Federal Aid Changes

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Federal Aid Changes


Federal Pell Grant


·         600% Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used went into effect.

o   Pell grants are limited to 12 semesters (or equivalent).

o   Only the amount (or percent) of time that a student is enrolled will count against that time limit.


·         The amount of the maximum Pell Grant award went up. In 12-13 the maximum award was $5550.00 and for 13-14 it is $5645.00.


·         The amount of the maximum Pell Grant award went up. In 13-14 the maximum award was $5645.00 and for 14-15 it is $5730.00.


Federal Direct Loans


·         Direct Loans eliminated the interest subsidy during the grace period for loans made after 7/1/12.

·         Due to sequestration, the origination fee on subsidized/unsubsidized and PLUS loans changed to 1.051% for subsidized/unsubsidized and 4.204% for PLUS loans with a first disbursement after 3/1/13.

·         The U.S. Department of Education can no longer offer borrowers repayment incentives.


·         On July 6, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Program in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), (Public Law 112-141) was enacted.  MAP-21 added a new provision to the Direct Loan statutory requirements that limits a new borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans.  

o   Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility is limited to 150% of the published program length for first-time borrowers as of July 1, 2013. There is no effect on Direct Unsubsidized or PLUS Loan eligibility. 

§  First-time borrower is a borrower who has no outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or FFEL loan on July 1, 2013, or on the date the borrower obtains a Direct Loan after July 1, 2013. 

§  Borrower who had loan balance and paid off in full prior to receiving loans on/after July 1, 2013, becomes “first-time borrower”.  First-time borrower is no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans once the borrower has received Direct Subsidized Loans for a period of 150% of the length of the borrower’s education program.

o   The origination fee on subsidized/unsubsidized and PLUS loans changed to 1.072% for subsidized/unsubsidized and 4.288% for PLUS loans with a first disbursement after 12/1/13.

o   President Obama has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013.  The new law amends the Direct Loan interest rate section of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).

§  The interest rate for undergraduate students on Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans for the first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 will be a fixed interest rate of 3.86%.

§  Direct PLUS Loans (Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students) for the first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 will be a fixed interest rate of 4.60%.


Ability to Benefit


·         Effective July 2012, new students who did not have a standard high school diploma or GED were not eligible for Title IV aid.  Current students without a standard high school diploma or GED who had received aid under the Ability-to-Benefit provision of the federal regulation were allowed to continue to receive financial assistance. Some students were grandfathered in based on their prior college experience.


·         The same rules apply. Ability-to-Benefit is also now reported to the Department of Education through our disbursement process. Student's should be sure to correctly report high school diplomas received, whether from the US or a foreign school on both the FAFSA and their supporting documents turned in to the school so that their disbursements are not affected.




·         All colleges and universities are unable to access IRS Tax Returns and had to start collecting actual IRS data as part of the verification process. Students had to start submitting either a copy of an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA, if selected.

·         Verification of SNAP (food stamps) and child support paid also became required.


·         Some students will need to verify their identity and educational purpose, while others may need to verify their high school diploma/GED.


FAFSA Changes


·         The U.S. Department of Education issued new rules regarding which parents are required to share their financial information on the application.

o   Single-sex married couples

§  If a single-sex couple is married, the new federal rule now requires both spouses to complete the aid application. To reflect this change, the FAFSA will now ask for information about “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”  Previously, only the biological parent had to include his/her assets and income.

§  A single-sex couple that has not married does not have to share both parents’ financial data unless the partner has legally adopted the student. 

o   Unmarried parents living together

§  The new rules require unmarried parents who are living together to file the FAFSA jointly. Previously, only one parent had to submit the FAFSA.  

o   Guardians

§  If a student is living with a guardian, such as an older sibling or grandparent, he or she is considered an independent student. Only the student’s income and assets will be considered for financial aid purposes.

Please note:  All changes are instructions from the U.S. Dept. of Education and are federal law. These laws are not subject to change by Aultman College. 



Ohio College Opportunity Grant

13-14 - The maximum Ohio College Opportunity Grant decreased from $2280 to $2080.

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