April 15, 2020

Dear Gallaudet alumni:

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us, in ways large and small. The news changes rapidly, and it is challenging to keep up with everything you need to know. In case you missed it, we want to share important information with those who have outstanding student loan debt, either from Gallaudet or elsewhere. Even if you do not have student loan debt, this information might be useful to your friends or loved ones.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, also known as the CARES Act, passed recently by Congress, stipulates that all borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have payments suspended, and their interest rates set to 0%, from March 13 to September 30, 2020. This includes Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, Parent PLUS loans, and Graduate PLUS loans. For more information, please visitStudentAid.gov/coronavirus.

Those enrolled in a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment may continue to make payments if they wish. Any borrower who has experienced a change in income can contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment. We strongly advise making payments during this time if you are able, because any payments you make will be fully applied to your loan balance.

However, no federal student loan payments are required between March 13 and September 30, 2020. If you made a payment after March 13, you are eligible to have that payment refunded to you. Please contact your servicer directly to request a refund.

To check on the status of your federal loans and for servicer contact information, please go to https://studentaid.gov/h/manage-loans and select “View My Account”. You will be asked to login using your FSA ID. If you do not know your FSA ID, please go to https://fsaid.ed.gov/ and select the “Manage My FSA ID” tab.

These rules only apply to federally-held student loans. If you borrowed a student loan from a private education lender, contact that lender directly to see if they are offering any repayment relief.

We recommend communicating with your federal loan servicer directly if you have questions, but we are here to assist you in any way we can. You can reach us at financial.aid@gallaudet.edu. We will continue to share any relevant information with our alumni. Also, be sure to check Gallaudet’s coronavirus web site at www.galludet.edu/cornovirus for the most up-to-date information

We send our best wishes to you and your loved ones during this challenging time. Please reach out if you need us. We are here to help.

Warm regards,

Samuel M Sonnenstrahl, ’79 & G-’84
Office of Alumni Relations

Doryann Barnhardt
Office of Financial Aid