The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program enables eligible students to borrow funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help pay the expenses of their University education. Students with financial need are eligible for a Subsidized Stafford Loan. A student’s need is not a factor when determining eligibility for an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. It is possible for a student to have Federal Direct Subsidized and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans in the same award year. Maximum subsidized Stafford Loan amounts annually are $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 for sophomores, $5,500 for juniors, seniors and fifth-year undergraduate students. Submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is required. For more information on Federal Stafford Loans, please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov
Federal Perkins Loan
This is a low-interest loan available primarily to full-time students, who demonstrate need. Interest accrual and loan repayment begin nine months after graduation. Annual awards range from $1,000 to $3,000.
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan program provides loan assistance to parents of dependent undergraduate and graduate students to assist with meeting educational expenses. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. The Federal PLUS interest rate varies from year to year. Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Borrowers must complete a check of adverse credit history as part of the application process. PLUS loan applications and information are available at https://studentloans.gov
Short-Term Loan Funds
Short-term loan assistance is made available by such donors as the faculty and staff of UNO, the Alumni Association, Faye L. Hickey, Ben Garman, Alpha Kappa Delta, Sigma Gamma Rho, Phi Delta Gamma, UNO Parents Association and Rotary International. Application and eligibility information may be obtained from the Office of Financial Support and Scholarships. Typical loan amounts range from $50-$300 and repayment must be made within 30 days or from the first available disbursement of financial aid, whichever comes first. If you received a refund and have borrowed a short-term loan, you will want to check with Cashiering/Student Accounts to make sure it was paid before the refund was processed.
Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws
The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 established provisions which may require a certain percentage of Federal financial aid (Title IV funds) to be returned to the Department of Education or lender when a student completely withdraws from all classes. Federal financial aid funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, they may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that they were originally scheduled to receive. The Title IV funds that are covered by this law, in order of their required return are: Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant FSEOG, Federal Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant and Federal TEACH Grant.
Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period. If you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or your school or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.
The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a Post-withdrawal disbursement. If your Post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, your school must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. Your school may automatically use all or a portion of your Post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The school needs your permission to use the Post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
However, there are some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements.
If you receive (or your school or parent receives on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
1. Your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
2. The entire amount of excess funds.
The school must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
If your school is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that your school may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Your school may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know what your school’s refund policy is, you can ask your school for a copy. Your school can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Return of Title IV Funds Procedure
When a student officially, or unofficially withdraws (i.e. quits attending class), during the first 60 percent of the semester, and has received or was eligible to receive federal Title IV funds, the Office of Financial Support and Scholarships is required to perform a Return of Title IV funds calculation as follows:
• Step One: Determine how much Title IV aid was earned by the student. This is calculated by dividing the number of days a student attended by the total number of days in the semester (percent of aid earned), and then multiplying that percentage by the total amount of Title IV aid disbursed, or could have been disbursed.
• Step Two: Determine the Title IV aid to be disbursed to student. If the student received less Title IV aid than earned from step one, a post-withdrawal disbursement will be made. This situation may occur in a case where federal aid was approved, or a loan certified, but not yet disbursed before the student withdrew.
• Step Three: Determine the amount of unearned Title IV aid that must be returned by UNO. UNO must return the lessor of the amount of Title IV aid which the student does not earn, or the amount of institutional charges the student incurred for the semester multiplied by the percentage of Title IV aid not earned. Title IV funds that have to be returned by the school will result in a university obligation to the student. The student will receive a bill from the Cashiering/Student Accounts Office.
• Step Four: Determine the amount of unearned Title IV aid to be returned by student. Any federal grant funds that are calculated to be returned by the student will be returned by the school so a federal overpayment situation does not result and will be included in the amount billed in step three. Any loan funds required to be returned by the student would be returned in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.
An aid recipient should contact the Office of Financial Support and Scholarships prior to withdrawal from the University. Upon request, the Office of Financial Support and Scholarships will provide written examples of various return of funds calculations.
For more information…
Office of Financial Support and Scholarships
Eppley Administration Building, Room 103
Omaha, NE, 68182