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Federal Financial Aid Announcements - 2012

"May the road rise up to meet you;
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face...."

(from an Irish blessing)

The Financial Aid & Scholarships (FAS) staff hopes you have a fantastic summer! However, before summer starts, we would like to alert you to some changes and other news in federal student aid.

FAFSA Filing Tips

  1. If you haven't completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for this upcoming school year, you should complete the 2012-2013 FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ immediately.
  2. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to upload IRS data into your FAFSA; eliminating errors and incorrect reporting

New Verification Regulations

The FAFSA processing center randomly selects 30% of all FAFSA files for Verification. Beginning in 2012-2013 institutions are no longer able to accept copies of student and parent-completed tax returns for Verification purposes.

If you are selected for Verification, you and your parent will have two options:

  1. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool embedded in the FAFSA application or
  2. Request a copy of the Tax Return Transcript via IRS Form 4506-T or by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946, along with providing a copy of all W2's to Coastal.

How We Communicate with You

If you are selected for Verification, Coastal will mail a paper letter to your active home address for the initial notification of documents needed (if any) to complete the Verification process. All subsequent correspondence and award notices are sent to your @coastal.edu email address. So please check your Coastal email address regularly.

New Federal Pell Grant Regulation-"Lifetime Eligibility Used"

Several CCU students have received an email from Federal Student Aid stating that their Pell Grant eligibility has been exhausted. Effective July 1, 2012, students will be limited to six years of full-time Pell Grant funding. (Six years of eligibility is defined as 600%.). In the past, students were eligible to receive up to nine years of full-time Pell Grant eligibility. This change affects all students - new and returning. For example, if you have been receiving a Pell grant for eight years, you are immediately excluded and ineligible for a grant for the next school year because you have surpassed 600% eligibility. Email CCU at finaid@coastal.edu with questions if you have received one of the emails from Federal Student Aid.

Stafford Loan Changes Effective July 1, 2012

  1. The Subsidized Stafford interest rate is increasing from the current rate of 3.4% to 6.8% for all undergraduate students.
  2. Graduate students will not be eligible for SUBSIDIZED Stafford Loans. Annual loan limits remain the same, but all graduate eligibility is now UNSUBSIDIZED.
  3. The interest subsidy during the six-month grace period is eliminated for new Stafford Loans made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014. The repayment period still begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time, but interest that accrues during those six months will be payable by the student rather than subsidized by the federal government.

New Federal Regulation Regarding Repeat Courses

A student who repeats a previously passed course in a term may receive Title IV funds for that repeated class for the first time only (i.e., one repetition per class). If a particular course is repeated more than once, a student is not eligible to receive Title IV funds for that repeated class, and the class cannot be counted towards Title IV eligibility.*

* Federal Title IV Aid consists of: Pell, SEOG, Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans, TEACH Grants and Federal Work Study. The South Carolina Need Based Grant is not federal aid but follows all federal Title IV regulations.)

Federal Title IV Census Date

Coastal Carolina University uses the last date of the 100% tuition refund period as the official federal financial aid census date for all federal aid recipients. Per federal regulations, federal aid cannot be awarded for classes added AFTER the institution's federal financial aid census date, which is the ninth calendar day of the semester. August 28 is the census date for the fall 2012 semester.

Please keep in mind:

  • To receive Stafford, Perkins or PLUS loans, you must be enrolled in at least six eligible credit hours on the federal financial aid census date. Classes added after the federal financial aid census date will NOT be counted as eligible credit hours for federal Title IV aid.
  • Pell amounts will be awarded based on the number of eligible credit hours that you are registered in as of the FAS census date. Classes added after the FAS census date will NOT be counted as eligible credit hours for federal Title IV aid.
  • Also keep in mind the repeat policy when determining federal Title IV eligible credit hours.