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Financial Aid 2020-2021 FAQ

This page is dedicated to frequently asked questions regarding the unusual structure of the 2020-2021 academic year and its effects on financial aid. We encourage you to bookmark this page; it will be updated if we receive more information for any of the questions below. Last updated: 2/1/2021.

For other frequently asked questions about the College’s planning related to COVID-19, please see the COVID-19 website.

General Topics
Student Employment
Room & Board

General Topics

When will my financial aid be applied to my student account?
As in a typical year, your fall financial aid will be applied to your account when you are billed for Modules 1 and 2 (fall semester), and your spring financial aid will be applied to your account when you are billed for Modules 3 and 4 (spring semester).

What happens if I change my enrollment during the add/drop period?
If you make enrollment changes, such as enrolling part-time or taking a leave of absence, your aid will be adjusted accordingly even if it has already been applied to your account. For example, if you choose to enroll in less than 12 credits in Modules 1 & 2 combined (or Modules 3 & 4 combined), then you are enrolled less than full-time and your aid may be adjusted. Refer to our part-time enrollment policy for more information.

Will I be able to attend my approved Spring 2021 study away program?
This question, along with other topics, is discussed on Macalester’s general FAQ page.


How will my loan eligibility be affected by the module system?
As long as you are enrolled in at least six credits for the semester (either Modules 1 & 2 combined, or Modules 3 & 4 combined), you are eligible to receive loans for that term. This applies to federal loans, Macalester Loans, and Macalester International Student Loans.

Has federal loan interest accrual changed?
Due to the CARES Act, interest accrual on some federal loans has been paused from March 13, 2020 through at least September 30, 2021. The best way to determine if your loans are included in this group is to contact your loan servicer, which can be determined by visiting For current students who have borrowed unsubsidized loans in the 2020-2021 academic year, interest rates will apply after December 31, 2020. You can review further borrower guidance from the Department of Education by selecting “Borrower Questions” in the menu of their COVID-19 FAQ page.

Do my loans enter the 6-month grace period leading up to repayment If I enroll full-time in Modules 1 and 2, but less than half-time in Modules 3 and 4?
Yes. This policy is the same as in a typical academic year. If you are enrolled less than half-time in either semester (Modules 1 & 2 combined, or Modules 3 & 4 combined), your loans will enter the 6-month grace period before repayment. You can find more guidance on federal student loans here.

Student Employment

Will I be able to work in my student employment position if I am participating in a semester remotely?
Students who are learning remotely but located in the US are eligible for student employment. Eligible students who are not able to find a student employment position may qualify for the Macalester Student Unemployment Insurance Program. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions page created by Student Employment for more information.

Will off-campus civic engagement student employment opportunities be offered this year?
The Civic Engagement Center is in the process of reviewing this; please look for further communication from their office. The Financial Aid Office will update this question if we receive more information.

Room & Board

Will I still receive my Campus Residence Grant if I am living off-campus?
In an exception to our normal policy, returning students who are eligible for Campus Residence Grants and at any point held a contract to live in Macalester housing will still receive this grant, in acknowledgment of the complicated nature of the residential program this year. First-year students who make the choice to live off-campus will not receive Campus Residence Grants.