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General Financial Aid Information
New Loan Repayment Program for Nursing Students
The St. David's Foundation Central Texas Loan Repayment Program was funded through a grant to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the purpose of recruiting and retaining qualified primary care and behavioral health providers at eligible sites located in the five-county area served by the Foundation. Primary care and behavioral nurse practitioners may qualify for student loan repayment awards for up to $15,000 per year for four years of service at eligible sites. Deadline to submit application is June 30, 2013. Applications and detailed eligibility requirements can be found on the program web page at www.thecb.state.tx.us/lrp.
Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
We strongly advise students to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to provide income tax information. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will allow FAFSA applicants to request and retrieve their income tax data from the IRS in order to complete the FAFSA. Please note, if students do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and are selected for financial aid verification, they will be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS. Financial Aid can no longer accept copies of Income Tax Returns.
Effective 2012-13, students selected for verification can no longer submit signed tax returns. Students who get selected for verification and when completing the FAFSA did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will be required to provide an IRS Tax Transcript or make corrections to their FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Due to this new requirement, we strongly encourage all students to utilize the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process when completing their FAFSA to limit requests for Tax Return Transcripts.
Effective 2013-14, the Department of Education has implemented customized verification. This means that the verifiable items on the FAFSA can be different for each student selected for verification. If your FAFSA was selected for verification, be sure to login to your Uconnect account to verify which group you fall under to ensure you are submitting the correct documents.
Pell Grant Duration of Eligibility
Effective 2012-2013, the duration of a student’s eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant is 12 semesters or its equivalent. This means that a Pell-eligible student attending school full-time can receive Pell Grant for a maximum of 6 years (600%). The calculation of the duration of a student’s eligibility will include all years of the student’s receipt of Federal Pell Grant funding. Click here for more information on how the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility (LEU) is calculated. You can log on to NSLDS to view your Pell Grant LEU. The LEU will be found on the Financial Aid Review page.
Students may not receive federal aid for courses that were previously taken and passed beyond the first retake. In other words, once a student has passed a course, the student has one additional attempt to complete the same course and still be eligible to receive federal financial aid for that course. There is no limit on the number of attempts allowable if the student does not receive a passing grade. Some courses are repeatable per university policy and are not restricted by these regulations.
Elimination of Subsidized Loan Eligibility for Graduate/Professional Students
Effective for loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students can no longer receive Subsidized Loans. As a result, graduate and professional students will be awarded Unsubsidized Loans, which means the loan will accrue interest while a student is in school. These changes will not affect the annual and aggregate borrowing limits.
Direct Loan Origination Fee
On March 1, 2013 the Federal Direct Loan origination fees have changed due to the Sequestration. The origination fee for the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans is 1.051% (previously 1.0%) and the origination fee for the Direct PLUS Loans is 4.204% (previously 4.0%). Schools must begin using the new origination fees for a loan with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2013. For borrowers who had a loan disbursement after March 1, 2013 (2nd disbursement of the Spring 2013 semester), the Department of Education sent an email (and where necessary, paper) notifications of the origination fee increase.
Direct Loan Interest Rates
Effective for loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, the subsidized loan interest rate is 3.4% and unsubsidized loan interest rate is 6.8%. The interest rate for the Direct PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loan is fixed at 7.9%.
Direct Loan Borrower Repayment Incentives Eliminated
The Budget Control Act terminates the authority of the Department of Education to offer any repayment incentives to Direct Loan borrowers to encourage on-time repayment of loans, including any reduction in the interest rate. The law continues to authorize the Department of Education to offer interest rate reductions to Direct Loan borrowers who agree to have electronic payments automatically debited from a bank account.
Grace Period Interest Subsidy Temporarily Eliminated
Interest subsidies provided on Direct Subsidized Loans during the six month grace period will be temporarily eliminated for Direct Loans whose first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2014.
Students can obtain more information about these changes at www.studentaid.gov