Recent Changes to the Student Aid Programs

Repeat Course Policy

Please note there is new regulation that limits the number of times you can repeat a course to obtain a better grade.  Please review this new policy at Repeated Coursework.  

PELL Grant Program - Duration of Eligibility

Once you have received a PELL GRANT for 12 semesters, or the equivalent, (if you are part-time) you will no longer be eligible for additional PELL GRANTS.

You may view your Pell Grant used by logging into www.NSLDS.ed.gov 

Verification

If a student is selected for the verification process, the Financial Aid Office is no longer able to accept paper copies of the students and parents tax returns.  If you and your parents have completed their 2012 tax return, you should also change the answer to the tax return questions on the FAFSA to indicate your tax returns have been completed.  You and your parents may make corrections online at www.fafsa.gov.  If you and your parents filed a federal tax return with the IRS, you may be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is the best and easiest way to provide accurate tax information.  With just a few simple steps, you and your parents can view information from your IRS tax return and transfer that information directly to your FAFSA.  If you and your parents choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval you will be required to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript.   The tax transcript is the required document needed for verification and must be requested directly from the IRS office.  More detailed information is available in the Financial Aid Office or by reviewing IRS Tax Transcript Request Instructions.

Direct Student Loan Changes

Direct SUBSIDIZED LOANS will not be eligible for an interest subsidy during the six month grace period.  You will now be responsible for the interest that accrues while your loan is in the grace period.

·  All SUBSIDIZED LOANS made to undergraduate students will have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%.

·  The U.S. Department of Education can no longer offer borrowers repayment incentives.

·  Graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized loans.

Eligility of Students Without a High School Dipolma

If you are enrolling in higher education for the first time on or after July 1, 2012 in order to be eligible for federal student aid, you must have either a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (such as a GED or have been home schooled).  Student will not be permitted to take the Ability to Benefit Test.

Expected Family Contribution

The lower a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the higher the student’s federal student aid eligibility.  A change has been made to the income amount that is used to determine if a student qualifies for an automatic EFC of zero.  This amount is now $24,000 which has been reduced from $32,000.