The Office of Financial Aid would like to share with you regulatory changes to federal financial aid for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Changes to 2018-19 FASA Verification

The Department of Education has implemented that parents of dependent students, along with independent students, who did not file and were not required to file taxes in 2016, must provide an IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter as part of the verification process.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

The IRS DRT provides tax data that automatically fills in information for part of the FAFSA. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has turned the IRS DRT back on for the 2018-2019 award year. Starting October 1, 2017, students can use the IRS DRT to complete the 2018-2019 FAFSA form.

One of the enhancements made to the IRS DRT for 2018-2019 was to mask any financial information transferred from the IRS website into the FAFSA to protect sensitive data. Since this transferred information is no longer visible, students and parents will see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields on fafsa.gov, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) webpage, and on their Student Aid Report.

In addition, more applicants and parents will be eligible to use the IRS DRT since amended tax filers are now able to transfer their IRS tax return information from their original tax return into the FAFSA form.

Federal Direct Loan Interest Rates for 2018-2019

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, 2018 and before July 1, 2019. 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.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or after July 1, 2018

Loan Type Borrower Type Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/18 and before 7/1/19
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate 5.045%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate 5.045%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate or Professional 6.595%
Direct PLUS Loans Parents and Graduates or Professional Students 7.595%

Federal Sequestration Impacts Loan Fees

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
1.069%
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%

Federal Sequestration Impacts TEACH Grants

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.

Award Year
Impacted Awards
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
$4,000 6.9% $276.00 $3,724.00
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
$4,000  6.6%  $264.00  $3,736.00 

Maximum Pell Grant Amount

For the 2018-2019 award year (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019), the maximum Pell Grant award amount is $6,095.

Do you have questions about financial aid? If you haven’t yet applied to Walden, please contact an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286 in the United States. If you are a current student, please contact a financial aid advisor at finaid@mail.waldenu.edu or call 1-800-WALDENU (1-800-925-3368).

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