Changes in Federal Financial Aid for Fall 2012
Due to recent legislation enacted by the US Congress, please note the following changes to the Federal Pell Grant and Student Loan Program. These changes are effective July 1, 2012.
What you need to know:
The full Pell award stays at $5,500.
If you make more than $23,000 a year, your Pell grant may be lower this year than before. This applies to both independent and dependent students. Student Loans are unaffected by this change.
You may still receive a full award with an income greater than $23,000, but you’ll be asked to provide additional documentation.
You will only be able to receive a Pell grant for 12 full time semesters, or 144 credit hours. This has been reduced from 18 full time semesters previously. This calculation includes your work at all colleges, not just at PTC. If you are selected for verification by the government, you must now provide a tax transcript from the IRS. Paper copies of your tax returns are no longer accepted. You can order yours at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=232168,00.html
Things you need to do:
Check your Attempted Credit Hours in PTC Pathway.
File your FAFSA for the fall term by June 1.
Request a Tax Transcript when you complete the FAFSA in case you’re selected for verification. Many PTC students are each term.
If you’ve already filed a FAFSA, request your Tax Transcript now. You can order yours at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=232168,00.html
The Pell Grant Program
Effective Fall 2012, the Dept. of Education has made the following changes to the Federal Pell Grant program:
Pell Grant Duration of Eligibility: A student’s eligibility to receive a Pell Grant has been reduced from 18 full-time semesters or its equivalent to 12 full-time semesters or its equivalent. This provision applies to all Pell Grant eligible students and includes all years of receipt of Pell Grant funding. Thus, the calculation of this total will include previous semesters/quarters at PTC and at all other colleges, where a Pell Grant was paid.
Zero EFC Income Threshold: The income threshold for calculating the automatic zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will decrease from $30,000 to $23,000 for the 2012-2013 award year. Students with incomes greater than $23,000 may still qualify for a full Pell Grant award but may be required to provide additional information when completing the FAFSA.
Maximum Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The maximum Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for which a student is eligible to receive a Pell Grant will decrease from 5273 to 4995. Students with an EFC of 4996 or higher will not be eligible for a Pell Grant for the 2012-13 academic year. The EFC is determined by information reported on the FAFSA.
The Federal Student Loan Program:
Effective July 1, 2012, the following changes have been made to the Student Loan Program:
Direct Loan Repayment Incentives were eliminated. These incentives provided a means to make loans affordable on the front end and during repayment. Rebates were provided to reduce the origination fee, meaning the student receives more loan money to use for educational purposes due to fewer upfront fees deducted prior to disbursement. In repayment, students previously qualified for reductions to their interest rate making the overall cost of the loan less expensive.
Grace Period Interest Subsidy was eliminated on subsidized loans during the six month grace period.
Fixed Rate Increase. The Federal Subsidized Direct Loans for undergraduate students will increase from the current fixed rate of 3.4 percent to a new fixed rate of 6.8 percent for all new loans taken on or after July 1, 2012.
Verification is a mandated Federal process to confirm the information provided on the FAFSA.
The government now requires college applicants and students to provide evidence directly from the IRS for verification of income data. Most applicants can quickly and easily access IRS data through the Data Retrieval process while completing the FAFSA.
PTC recommends that students use the IRS Data Retrieval option when filing or making corrections to your 2012-2013 FAFSA. If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval option and you are selected for verification, you must go to http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=232168,00.html to request a 2011 IRS Tax Transcript. This could take at least two weeks and could prevent you from attending college if not done early in the process.
Non-High School Graduates without a GED
New students who enroll on or after July 1, 2012 must have a High School Diploma or GED to receive any Title IV Assistance (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Student Loan, Federal Work Study or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG).
Apply NOW for Financial Aid for the 2012-2013 Academic Year
Students should not wait. Apply EARLY for the 2012-2013 academic year, which starts in the Fall Semester of 2012, by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial aid is awarded ONLY when the FAFSA is received and the student’s file is completed. Piedmont Technical College’s (PTC) priority deadline for completing the 2012-2013 financial aid process is June 1, 2012.