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COVID-19 Free Online classes

For COVID - 19 and college financial aid information: CLICK HERE

COVID - 19 student resources: CLICK HERE  

stressed student in front of computer at night with a cup of coffee

How college students are feeling during COVID-19

COVID-19 is rapidly changing the landscape for college students. If you're having trouble coping, you're not alone. A survey by Simpson Scarborough found that 97 percent of college students have switched to online instruction. While 86 percent expect to return to their current school next term, they view the future as uncertain. When they were asked to describe in one word how they feel about their campus closing, popular responses were sad, disappointed, stressed, upset, heartbroken, and annoyed.

Potential help for students from the CARES Act

Many colleges and universities will receive CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funds, half of which must go directly to students. Colleges and universities in Iowa will receive $119,776,008, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Of that amount, $59,888,024 will go to emergency grants for students. Find out if your school is on the list. If it is, contact your financial aid office for more information.

How to stay eligible for state financial aid

Many colleges have moved to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. Some are also considering suspending classes or condensing the semester. If you take advantage of all the opportunities your school offers to complete your current classes, your state financial aid will probably not be affected. If you do not, or if you do not meet satisfactory academic progress requirements, your aid could be recalculated. Contact your financial aid office for more information.

Student loan suspension: What you need to know

The CARES Act suspends payments on federal student loans until September 30. If you are currently paying off student loans, here's what you need to know:

  • Not all loans qualify. The suspension is only for loans held by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • If your loan does qualify, you don't need to do anything. Your payments will automatically stop from March 13 through September 30.
  • You won't lose eligibility for loan forgiveness. If you're on a federal plan that requires a certain number of consecutive payments, this period will not count as an interruption.
  • You will still be responsible for your loan. After September 30, you will be responsible for paying once again. The amount will not be reduced.

You can find recent updates at Federal Student Aid.

Need internet access?

As colleges move their courses online, you might find you need access to high-speed internet. Here are some resources:


Free video classroom software

Free online video classroom

If your school is cancelling classes, you might need a way to connect with your students online. The video conferencing software company Zoom has announced it will lift the time limit on its free accounts for K-12 schools during the COVID-19 crisis. Sign up here.

College visits canceled? Try an e-campus visit

Many colleges are cancelling campus visits for prospective students as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa are among the Iowa schools that have canceled or rescheduled campus visits and information sessions. If a student is no longer able to visit a prospective school, encourage them to find an online campus tour. Many schools offer online and virtual reality tours on their websites. Students can also check out virtual campus tours on sites like and

Scholarships for educators

Phi Delta Kappa, a professional organization for educators, is offering a scholarship for members of Educators Rising Collegiate, Pi Lambda Theta, and Phi Delta Kappa pursuing undergraduate or advanced degrees in education. The awards range from $500 to $2,000. Applications are due April 6. Learn more here.

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