Even if classes are online, Fresno State students will still receive financial aid this fall

As a new school year draws closer, college students are wondering what the many pandemic-related changes could mean for their financial aid.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As a new school year draws closer, college students are wondering what the many pandemic-related changes could mean for their financial aid.

Fresno State senior Abigail Martinez says it's her financial aid that makes her college experience possible.

"Financial aid really has helped me because in my situation, my parents can't contribute to my education," said Martinez.

When Martinez found out classes were moving online, she was concerned her aid might be impacted.

"Financial aid is my primary source for getting what I need for school, my books, electronics, my laptop," added Martinez.

She's one of the many students receiving funds from the roughly $250 million in aid the university gives out each year. Fresno State staff are assuring students that even though their classes will be online this fall, they don't need to worry about losing funding.

"All of the federal and state programs were not cut, so we're not seeing a decrease in funding for students," said Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Kelly Russell.

Federal and state funding will stay the same. The primary concern is work-study since the campus will be closed.

"Even though the funds are there, the number of jobs is going to be less with the campus not fully open," explained Russell.

Staff members say they're trying to take jobs virtual. They're also expecting to see more students appealing for additional aid this year.

"Because a family member has lost their job or has been furloughed, or whatever the case may be, so now their 2020 situation is very different," said Russell.

If that happens, they're ready to discuss loans or emergency grant funding with the student.

As for Martinez, she says she's breathing a little easier.

"Especially during COVID-19 it's really important to me," said Martinez about her aid. "Because I need my stuff to be able to go to school."

Now, Martinez is looking toward the future and planning on graduating this fall with a Bachelor's degree in accounting.
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