It is important to understand the changes that Congress implements regarding Federal Financial Aid. This year, many changes have occurred since January 2011 when you probably completed your FAFSA information. We recommend filling out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 each year. The FAFSA can be completed by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. This year, Congress implemented several vital changes for which you need to be aware. These changes were implemented as a compromise to reduce the federal deficit. Parents should be aware that these changes are especially difficult as state and federal funding has decreased for institutions which result in increased tuition and fees as well as reduction in University programs and services. These changes are not unique to North Carolina Central University, but are a national occurrence.
Pell Grants are now restricted to six full-time years of the grant. In the past, students were eligible for nine years of Pell Grants. In the fall of 2012, students will only be eligible for 12 semesters of Pell. Further, Summer Pell Grants were also eliminated by Congress.
Although a six month grace period still exists for student loans, those loans are no longer subsidized during the six month grace period. Students who graduate will now begin to accrue interest beginning at graduation. Loans do not have to be repaid during those six months, but the interest should be paid.
Also, students who plan to attend graduate or professional programs will no longer be eligible for subsidized loans. Instead, only unsubsidized loans are available.
Students and parents who submit information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may opt to use an Electronic Tax Transcript from the IRS to import information. Additionally, if you are selected for Verification, the university is now required to use a tax transcript. In the past, Universities have accepted signed copies of federal tax returns. Universities are no longer allowed to accept these forms. For more information regarding Financial Aid at NCCU visit the NCCU Financial Aid website.
To keep parents more informed on being successful in requesting financial aid, we recommend reading Parental Mistakes Can Be Costly.