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Federal Aid Changes for 2012-2013

Each July 1st changes to federal student aid go into effect.  Below is a summary of this year's changes:

  • Students who enroll in college for the first time after July 1, 2012 must have either GED, high school diploma, or have been home schooled in order to be eligible for federal student aid.
  • Federal Pell Grant is limited to a maximum of 12 semesters of full-time students for all students even though close to graduation.
  • New Subsidized Stafford Loans will remain at the fixed rate of 3.4% for loans issued on or after July 1, 2012.  The rate was scheduled to be 6.8%, but Congress was able to keep at 3.4% for one more year in a last minute action.
  • New Subsidized Stafford Loans issued on or after July 1, 2012 will accrue interest during the six month grace period after students leave school.  Previously interest was deferred during the grace period.  This is effective for 12-13 and 13-14 award years.
  • Graduate students are eligible for only Unsubsidized Stafford Loans effective July 1, 2012.
  • Only one repayment incentive available: 0.25% interest-rate reduction for borrowers who agree to make electronic automatic payments.
  • Unconsolidated loans borrowed before July 1, 2006 may be consolidated into a low fixed rate in 2012-2013.  (Click on link below for more detail about rates and limitations.)

For more detailed information, please refer to the following external link below:

Consumer Guide to Changes in Federal Pell Grants and Student Loans for 2012-2013