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Important Changes to Federal Student Aid:

Federal regulations enacted last year in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L 112-25) and the Consolidations Appropriations Act of 2012 (Pub. L 112-74) affect many areas of Federal Financial Aid. 


General Changes

Repeated coursework – effective 7/1/2011

Federal Title IV aid will not pay for the 3rd attempt of a class already successfully completed.  Once a passing grade is received, federal aid will pay for only one more attempt for the same course.  (This will not apply to courses with the same name/number with different content)

Satisfactory Academic Progress – effective 7/1/2011

Students who fail to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress based on the percentage of classes completed will no longer be eligible for a warning on the first failure, but instead be will not be eligible for financial aid.  Please see the Satisfactory Academic Progress page for further details.

Pell Grant Changes – effective 7/1/2012

  • The annual Pell grant maximum remains $5,550, however, legislation has reduced the maximum EFC for Pell eligibility to 4995. 
  • The Pell Duration of Eligibility has been set at 12 semesters (6 annual awards) effective for all students.

Loan Changes - effective 7/1/2012

  • Rebate elimination
    • The Federal Direct Loan program will no longer offer upfront rebate on origination fees starting with loans disbursed after 7/01/12.    For Stafford Loans, however, there will be no change to the percent of the loan disbursed, as the previous origination fee was 1.5% with a .5% rebate and the new origination fee is 1.0% with no rebate.  For PLUS loans the origination fee was previously 4% with a 1% rebate.  The origination fee remains 4% but there will no longer be a rebate.


  • Interest Subsidy elimination
    • For Stafford loans disbursed between 7/1/2012-7/1/2014 there will be no grace period Interest Subsidy.    For loans disbursed between these dates, interest will accrue to the student during the six month grace period provided to students when they are no longer enrolled at least ½ time.
  • Subsidized Stafford Loan elimination for Graduate Students
    • Effective for loans for period of enrollment on or after 7/1/2012 graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. The terms and conditions of Direct Subsidized Loans received by any student for loan periods beginning before July 1, 2012, for either graduate or undergraduate study, are not affected by this change.  The annual loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500.

Verification of Income Tax Information

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed with estimated tax information, but this information should be updated once taxes for the applicable year are completed. 


  • Beginning February 1, 2012, the online FAFSA will offer the option for completed tax data to be transferred directly to the application from the completed data on file with the IRS.  This can be used in the initial application process, or it can be accessed through the online correction process. 


  • For the 2012-2013 year, if an application is selected for verification, he/she may either correct their FAFSA to draw in actual data from the IRS, or submit a Tax Transcript from the IRS.  Individual copies of tax return forms will not be accepted for the 2012-2013 year.


last updated 2012-0125