THE BUDGET CONTROL ACT OF 2011:
This piece of legislation made significant changes to federal student aid.
The most prominent change for WCL’s population is that graduate students no longer will receive Subsidized Stafford loans. Also, origination fee rebates were eliminated on both Unsubsidized Stafford and Grad PLUS loans.
- The Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan with assistance up to $20,500 is available to all students who qualify for federal student aid. Under the Direct Stafford Loan program the interest rate is fixed at 6.8 percent, calculated from the time the loan is disbursed. No payment is required until you graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time status.
- The Direct Loan Grad PLUS program allows students to borrow up to the cost of attendance less other aid received at a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent. After graduation students may consolidate Grad PLUS with other federal loans. To qualify for a Grad PLUS loan you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet eligibility requirements for receipt of federal aid.
- The Perkins Loan is a low-interest, need-based loan administered by the university. The interest rate is 5 percent. Repayment begins six to nine months after graduation, withdrawal from school or change to less than half-time enrollment. Because funding is limited the FAFSA must be filed by March 1 for consideration.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Employment Certification Process
Complete “Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness” form annually OR whenever you change jobs
Instructions on line at:
- Submit completed form to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
- FedLoan Servicing will review and process form
- FedLoan Servicing will inform you regarding your current status toward meeting the PSLF requirements
- FedLoan Servicing will become your federal loan servicer if you are making progress toward qualifying PSLF
Information from the Department of Education
Department of Education’s Letter to Borrowers about the process: http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/DBL
Debt Ceiling Legislation and Student Loans
The Budget Control Act of 2011 does not affect funding levels; it does affect the cost to borrow (loans will cost more). The legislation eliminated the interest subsidy on federal Direct Loans for graduate and professional students. Eligible students may borrow $20,500 annually but interest will accrue on the entire amount beginning with disbursement. The added interest costs for part-time students over 4 years is about $6,000; $4,800 in school and $1,200 during the grace period. Even though interest will now accrue during school, interest and principal payments are still deferred until after graduation. The option to make interest payments while in school remains.
American University Washington College of Law
Policy on Student and Third-Party Access to their
Financial Aid Records
In consideration of the contractual nature of the financial aid process, avoiding miscommunication, and in the interest of protecting student financial data and ensuring compliance with federal rules regarding dissemination of information to borrowers, the Washington College of Law Financial Aid Office has adopted the following policy regarding third party access to financial aid records.
- The Financial Aid Office will only release student information and records to the student. If students wish to share information or records with others, they may do so on their own accord. (Appropriate accommodations will be made as necessary on a case by case basis.)
- Students have the option of having a third party present at any financial aid information discussion/exchange (including but not limited to outstanding requirements and other sensitive data) ONLY if the student is present.
- Financial aid correspondence is directed to the student's AU assigned email account ONLY.
Further, the student must provide verifiable identifying information to access his /her file when contacting the office by telephone.
The university policy on confidentiality of student records can be found in the WCL Catalog and in Academic Regulation 90.10.00 at www.american.edu/american/registrar/AcademicReg
The Federal Work-Study Program is available to students eligible for employment as Deans Fellows or Legal Rhetoric Writing Fellows. The FAFSA must be filed by March 1.