COVID-19 Updates and Resources
Last Update May 29, 2020
AccessLex Institute establishes $5 million Law Student Emergency Relief Fund.
See the announcement.
Department of Education details on CARES Act.
- Read the press release and view this table to see how much each institution will receive.
- Find guidance and resources about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund here.
CARES Act signed to provide temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers.
See our CARES Act talking points.
New 2020–21 Federal Student Loan Interest Rates Announced
On May 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s 10-year Treasury note auction resulted in a decrease in interest rates for federal student loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2020 and before July 1, 2021. The interest rates will be fixed for the life of the loan.
Since 2013, interest rates on federal student loans have been set annually according to the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus a fixed percentage that differs by loan type (e.g., subsidized Stafford, unsubsidized Stafford, PLUS). Interest rates for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020 (and before July 1, 2021) are as follows:
- 2.75% for undergraduate Stafford
- 4.30% for graduate Stafford
- 5.30% for Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS
AccessLex Live Webinars and One-on-One Coaching
To further support you in making the transition during this time, we have expanded our upcoming live webinar schedule considerably, giving you more opportunities to virtually engage with our Accredited Financial Counselors® (AFC®) and financial aid experts. Offered several times each week throughout the spring, you can register for Financing Your Legal Education, The Road to Zero: A Strategic Approach to Student Loan Repayment, Your PSLF Action Plan and more at a time that’s convenient for you.
We have also expanded our remote one-on-one coaching availability. Our team of AFCs are standing by to talk with you about any money questions you may have. You can sign up for free remote coaching at AccessConnex.
Managing Your Money During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a harsh reminder of our financial fragility. During times of uncertainty, it becomes especially crucial to focus on what’s within our control. In this free webinar, we will walk you through four steps of navigating this and any financial crisis. Topics include organizing financial accounts and debt, bridging unemployment and income uncertainty, prioritizing outflows, and constructing credible support systems. The CARES Act and what to do with your stimulus check will also be discussed.
Check back for registration links coming soon.
LEX Talk Money! Podcast
The first part of season 2 of LEX Talk Money! has focused on the impact of COVID-19 on students and student loan borrowers. Hosts Ann Durandetta and Derek Brainard have discussed the latest developments around the pandemic and how they are affecting your finances. Our latest episode related to the crisis outlines strategies for responsibly utilizing credit to weather a financial shortfall.
Guidance from the Department of Education
Find out the latest at:
- Federal Student Aid Coronavirus Info - https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
- U.S. Department of Education Coronavirus Info - https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus
- CARES Act Relief FAQ from Federal Student Aid (FSA), answers the most frequently asked questions surrounding the CARES Act and how it affects students and borrowers.
If you are having difficulty making payments at this time, or know someone who is, please consider whether the circumstances causing the financial difficulty are short-term or long-term. For a short-term solution, you can request a forbearance, which will pause your payments (interest-free during this time), or income-driven repayment (IDR) for a long-term solution. In either case, please reach out to us via AccessConnex to set up a free 30-minute coaching appointment to discuss your options.
Law School Admissions Testing
- LSAT: The March LSAT has been cancelled; the April test is still scheduled in some, but not all, locations, and LSAC will announce any April cancellations by April 10. You can find current announcements here: https://www.lsac.org/update-coronavirus-and-lsat.
- GRE: GRE test centers are closed on a location-by-location basis. Current information for testing in the United States can be found here; information for testing in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region can be found here.
Bar Exam Updates: Keep up-to-date with the NCBE regarding bar exam postponements, changes, and resources.
National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE): Jurisdiction information regarding the July 2020 Bar Exam.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The CFPB has resources to help protect your finances during the pandemic.
LSAC: General COVID-19 resources page for law school candidates.
ETS: Information about the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and COVID-19.
LSAT: LSAC’s specific information on how COVID-19 impacts the law school admissions test.
Admitted Student Weekends
Admitted Student Weekends have been cancelled virtually everywhere. Check with admissions offices at the law schools you are considering to find ways to learn more about the culture and feel of the school. Some law schools are hosting admitted student “Ask Me Anything” hours on Reddit.
Application Cycle, Waitlists and Deposit Deadlines
Nobody knows for sure what the impact will be on the application cycle, waitlists or deposit deadlines, but Diane Curtis, an experienced pre-law advisor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has put together a very useful guide for questions that may be on your mind. It will be updated as conditions change.
Distance Learning Resources
As law schools move to online learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AccessLex has created a page of remote learning tips and resources for teachers and students. Currently available on the ARC – we’ve put them here for your easy access.