Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement Requirement
Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, all student loan borrowers will be required to review how much they owe in federal student loans and to acknowledge the amount borrowed on a yearly basis. This requirement, known as the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement, is mandated for all first-time federal student loan borrowers and those with existing federal student loans. It will be required for all Direct Loan borrowers who have accepted one of the following loans for the 2021-2022 school year:
- Direct Subsidized Loan
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan
- Direct PLUS Loan
The Office of Financial Aid will not be able to post anticipated aid, or disburse loan funds, to student billing accounts if the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is not completed.
Note: The Annual Loan Acknowledgment Requirement does not fulfill entrance loan counseling or PLUS credit counseling (required for certain PLUS Loan borrowers). For a Direct PLUS loan made to a parent borrower, only the parent (not student) is required to complete the annual loan acknowledgment.
State law, enacted by the Connecticut General Assembly, allows undocumented students to apply for institutional financial aid. These students must meet certain age, residency, and criminal history requirements along with an affidavit provided to Charter Oak about their intent to legalize their immigration status when they are eligible to do so. This new law does not apply to non-immigrant visa holders.
Tax Return Transcripts
Moving to better protect taxpayer data, the Internal Revenue Service has implemented a new format for tax return transcripts that will redact personally identifiable information (PII). Identifying information, including names, addresses, SSN’s, will now be partially redacted from the tax return transcript, but all money amounts will be visible.
Based on the limited information that will now be displayed on the tax return transcript, students are required to reference their name and student id on their tax return transcript before sending it to the Office of Financial Aid. This is the only way that our office will be able to match the tax transcript to the student’s financial aid record.
Students who do not want their financial aid delayed are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer their tax data onto their FAFSA application. Students who cannot use the IRS DRT, or choose not to use the IRS DRT, will be responsible for providing their full name and student id on all transcripts (student/spouse/parent) submitted.
IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL (IRS DRT) - UPDATE
The IRS DRT is available for students to use when completing their FAFSA application. Additional security and privacy protections have been added to address identity theft concerns. Due to these concerns, tax information transferred from the IRS onto the FAFSA application won't be visible to applicants. Students will see "Transferred from the IRS" in the appropriate fields as shown below:
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 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 the 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.
Federal Direct Student Loan Subsidies - New Borrowers
Effective 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.