With January 1st quickly approaching, let's review the changes made to student financial aid that were effective as of July 2009. These changes include lowering the cost of student loans, an increase in aid for Pell Grant recipients and military aid recipients, and providing help for students who find themselves in unmanageable debt.
- Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), there is an increase in the maximum Pell grant award being with the 2009/2010 school year. This funding increased the grant to $5,350, which is up more than $600 from the previous year.
- The minimum Pell grant for a full-time student is no $976 and for part time students the amounts are prorated.
- Those who have been incarcerated or convicted of sexual offenses will not be eligible to receive Pell Grants.
- If you are under the age of 24 and enrolled in college at the a military parent or guardian passes away as a result of military duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, you are eligible for the maximum Pell Grant.
- Students are now eligible to receive Pell Grants year round.
- Non- U.S. citizens and students attending college at least half time are now eligible for grants.
- Effective July 1, 2009, interest rates on subsidized loans for undergraduates now have a 5.6% interest rate opposed to 6%. Stafford loan borrowers with see more than 1.7% point reduction in their rates.
- Income Based Repayment Program began.
- The 20/220 Elimination program ended July 1, 2009, this program allowed students to qualify for economic hardship deferment, but was canceled due to Income Based Repayment.