Updates for the 2012-2013 Aid Year
Federal Stafford Loans
Recent changes to federal law stipulate that graduate students taking out Stafford Loans will no longer be eligible for the interest subsidy during in school deferment. Student loans disbursed to graduate students after July 1, 2012, will be Unsubsidized Loans only. All Stafford Loans disbursed to graduate students after July 1 will accrue interest from the day they are disbursed.
You will still be eligible for Subsidized Stafford Loans. The government will continue to pay the interest on Stafford Subsidized loans while you are in school at least half-time. For Subsidized Stafford loans issued before July 1, 2012, the government will continue to pay your interest during your grace period. The grace period starts counting down when you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment -- whichever occurs first. For new loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, the government will no longer pay the interest on Subsidized Stafford Loans during the grace period. Once you graduate or drop below half-time, you will be responsible for the interest on the loans.
Starting with verification for the 2012-2013 aid year, students will no longer be able to submit copies of their Federal 1040 tax returns. All tax information will have to be submitted on
one of the following two ways:
- On the FAFSA via the IRS data retrieval option
- On an IRS Tax Return Transcript
For more information about the process, including submitting tax information for verification, please visit the Verification page n the Student Financial Aid website.
Once you have received a Federal Pell Grant for 12 semesters, or the equivalent, you will no longer be eligible to receive additional Pell Grants.
You are eligible to receive a Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters or the equivalent. If you have exceeded the 12-semester maximum, you will lose eligibility for additional Federal Pell Grants beginning in 2012-13 school year. Equivalency is calculated by adding together the percentage of your Pell eligibility that you received each year to determine whether the total amount exceeds 600%.
For example, if your maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2010-2011 school year was $5,550, but you only receive $2,775 because you were only enrolled for one semester, you would have used 50% of your maximum award for that year. If in the following school year, you were enrolled only three-quarter time, you would have used 75% of your maximum award for that year. Together, you would have received 125% out of the total 600% lifetime limit.
(From Recent Changes to the Student Aid Programs on Student Aid on the Web)
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All students receiving federal or state financial aid will be evaluated at the end of each
semester to ensure they are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards their degree or graduate certificate. The Office of Student Financial Aid reviews undergraduate, master's degree seeking, and graduate certificate seeking students. Optometry and doctoral students are monitored by their respective academic disciplines. This review is required as a part of the Office of Student Financial Aid's responsibility in administering federal and state financial aid programs. If you are receiving financial aid, be sure to review the Satisfactory Academic Progress page for more information about SAP and how it may affect you.
Financial Aid for Repeated Courses
Recent federal regulations change the way enrollment status is determined for students who are repeating coursework in which they previously received a letter grade of D- or higher. An institution may pay a student one time for retaking previously-passed coursework. To determine a student's enrollment status (full-time vs. part-time), the school may not include more than one repetition of a previously passed course.
Example: Two years ago, Michael enrolled in a 3-hour Applied Mathematics course and received a grade of D-. Michael took the same course again last year and received a grade of C-. His major
requires that he pass the class with a C or better, and Michael decided to take the course again this semester. Michael is enrolled in 9 hours of other coursework plus the Applied Math class, for a total of 12 hours. The 3 hours from the Applied Math class are NOT included in determining Michael's enrollment status for the current semester because it is the 2nd time he is repeating a
class in which he previously received a "passing" grade. For financial aid purposes, Michael is
enrolled in 9 eligible hours. Michael would be paid financial aid as a part-time student because he is enrolled in 12 hours minus the 3 hours of the course he is repeating for the second time, which do not count.