Disaster Assistance | Federal Student Aid

Disaster Assistance

If you are a student or a federal student loan borrower who has been impacted by a federally declared natural disaster, we can help answer your questions.

Federal Student Aid is committed to assisting students enrolled in college or career school and federal student loan borrowers who have been impacted by federally declared natural disasters. We strongly encourage impacted students to contact the financial aid office at their school and borrowers to contact their lender or loan servicer.

Below, we have provided answers to frequently asked questions for

You also can see additional resources

For Current Students

What if I need to transfer to a different school?

If you wish to transfer to a different school, you should contact the financial aid office at your new school as soon as possible so that the new school can request your federal financial aid records. This early contact will also allow the new school to provide you with information needed to support a request for financial aid.

What are my options if my aid eligibility was impacted by a natural disaster but my application does not reflect this change?

The financial aid office at your college or career school is authorized to use professional judgment in order to more accurately reflect the financial need of students and families affected by a disaster. If you feel that your eligibility for aid was impacted by the disaster, you should contact the financial aid office at your school to ask for a re-assessment of eligibility.

Do I need to claim on my FAFSA® any disaster-related support I received from either the state or the U.S. Department of Education?

No.  If you received any special aid from the federal government or from your state, for the purpose of providing financial relief, it should not be counted as income, other resources, or other financial assistance when determining your eligibility for federal student aid.

What if documentation that I need to apply for financial aid has been damaged or lost by a natural disaster?

It is possible that you may be asked to provide documentation to verify information from your financial aid application. If the documentation being requested has been lost or destroyed by the disaster, you should immediately inform the school that asked for the records. That school may make a determination not to require those documents.


For Borrowers

I have a federal student loan and I was not able to complete my school year due to a natural disaster. What are my options?

If you are a federal student loan borrower who was not able to complete your school year as a result of the disaster, you will be provided with an extended “in-school” status until you officially withdraw or re-enroll in the next regular enrollment period, whichever is earlier. This action will prevent you from entering repayment status on your loans. Contact your school to request this action.

I was displaced from my home in a recent natural disaster. As a result, I am having trouble making payments on my federal student loan. What are my options?

If you are a borrower in repayment who was adversely affected by a disaster, you qualify for administrative forbearance of loan repayment for a period of up to three months. During forbearance, payments are temporarily postponed or reduced. However, interest is still charged during the forbearance period. You should contact your lender or loan servicer to request this forbearance.


Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources that may be helpful to you.

If you have additional questions, please contact us