The Office of Financial Aid would like to share with you regulatory changes to federal financial aid for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Students are now able to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) earlier. Students have been able to file a 2017-2018 FAFSA since October 1, 2016, rather than beginning on January 1, 2017. The earlier submission date is a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year effective with the 2017-2018 FAFSA.
In addition, beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students are required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) must report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information. For the 2018-2019 FAFSA, 2016 income information will be reported.
The IRS DRT provides tax data that automatically fills in information for part of the FAFSA. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) turned off the DRT following concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns. As enhancements are made to protect the sensitive data, the IRS DRT will be available to use on the 2018-20169 FAFSA form on October 1, 2017. The IRS DRT will not return for use for either the 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 FAFSA forms.
On May 14, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) implemented several enhancements to improve the FSA ID experience.
The FSA ID enhancements include the following:
Interest rates vary depending on the loan type and the first disbursement date of the loan. The chart below provides interest rates for Federal Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018. All interest rates are fixed rates for the life of the loan. Note: The interest rates for federal student loans are determined by federal law.
The chart below shows the current interest rates for Federal Direct Loans.
|Loan Type||Borrower Type||Loans first disbursed or or after 7/1/17 and before 7/1/18|
|Direct Subsidized Loans||Undergraduate||4.45%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Undergraduate||4.45%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Graduate or Professional||6%|
|Direct PLUS Loans||Parents and Graduates or Professional Students||7%|
Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted from each loan disbursement you receive. Even though this means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrowed, you are still responsible for repaying the entire amount of the borrowed loan.
The chart below shows the current loan fees for Federal Direct Loans.
|Loan Type||First Disbursement Date||Loan Fee|
|Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans
||On or after 10/1/16 and before 10/1/17
|On or after 10/1/17 and before 10/1/18||1.066%|
|Direct PLUS Loans||On or after 10/1/16 and before 10/1/17||4.276%|
|On or after 10/1/17 and before 10/1/18||4.264%|
The TEACH Grant program provides grants to students who intend to teach full time in high-need subject areas at schools that serve students from low-income families.
The chart below shows the sequester-required TEACH Grant award reductions.
||Statutory Maximum Scheduled Award Amount
||Percentage Reduction Amount from Maximum Award Amount
||Dollar Reduction Amount from Maximum Award Amount
||Adjusted Maximum Award Amount
|2016-17||First disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2016, and before Oct. 1, 2017
|2017-18||First disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2016, and before Oct. 1, 2017||$4,000||6.9%||$276.00||$3,724.00|
|First disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2017, and before Oct. 1, 2018
For the 2017–18 award year (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018), the maximum Pell Grant award amount is $5,920.
Do you have questions about financial aid? If you haven’t yet applied to Walden, please contact an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 in the United States. If you are a current student, please contact a financial aid advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-WALDENU (1-800-925-3368).