregon Department of Health and Human Services and PSU has SNAP Outreach Specialists who can assist with your application.
  • The Financial Wellness Center is ready to help develop tools and share resources to help think through your finances during this stressful time. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment.

Spring term is posing new challenges for all of us. Protecting and preserving our physical and mental wellbeing must be a top priority. PSU is a vibrant, compassionate community and we can help one another promote wellness and work collectively toward achieving our personal and academic goals. 

P.S. Happy Census Day, make sure you’re counted.