Catalog

Federal Aid

Federal Grants

The Federal government provides grant assistance from the Federal Pell Grant Program to undergraduates with demonstrated need. To apply, applicants complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Federal processor will determine eligibility and send an acknowledgement to the applicant. Federal Pell Grants are reserved for those applicants with greatest need and those students not eligible for Pell assistance may be eligible for aid from other Federal programs. (This program is not available to students pursuing a second undergraduate degree.)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is funded by the Federal government and awarded by the Financial Aid Office. It is reserved for undergraduates with exceptional need and is generally offered to applicants with the lowest family contributions who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients. The FAFSA is required.

For more information, please visit: http://studentaid.ed.gov/

Federal Student Loans

Federal Perkins Loan. The Federal Perkins Loan is a deferred payment, deferred interest loan administered by the Financial Aid Office. Interest (at 5%) begins to accrue and repayment begins 9 months after the borrower graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Borrowers may be allowed up to 10 years to repay. Funds are limited and will be offered first to aid applicants who file a timely application (February 1 for new applicants, March 2 for continuing students for the following academic year) and demonstrate the greatest need. The FAFSA is required.

Nursing Student Loan. The Nursing Student Loan is a deferred payment, deferred interest loan administered by the Financial Aid Office and funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services to assist students enrolled in nursing programs. Interest (at 5%) begins to accrue and repayment begins 9 months after the borrower graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Funds are limited and will be offered first to nursing students who file a timely aid application and demonstrate the greatest need. The FAFSA is required.

Federal Stafford Loans for USF Undergraduate Students

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
  1. The Subsidized Federal Direct Loan is a deferred payment, deferred interest loan funded by the Federal government and offered to eligible applicants by the University's Financial Aid Office. Interest (currently 4.5%) is paid by the Federal government while the borrower is in school. Repayment of interest and principal begins 6 months after the borrower graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. To participate in the subsidized loan program, applicants must file a FAFSA and demonstrate need for assistance in meeting educational costs. The annual loan limits are $3,500 for first year undergraduates; $4,500 for second year undergraduates; $5,500 for third and fourth year undergraduates. In no case may a borrower's subsidized loan amount exceed his or her demonstrated need.
  2. Dependent aid applicants with limited or no eligibility for the Subsidized Federal Direct Loan may borrow from the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Program. In addition, independent student borrowers may request additional amounts to supplement their Subsidized Federal Direct Loan eligibility.

Terms and conditions are identical to those of the Subsidized program except that interest (6.8%) begins to accrue immediately and it is the student borrower's responsibility to pay interest while in school. Payment of interest may be deferred until after the borrower graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment, but if interest payments are deferred, they are added to the principal borrowed and increase the amount on which future interest is calculated.

Annual loan limits for dependent student borrowers (subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans combined) are $5,500 for first year undergraduates; $6,500 for second year undergraduates; and $7,500 for third and fourth year undergraduates. Annual loan limits for independent student borrowers (subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans combined) are $9,500 for first year undergraduates; $10,500 for second year undergraduates; and $12,500 for third and fourth year undergraduates. The FAFSA is required.

  1. Parents with good credit histories may borrow from the Direct PLUS (formerly called the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) Program. Funds can be borrowed on behalf of each dependent child who is enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate program. The annual loan limit is the student's cost of education minus estimated or actual financial aid. Interest begins to accrue immediately; payment of principal and interest may be deferred until the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. The FAFSA is required.

Federal Stafford Loans for USF Graduate and Professional Students

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Graduate aid applicants may borrow from the Unsubsidized Direct Loan program. Interest begins to accrue at the time of disbursement and it is the student borrower's responsibility to pay interest while in school. Payment of interest may be deferred until after the borrower graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. If interest payments are deferred, they are added to the principal borrowed and increase the amount on which future interest is calculated. The loan limit per award period for graduate student borrowers from the Unsubsidized loan program is $20,500.

Federal PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Students

The Federal Direct PLUS program allows eligible graduate and professional students to borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other aid they have been awarded. To be eligible to borrow from PLUS, graduate and professional students must file the FAFSA and must first borrow from the Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Federal Student Loan program. Among the features of the PLUS program is a fixed 7.9% interest rate, in-school payment deferment, and fixed monthly payments. PLUS loans can be consolidated with other Federal student loans and may be a good alternative to private education loan programs for some student borrowers.

Federal Student Financial Aid (Title IV) Policy

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 require that the University calculate pro-rated student aid eligibility for students who withdraw before completing more than 60% of any academic term. Aid awarded to the student and not earned at the time of the effective date of withdrawal will be returned to the Federal Title IV Student Financial Aid Programs. The Title IV programs include the Federal Pell Grant Program, the Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant, the National SMART Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG) Grant Program, the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan Programs, and the Federal Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan Program.

The following is the procedure that the University uses to comply with the Return of Title IV Funds regulations, which require that:

  1. The amount of unearned Federal financial aid be calculated by measuring the number of days the student completed against the number of days in the term in which the student withdraws;
  2. The University's Student Accounts office return the unearned aid it accepted in payment of charges;
  3. And the University notify the student of his or her responsibility for returning unearned aid he or she received as a refund from Student Accounts after all charges had been paid.

If aid funds must be returned to the Title IV aid programs, loan funds will be returned before grant funds. Funds received by the Student Accounts Office and by the student, if any, will be returned in the following order as long as there is any amount to be returned:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant
  7. National SMART Grant
  8. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  9. Other assistance programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Assistance Act

The Student Accounts Office and the Office of Financial Aid Operations have information on this policy for students admitted to and enrolled in the University's degree and credential programs. Examples of repayment calculations are available.