The Office of Financial Aid would like to share with you a number of changes to student federal aid loans and grants for the 2013–2014 academic year.

Expected Family Contribution

A change has been made to the income amount that is used to determine if a student qualifies for an automatic Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of zero.

  • When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you receive an EFC number that is used to determine your federal student aid eligibility. For the 2013–2014 school year, you will automatically qualify for an EFC of zero if your family income does not exceed $24,000. This is an increase from the previous maximum income of $23,000.

Federal Verification Process

Beginning with the 2013–2014 award year, verification requirements will be more specific to the student as decided by the U.S. Department of Education. The documents that students will be required to submit to the Office of Financial Aid to complete the verification process will be determined by the U.S. Department of Education and will be unique in reference to what they submitted on their 2013–2014 FAFSA.

Schools are not allowed to accept personal tax returns for verification purposes, and if required to submit their tax information, students must now submit an official IRS tax return transcript if they do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) successfully. In addition, for the 2013–2014 award year, students who are randomly selected for verification may also have to provide to the Office of Financial Aid their High School Completion Status documentation, proof of their identity, and a signed Educational Statement of Purpose.

Unusual Enrollment History Flag

Beginning with the 2013–2014 award year, the U.S. Department of Education added the Unusual Enrollment History Flag to the ISIR (Institutional Student Information Record). This flag indicates whether students have an unusual enrollment history in regard to the receipt of Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) funds. The U.S. Department of Education enforced this process to determine if Pell Grant recipients were enrolling with the sole purpose of collecting Title IV credit balances.

2013-2014 Direct Loan Interest Rates

For the 2013-2014 academic year, undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans will have a 3.86% fixed interest rate. The unsubsidized Direct loan for graduate students will have a 5.41% fixed interest rate. The federal Direct Parent PLUS loan has a 6.41% fixed interest rate. More information regarding the Direct loan program can be found here.

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