NACAC Applauds Passage of Legislation Addressing COVID-19 Pandemic

Michael Rose

Arlington, VA (March 27, 2020) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) today applauded congressional action to address the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on education. The legislation includes more than $30 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts, and higher education institutions for costs related to the outbreak.

“The world is in the midst of unprecedented challenges, and it reassuring to see Congress come together to pass this important legislation,” said Joyce Smith, the association’s chief executive officer. “While we are in the early stages of this pandemic, students, families, and educators will feel its economic and educational impact far and wide. Furthermore, while this funding is critical, NACAC believes additional steps will be needed to alleviate the financial hardships families, schools, and colleges will find themselves in after this crisis passes.”

The legislation—the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARE) Act—would, among other things:

-- Provide $13.5 billion for local educational agencies to use for coronavirus-response activities, such as planning for and coordinating long-term school closures and purchasing educational technology to support online learning for students;

-- Provide $14.25 billion for institutions of higher education to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus outbreak; and,

-- Provide student borrowers with a six-month reprieve from loan payments. The legislation would suspend interest during this period and borrowers would not need to make payments on their student debt until the six-month window elapses.

Unfortunately, this legislation also contains provisions that could allow unscrupulous colleges to keep federal loan money from students who drop out because of the coronavirus. These provisions risk precious taxpayer funding at a time when we can least afford to spare it, and reward institutions even if they do not serve students well.

The CARE Act is the third bill related to the coronavirus pandemic that Congress has passed to stabilize the nation’s public health and restore economic stability.

Separately, the US Department of Education announced recently that it will halt collection actions and wage garnishments to provide additional assistance to federal student loan borrowers. This flexibility will last for a period of at least 60 days from March 13, 2020. The administration will also issue $1.8 billion in refunds to student loan borrowers whose tax refunds or Social Security benefits have been seized since March 13, when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus.

NACAC offers resources on its website for those working with students and families engaged in the college admission process and impacted by the coronavirus. 


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

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