Determining Students’ COVID-19 Impact

As our state and nation respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, HESC is working to ensure that students receiving financial aid retain their awards if they are unable to satisfy their eligibility requirements due to COVID-19.

This effort is targeted towards students who would have met all eligibility requirements, but their studies were disrupted because they became sick with the virus or campus closings, the implementation of distance learning, or NY PAUSE impacted their ability to complete classes.

Impacted Students are those students who are deemed by their college to be unable to complete courses for the term or earn fewer credits than required by award programs due to COVID-19, regardless of where or how, including:

  • Students who came in contact or became sick with the virus or served as the primary caretaker of someone who was sick with coronavirus
  • Students enrolled in or who were supposed to begin travel-abroad experiences and were either called back to the U.S. or were not able to begin
  • Students who were impacted by emergency closures or temporary campus closures in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Students who met full-time study requirements, but because of COVID-19, have fallen below the credit requirements. This may include,
    • Students who do not have the means to continue coursework in their homes and could not complete classes that transitioned to online instruction
    • Students who could not earn their term credits because they were enrolled in a course that was cancelled because it could not transition to online instruction
    • Students who were unable to complete student teaching assignments due to school closures and were unable to earn their term credits
    • Students who were unable to complete credit-bearing internships due to closures under NY Pause and no alternative coursework could be offered by your college
  • Students impacted by other related emergency events implemented in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Unimpacted Students are those who successfully complete all credits for the term, even if impacted by COVID-19.

What you need to do if you are impacted by COVID-19 and unable to complete courses for the term or will earn fewer credits than required by award programs? 

Impacted students should contact their schools to discuss their situation and any documentation your school may require as verification.  Your school’s Financial Aid Office will work with you to minimize disruption to your financial aid if you are eligible.

For more answers to your questions on the impact of coronavirus on New York State financial aid, visit our frequently asked questions.