Changes to Federal Student Aid Programs
Federal Pell Grant
Effective July 1, 2012, students can receive a Federal Pell Grant only for the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters (6 years) or a Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) of 600%
- Each Federal Pell Grant Award received represents a percentage
- Full-time enrollment in a single semester = 50% award
- Full-time enrollment in both Fall and Spring = 100% award
- A student taking 6 hours each Fall and Spring semester would have 24 semesters of eligibility
- 25% of annual scheduled Federal Pell Grant award x 24 semesters = 600%
- It is critical that you stay on track with your degree plan so that you earn your degree before you run out of Pell Grant eligibility
- To view the amount of Pell LEU you have used, please visit www.nslds.ed.gov
Elimination of interest subsidy
- New Subsidized Stafford Student Loans made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014, will no longer be eligible for an interest subsidy during the six-month grace period
- The repayment period still begins six-months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time, but interest that accrues during those six months will be payable by the student rather than subsidized by the federal government.
Limiting Subsidized Loan Eligibility to 150% of Program Length:
- In June of this year Congress passed legislation to extend the 3.4% rate on subsidized Stafford student loans for one year. The bill temporarily delayed the rate form doubling to 6.8% on July 1,2012. To pay for part of the $6 billion cost of temporarily extending the rate, lawmakers agreed to permanently limit eligibility for subsidized loans to 150 percent of the length of the student’s academic program for a new borrower beginning on or after July 1, 2013.
- This means students in a four-year program will be eligible for subsidized student loans for the equivalent of six years – three years for students in a two-year program. The student who reaches this limitation could continue to receive unsubsidized Stafford loan if he or she is otherwise eligible (for example, is meeting SAP.)
- Once a borrower has reached the 150 percent limitation, his or her eligibility for an interest subsidy also ends for outstanding subsidized loans that were disbursed on or after July 1, 2013. At that point, interest on those previously borrowed loans would begin to accrue and would be payable in the same manner as interest on unsubsidized loans.
- The bill also addresses transfer students. For borrowers who were enrolled in more than one educational program that begin on or after July 1, 2013, the limitation would be calculated by taking the difference between 150 percent of the published program length of the longest educational program in which the borrower was enrolled and any periods of enrollment in which the borrower received a Subsidized Stafford loan.
Federal Stafford Student Loans for Graduate and professional Students
Subsidized Loans are eliminated for graduate and professional students as of July 1, 2012
- Graduate students remain eligible for unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans
- The annual and lifetime loan limits for graduate and professional students remains the same.
Federal Stafford Student Loans and Graduate/Parent PLUS Loans
Elimination of Repayment Incentives
- The up-front loan interest rebate is removed, increasing loan fees all borrowers will pay.