By: Jyllian Roach, Managing Editor
Both CNM and the federal government have made some big changes that will affect students beginning in the fall term, according to an email sent by the Financial Aid Department.
Pell Grant recipients will be allowed only six total years of aid
The previous aid limit of nine years has been shortened to 600 percent, or six years. For students attending school full time year-round, that means they must complete their undergraduate studies in six years.
For students attending year-round part time, the limit would be 12 years. It is important to note that while this is effective as of the fall term, it backdates for all current students. Students can find their current percentage by visiting nslds.ed.gov.
Student loan repayment grace period discontinued
Students will no longer receive a six month grace period for loan repayment after completing undergraduate studies for any loans borrowed after July 1, 2012. Loan repayment will now begin immediately after leaving school. This does not affect loans received before July 1, 2012. For students receiving a post-graduate degree, loans must be pay on while attending school.
Family income eligibility limit lowered
A student’s Expected Family Contribution is automatically zero only if the family earns less than $23,000 a year rather than the previous limit of $32,000.
Ability to benefit eligibility changes
Students enrolling in school for the first time after July 1, 2012, who do not have a high school diploma, GED or state homeschool completion, are no longer eligible for the Pell Grant.
Previously, students could still receive financial aid after passing an approved test or by successfully completing six college-level classes.
Repayment incentives eliminated
The U.S. Federal Government can no longer offer incentives for students repaying loans.
Direct loan interest rate raised
The new fixed annual interest rate for Direct Subsidized loans is now 6.8 percent. This will remain in effect through 2013. The precious interest rate was 3.4 percent.
Transcript verification now required
Students applying for the Pell Grant must turn in a transcript from all previous post-secondary education institutions to be eligible for financial aid.
Appointment needed to see academic adviser
The Academic Advisement Office, located in the Student Services Center room 203, will no longer accept walk-in appointments in an effort to cut down on student wait times.
Appointments can be made with an adviser by calling 224-4321.