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How to get more college financial aid if you need it

The coronavirus pandemic began at a time when many students and their parents were finalizing college plans. As schools decide what the fall semester will look like, it’s crucial to make sure college choices are still financially feasible. Consumer Reports offers some tips on how to get more financial aid even if the deadlines have already passed.

If your family was financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic, you can appeal a financial aid offer even if you’ve already accepted a package.

Call the financial aid office and ask for an aid officer to take new information into consideration and adjust your award.

A good reminder is to keep all documentation about your current financial situation handy and up to date.

You can also ask about emergency grants from your school. Enrolled college students who receive federal financial aid who were affected by the pandemic may be eligible for extra help through the coronavirus relief package.

If you still need to cover some of the costs for college and need to get student loans, interest rates on federal loans are 2.75 percent, a record low.

Your best bet is to stick with federally backed loans, which have fixed interest rates and more flexible payment options compared with private loans.

While there are colleges still undecided on whether they’ll offer the in-person classes in September that many students are looking forward to in their college experience, make sure you understand your college’s refund policy before putting any money down.