NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Millions of Americans are struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and that is making many parents rethink plans for their college-bound kids.
Corinne O’Reilly is one of the many students from the Class of 2020 that has been impacted by the global health and economic crisis. O’Reilly was accepted to 14 colleges and her parents weren’t initially thrilled with the financial aid offers they received. That changed once the O’Reillys learned they could negotiate with schools for more aid.READ MORE: 'Say Yes To Connecticut': State Launches New Summer Marketing Campaign On Road To Reopening
“I heard about that, and it makes sense,” Chris O’Reilly told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff on Monday “They replied within two or three days and we got about $14,000-15,000 off of our tab there.”
- Resources, Hotlines, Unemployment & Covering Bills
- Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home
- Ask Dr. Max Your Health Questions
- How Make Your Own DIY Face Mask
- How To Safely Remove Disposable Gloves
- Tips For Parents To Help Kids Cope
- Chopper 2 Over Empty NYC Streets, Landmarks
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
As a result of the economic recession, experts believe it’s actually a good time to bargain with schools because they’re facing declining revenues. College advisor Andy Lockwood said colleges are bargaining more than ever. Lockwood recently published a piece about how to deal with colleges.
“Colleges, themselves, are scrambling to hit their enrollment targets,” said Lockwood. “Many colleges have 20-30 or more percent of their student bodies represented from international students, but they as of now are not coming.”
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Initial financial aid offers from colleges and universities are based on a family’s 2018 income. However, Lockwood said it’s impossible for a family to judged off that amount given what is going on right now.
“That’s ancient history for many families hit hard by this recession from coronavirus,” said Lockwood. “Colleges have what they call ‘professional discretion’ to be able to consider special circumstances.”READ MORE: Recall Alert: Hershey's Chocolate Shell Topping Bottles Could Contain Heath Shell Topping
PHOTO GALLERY: Coronavirus Shutdown 30 Days In
One student who recently got accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in upstate New York told CBS2 they were originally offered a financial aid package with $29,000 coming off the price of tuition. After an appeal, the student received another $17,000 plus $5,500 came off.
Suzi Allen was the director of financial aid at the University of New Hampshire for decades and she called the process a conversation instead of a negotiation.
“The worst thing that will happen if you reach out is that your financial aid isn’t going to change,” said Allen. “But the best thing is that it is going to change and it could change substantially.”
Experts say spell out your special circumstances on website forms by email or phone and be prepared with facts and figures in writing.
“I think at this time, I think a lot more schools are willing to listen,” Chris O’Reilly said.MORE NEWS: Thousands Of Smoke Detectors, Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms Recalled
Turn-around time to get an answer could be a couple of days to a couple of weeks, so experts say the sooner the better to make the ask.