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News and Announcements
Below are news and announcements you may find helpful in your financial aid process.
Graduating at the end of Winter 2014?
February 28, 2014
All federal student loan borrowers are required to complete an exit counseling tutorial upon graduation. The exit counseling tutorial will review your rights, responsibilities and repayment terms. To complete this federal requirement, simply log onto Federal Student Loans website and click on "Exit Counseling" under the "Tools and Resources" section.
NOTE: You will need your Federal Student Aid PIN to complete the federal requirement.
Your financial future begins now! Good loan repayment habits will build good credit. Numerous options exist, including deferred repayment and income contingent repayment. Your loan servicer will work with you to select the option that is best for you.
FAFSA: What are Assets?
January 27, 2014
Some students and parents are unsure on what assets that should be included and what is not required on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
|Include these Assets||Do Not Include these Assets|
|Savings||Value of your family home or farm|
|Stocks & Bonds||Value of annuities|
|Mutual Funds||Life Insurance plans|
|Money Market Accounts||Non-Education IRAs|
|Real Estate Investments||401(k) plans|
|Trusts||KEOGH or other retirement plans|
|Education Savings Accounts|
NOTE: The value of all 529 college savings plans, prepaid tuition plans and Coverdell education savings accounts owned by a parent or by the parent's dependent children must be reported as a parent asset on the FAFSA, regardless of who is listed as a beneficiary on the account. UGMA and UTMA accounts are considered assets of the student, and must be reported as an asset of the student on the FAFSA, regardless of the student's dependency status.
FAFSA: Who is the custodial parent?
January 22, 2014
When completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), students may find themselves in a situation that requires some additional direction:
The parent with whom the student lived with the most during the past twelve months should complete the FAFSA. If the student did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided the most support in the past twelve months (or in the most recent year that parental support was received) should complete the FAFSA. Support includes food, shelter, clothing, insurance, etc., in addition to cash payments.
If parents are divorced, but live within the household, together - both parents must complete the FAFSA. Regardless if of who claimed the student on their tax return.
If parents who are separated file a joint tax return, only the parent with whom the student lived (as defined above) must report on the FAFSA their income, assets, taxes paid and household size. It does not matter if this parent is not the one who claimed the student on their tax return.
For financial aid purposes, a couple is considered separated only if there is physical separation. This means that a married couple who claims to be separated, but is still living together is considered married, and both parents must provide information on the FAFSA.
If a parent has remarried, both the parent and the stepparent must report information on the FAFSA. A prenuptial agreement does not exempt a stepparent from providing his or her information.
If the biological parent dies and the stepparent survives, the student becomes independent unless:
- The student is dependent on the surviving biological parent, or
- The stepparent legally adopted the student.
If the couple is legally married, consistent with the Supreme Court decision holding Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, same-sex couples must report their marital status as married if they were legally married in a state or other jurisdiction (foreign country), without regard to where the couple resides or where the student will be attending school.
For financial aid purposes, adoptive parents are the same as biological parents.
For financial aid purposes, foster parents are not the same as biological parents. A student living with foster parents is a ward of the court and is considered an independent student.
The 2014-15 FAFSA is Available
January 3, 2014
The 2014–15 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available. We encourage students and their families to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to meet the deadlines for student aid.
The FAFSA determines a student's eligibility for most federal and state grant awards, work-study programs, some University aid and federal student loans.
The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Completing the FAFSA online helps eliminate errors and offers a quicker processing time. Students can also choose to print out the form and send it to the U.S. Department of Education via U.S. Mail.
Have no Fear, the New FAFSA is Near!
December 20, 2013
On January 2, 2014, the 2014-15 FAFSA on the Web will be smarter and easier than ever, with a customized experience for every applicant. The simplified home page, the ability for applicants to access their IRS tax information, and FAFSA summary options, along with detailed information about the applicant's selected schools, all add up to a smoother, more intuitive experience. Live interactive help is also accessible as the applicant uses the website.
New Origination Fees for Direct Loans
November 15, 2013
The U.S. Department of Education has scheduled a second round of fee hikes for Federal Direct Loans including the PLUS Loan program due to the federal budget sequestration.
|Federal Student Loan Origination Fees
||After Initial Increase Under Sequester
||After Second Increase Under Sequester
|Fees in Effect for:
||Loans first disbursed before July 1, 2013
||Loans first disbursed from July 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013
||Loans first disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014
|Origination Fee %
|Federal Direct Loans
|Federal PLUS Loans
|Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
NOTE: The sequester-induced fee hikes are in effect until Congress enacts new legislation or the U.S. Department of Education announces a new rate schedule.
New Interest Rates for Direct Loans
August 9, 2013
President Obama on Friday signed into law a new way of setting interest rates for federal education loans. The rates will now move with the financial markets, which mean lower rates for the coming school year. For 2013-14, the interest rate for undergraduates is 3.86 percent, and for graduate students it is 5.41 percent. The rate for Direct PLUS Loans, which are taken out by parents of students and graduate students, is 6.41 percent. Included, Congress has imposed caps on how high these rates can go in future years: 8.25 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 percent for graduate students and 10.5 percent for Direct PLUS Loans.
Senate passes Interest Rates based on T-bill
July 25, 2013
The Senate, Wednesday, July 24, 2013, approved legislation to link interest rates on student loans to the market, and it looks like it will have the support from both the House and the White House. Under the legislation, student loan rates would reset each July based on the previous May's auction of 10-year Treasury bills.
Undergraduate loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized) would be set at the Treasury rate plus 2.05 percentage points, while graduate loans would be set at 3.6 points above the Treasury rate, and loans for parents at 4.6 percentage points over the Treasury rate. The maximum rate would be capped at 8.25 percent for undergraduate loans, 9.5 percent for graduate student loans, and 10.5 percent for parent loans.
Based on May's auction of the 10-year T-bill, loans for the 2014 fiscal year would be 3.86 percent for undergraduates, 5.41 percent for graduates and 6.41 percent for parents. Keep posted.
Student Loan Interest Rates Comes to a Vote
July 24, 2013
A bipartisan group of senators reached a tentative agreement to fix federal student loan rates. The plan being discussed that would use 10-year Treasury notes as a basis and then adds a certain number of points depending on the type of loan. The formulas for interest rates: 10-year Treasury note plus 2.05 percent for both the subsidized and unsubsidized portions of the undergraduate loans, plus 3.6 percent for graduate loans and plus 4.6 percent for PLUS loans. Those rates would be capped at 8.5 percent, 9.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. The bill is do to the Senate Floor to vote within the next day or so - we will keep you posted.
Federal Sequestration & 2013-14 Financial Aid programs
June 20, 2013
Under the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the federal government imposed across-the-board budget cuts that became effective on March 1, 2013. These sequestration cuts affect higher education programs, including federal student aid. Here is a summary of sequestration cuts on federal student aid programs for 2013-14:
- Federal Pell Grant no changes
- FSEOG a reduction to the University’s 2013-14 federal allocation
- Federal Direct Loans (subsidized/unsubsidized) 1.051% increase to origination fee
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan 4.204% increase to origination fee
- Federal Work Study a reduction to the University’s 2013-14 federal allocation
- Federal Perkins Loan no changes
- TEACH Grant New awards disbursed after March 1 must be reduced by 6.0% from the award amount for which the student otherwise would have been eligible
More information about the impact of sequestration, we suggest that you visit the Federal Student Aid website.