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Omar Rosario named Student Speaker for Charter Oak State College commencement
Omar Rosario named Student Speaker for Charter Oak State College commencement

Charter Oak State College Commencement set for June 1, U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy to speak
2014 Commencement date, speaker announcement

U.S. Senator Christopher S. Murphy to Give 2014 Commencement Speech
Graduation to be held June 1

New CT Education Academy to Launch
Academy will provide training for CT state workforce

Charter Oak Offers New Non-Credit Cybersecurity Courses
Courses teach latest cybersecurity skills

Charter Oak Ranked First for Affordability
College offers most affordable online degree program in state.

Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education

Recent Changes to SFA Programs

Here's an overview of the changes that will impact your financial aid for the 2013-14 school year (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014) and in the future.


Eligibility of Students Without a High School Diploma

If you enroll in higher education for the first time on or after July 1, 2012, in order to be eligible for federal student aid, you must have either a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (such as a General Educational Development certificate (GED) or have been home schooled).

  • You no longer have the option of becoming eligible for federal student aid by passing an approved test or completing at least six credit hours or 225 clock hours of postsecondary education. For more information, see the basic eligibility requirements for federal student aid.

Expected Family Contribution

The lower a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the higher the student's federal student aid eligibility. A change has been made to the income amount that is used to determine if a student qualifies for an automatic EFC of zero.

  • When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) , you receive an Expected Family Contribution, which is a number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility. For the 2013-14 school year, you automatically qualify for an Expected Family Contribution of zero if your family income does not exceed $24,000. This is an increase from the previous maximum income of $23,000.

Federal Pell Grant Program - Duration of Eligibility

Once you have received a Pell Grant for 12 semesters (full-time), or the equivalent, you are no longer eligible for additional Pell Grants.

  • You are eligible to receive a Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters or the equivalent. If you have exceeded the 12-semester maximum, you lose eligibility for additional Pell Grants. Equivalency is calculated by adding together the percentage of your Pell eligibility that you received each year to determine whether the total amount exceeds 600%.
  • For example, if your maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2011-2012 school year was $5,550, but you only receive $2,775 because you were only enrolled for one semester, you would have used 50% of your maximum award for that year. If in the following school year, you were enrolled only three-quarter time, you would have used 75% of your maximum award for that year. Together, you would have received 125% out of the total 600% lifetime limit.
  • Learn more about the Pell Grant limit.

Direct Student Loan Changes

Direct Subsidized Loans are not eligible for an interest subsidy during the six-month grace period.*

  • Subsidized loans are loans for which the borrower is not responsible for the interest while the student is enrolled in college on at least a half-time basis, when the loan is in the six-month grace period after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time, or if the loan is in a deferment status.
  • *This provision eliminates the interest subsidy provided during the six-month grace period for subsidized loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014. If you receive a subsidized loan during this timeframe, you are responsible for the interest that accrues while your loan is in the grace period. You do not have to make payments during the grace period (unless you choose to) but the interest will be added (capitalized) to the principal amount of your loan when the grace period ends. This provision does not eliminate the interest subsidy while the borrower is in school or during eligible periods of deferment.

Subsidized loans made to undergraduate students.

  • Direct Loan interest rates effective July 1, 2013.
  • The implementation of sequestration, effective March 1, 2013, has increased Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loan fees to 1.051 percent and Direct Plus Loan fees to 4.204 percent.

Graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized loans.

  • Effective for loans made for payment periods that begin on or after July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive subsidized loans. However, if you are a graduate or professional student, you may still qualify for up to $20,500 in unsubsidized loans each year.

The U.S. Department of Education can no longer offer borrowers repayment incentives.

  • Effective for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, the Department of Education is prohibited from offering any repayment incentives to Direct Loan borrowers, except interest rate reductions to borrowers who agree to have payments automatically electronically debited from their bank account).

Effective as of July 1, 2013, the Direct Loan interest subsidy will be limited for new borrowers.

  • The new limitation impacts only new borrowers -defined as a student with no outstanding Direct Loan balance as of 7-1-2013.
  • The law restricts the period of time for which a new borrower may receive subsidized loans, in the aggregate, to 150 percent of the published length of the student's current educational program.
  • Once a student reaches that limit, he or she can only borrow an unsubsidized loan, and interest begins to accrue on the student's outstanding subsidized loans.
  • While new borrowers will not see the effect of the subsidy limit until a minimum of 150 percent of his or her published program length has elapsed, it is important to understand that academic progress will be tied to the cost of borrowing student loans.