Changes to Federal Student Aid programs

Changes to Federal Student Aid Programs

Changes to federal legislation have resulted in some significant changes in student aid programs for all college and university students. Many of these changes go into effect July 1, 2012. Review the link below, and if you have any questions about how the changes will impact you, please contact the UAF Financial Aid Office.

  1. Pell grant eligibility: Eligibility for Pell grants has been restricted to 12 semesters of full-time enrollment, or the equivalent for part-time students. If you have been a full-time student and have received Pell grants for 12 semester, by law you cannot receive another one. Eligiblity is pro-rated for part-time attendance. This affects current and future students.
  2. High school diploma or GED required for aid eligiblity: Beginning July 1, 2012, only students who hold a valid high school diploma or GED can receive state or federal financial aid. If you are a current UAF student and admitted under the Ability to Benefit (ATB) policy, you can and will continue to receive federal aid.
  3. Expected family contribution: For students and families who file the FAFSA, the income necessary to qualify for an Expected Family Contribution of zero changed from $32,000 to $23,000. Keep in mind there are multiple factors that go into calculating the EFC and financial aid awards. Having an EFC of zero does not guarantee any type of amount of student aid. This affects current and future UAF students.

Changes to the Federal Loan Programs

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed on August 2, 2011. Some of the provisions in the act impact federal student loan programs offered at UAF. These changes will not affect the amount of loan funding available. However, loan funding will become more expensive.

Here are the key provisions affecting future federal graduate and undergraduate student loans:

  1. Graduate and professional students only: Beginning July 1, 2012, all graduate and professional students will lose the interest subsidy on the Subsidized Stafford loan. The graduate Stafford loan program will become entirely unsubsidized, which means the loan will accrue interest while a student is in school. These changes will not affect the annual and aggregate borrowing limits. The maximum amount a student can borrow will remain at $20,500 per academic year.
  2. Loss of "origination fee rebate" affecting Stafford, Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS: Currently, there is a 1% origination fee on a Stafford loan and a 4% fee on PLUS loans, but a portion of the fee, .5% for a Stafford and 1.5% for a PLUS, is rebated at the time of disbursement. Beginning July 1, 2012, the full fee will be charged.
  3. Loss of interest rate reduction: The last change is the loss of the .25% interest rate reduction if you pay your loans electronically while in repayment.

We recommend that students monitor their Federal Loan borrowing history online at www.nslds.ed.gov.

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