Federal and State Grant Programs
Federal and State Grant Programs
There are several types of grants and loans available to Saint Peter’s students. The eligibility for these grants is determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA) as well as the specific requirements of each program. All Federal and State Programs require students to comply with the Federal and State process called Verification on a yearly basis if selected, must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (S.A.P.) at the end of every academic year (see below for details), must maintain a minimum enrollment status (see below for details) every semester or trimester. All Federal grants and/or loans are disbursed in a timely matter once all classes in a semester or trimester are in session and past the add/drop period. Undergraduate semester students must be registered at least 6 credits in order to be eligible for grants and loans. Graduate and Doctorate semester students must be registered for at least 4.5 credits or more to be eligible for loans. Graduate trimester students must be registered for at least 3 credits to be eligible for loans. Book vouchers are given at the start of each term to students with credit balances on their accounts to be used to purchase books for their courses.
The programs are:
Federal Pell Grant Program
Student eligibility is based on the calculated estimated family contribution (EFC) that was determined from the income and assets figures, number in family, etc., submitted by the family on the FAFSA. The amount of the Pell award is based on the student’s Full time, Part Time and Less than Part Time registration status every term. Students cannot exceed a combined amount of 600% thru their lifetime at all institutions. Please contact the Financial Aid Office with questions regarding eligibility.
Federal SEOG Program
Grant program where eligibility and funding is determined by the institution. Awards range up to $1000, based on the calculated estimated family income (EFC) that was determined from the income and assets figures submitted by the family. Awards are made to students with low EFCs and must also be PELL eligible. Priority is given to students with EFC range of 0-1000 and to students with unmet need. Students must be enrolled at a Full time status for every semester they are given the award.
Federal Direct Loan Program (Plus and Stafford)
Low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. With Federal Direct Loans, you borrow directly from the federal government and have a single contact your loan servicer for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools. Have online access to your Direct Loan account information via your servicer’s website or the www.NSLDS.ed.gov website. Can choose from several repayment plans, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.
The Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans:
- Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
- Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
- PLUS: unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.
- Consolidation: Eligible federal student loans can be combined into one Direct Consolidation Loan.
All Students and parents who borrow any Stafford or Plus loans at Saint Peter’s University must sign a Financial Aid Award letter provided by the school to the student and must also complete an entrance Counseling, MPN (even if student completed one for another institution) and Credit Decision (Plus Borrowers Only). Step by step instructions can be found at www.saintpeters.edu/loans
Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan limits and yearly amounts for a dependent undergraduate student and independent Undergraduate or Graduate student can be found here. These loan limits represent the total of all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans a undergraduate and Graduate student may borrow at each level of study for a single academic year and during their educational career. Increased Direct Unsubsidized limits for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied for a PLUS loans. There are higher additional unsubsidized annual loan limits for independent undergraduate students. These higher additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan limits also apply to dependent undergraduate students whose parents are Denied a Plus Loan due to adverse credit or other documented exceptional circumstances. Aggregate loan limits for graduate and professional students include loans received for undergraduate study
The Budget Control Act of 2011 eliminated subsidized loan eligibility for graduate and professional students for loan periods of enrollment beginning on or after July 1, 2012.
The regulations define a graduate/professional student as a student who is enrolled in a program or course above the baccalaureate level or in a professional program and has completed the equivalent of 3 academic years of full-time study either prior to entering the program or as part of the program itself. Also, a student who is receiving Title IV aid as an undergraduate student can’t be considered a graduate/professional student for that same period of enrollment. There are several rules to consider if a student is simultaneously taking undergraduate and graduate courses. A student in an undergraduate program can’t get the graduate loan limits based on taking graduate coursework as a part of the undergraduate program. A student enrolled in preparatory coursework has an annual loan limit of $2,625 if the student is taking coursework in preparation for enrollment at the undergraduate level, and an annual loan limit of $5,500 if taking coursework in preparation for enrollment at the graduate level. A student enrolled in teacher certification coursework is considered a fifth-year undergraduate student for purposes of annual loan limits. In contrast, a graduate student who is taking some undergraduate coursework is eligible for the graduate loan limits if the student is enrolled at least half-time in courses (either graduate or undergraduate) that can be applied to the graduate program requirements. However, the student must already be admitted into the graduate program. A borrower with a bachelor’s degree who is taking preparatory work for graduate school (or whose full admission to the graduate program is contingent upon completion of certain undergraduate courses) is not eligible for graduate loan limits.
There are no fixed annual or aggregate loan limits for Direct PLUS Loans. A graduate or professional student may be awarded a Direct PLUS Loan for up to the student’s Cost Of Attendance.
Loan notification letters are sent to students within 30 days of disbursement giving the students 14 days to cancel or reduce their loans. The request for reduction or cancellation must be in writing.
All students will be provided at Graduate Salute or via mail instructions for an Exit Counseling that all Federal Loan borrowers must complete. Exit counseling can be completed at studentloans.gov
All Federal student loans must be paid back to the Federal Government and will have from 10 to 25 years to repay these loans, depending on which repayment plan (there are several) you choose.
Your loan servicer will notify you of the date your first payment is due. If you do not choose a repayment plan, you will be placed on the standard repayment plan, with fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. Most Direct Loan borrowers choose to stay with the standard repayment plan, but there are other options for borrowers who may need more time to repay or who need to make lower payments at the beginning of the repayment period. You can change repayment plans at any time by contacting your loan servicer. For a repayment plan calculator estimator click here.
Federal Work Study Program
Unlike Perkins and FSEOG, Federal Work Study does not require the priority be given to students who have exceptional financial need. In determining Federal Work Study eligibility, the student must have remaining need after all eligible gift aid has been awarded. The standard allotment awarded to students is $2000. Any students with remaining need of $2000 will be given a Federal Work Study allotment. Exceptions can be made on a case by case basis if less than $2000 in need is remaining or to increase the amount if the student has remaining need. In order for students to receive Federal Work Study funding they must fill out the appropriate applications and referral forms that are provided by the Financial Aid Office. Students meet with hiring departments and are hired based on the specific needs of those particular departments. Students may work a maximum of 15 hours a week while classes are in session. Please refer to the Student Employment Handbook for further information about the work study program
GSS (Garden State Scholars Program)
This is a New Jersey State Grant program. Awards are based on residency within the state and merit. Awards are $1,000* each academic year. See NJ Grants (njfams.hesaa.org) for more details of how recipients are chosen.
EOF (Equal Opportunity Fund Program)
This is a New Jersey State Grant program. Awards are $2600* per academic year. students must meet income and academic requirements for the program and be selected by the institution. There are a certain amount of spaces available for admission into this program. Speak with the EOF office to see if eligible.
TAG (Tuition Aid Grant)**
This is the New Jersey State grant program for undergraduate students. Awards are based on the NJEI which is calculated from the information from the FAFSA application. Grants can range based student and spouse income if married or students and parents income if student is below the age of 24 per academic year and students must be enrolled on a full-time basis i.e., at least 12 credits for a semester program cannot get more than 4.5 year combined at all institutions.
*Estimated number that might change due to state budgets
**NEW ADDITIONAL PROCESS TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR TUITION AID GRANT**
New Jersey Residents only
To be considered for the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), you will be asked by the state of New Jersey to supply the following data items;
- Driver’s License number and state (If available)
- Amount of Veteran’s Benefit (for independent students)
- Amount of untaxed Social Security Benefits
- Amount of Earned Income Credit (from tax return)
When you complete your FAFSA application in the section that says optional feature you can click on the link that will take you to a state webpage and there you can enter the above requested information. If you do not answer the questions when you complete your FAFSA application you will be contacted by NJ Higher Education Assistance Authority HESAA by either email or postcard. You must reply to these contacts as soon as possible. You will be provided a website to be used to enter this data. If the answer is zero please place a zero in the field. A blank will be considered incomplete. NJ Grants (njfams.hesaa.org).
The Financial Aid office is required to verify all students selected for verification. If students cannot provide required information than they will only be eligible for Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans. FAFSA will place students in 6 different selection groups that can be viewed in the Student Aid Report that can be viewed at the FAFSA website.
Students that are selected for verification or need to make correction directly to their FAFSA have 14 days to provide the required documents to the Financial Aid office or make the corrections at the FAFSA website and are notified once via a mail and an email. The Financial Aid office will send a reminder email every 15 days reminding students of the outstanding documents or corrections until documents are checked off as received or corrected in the students file. Students that do not provide the office with required documents will receive a letter letting them know that their Federal and state financial aid eligibility have been cancelled due to none respondents. A student that has changes made to their FAFSA and/or state application due to verification will be notified via mail once changes are received
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In order to retain eligibility for federal, state, and most institutional financial aid, students must maintain satisfactory progress in their academic program, and they must be in good academic standing. The definition of satisfactory progress was formulated to meet the minimum standards mandated by both the Federal Government and the State of New Jersey.
Financial Aid Probation
Students who are placed on Academic Probation (see “Academic Standing,” page 45 of course catalog or the online catalog) will also be placed on Financial Aid Probation. Students will be informed in writing that their eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid is in jeopardy. This probationary status will remain in effect until either the student meets the requirements for good academic standing or the student’s cumulative GPA or percentage of credits completed places the student into Financial Aid Suspension (see below).
Financial Aid Suspension
Students will be ineligible for federal, state, and most institutional aid when their academic progress fails to meet the following qualitative and quantitative requirements:
|Minimum cumulative GPA||1.5||1.8||1.9||2.0|
|Minimum Cumulative GPA||50%||54%||58%||62%||67%|
The completion rate is calculated as the number of passed credits (remedial and college-level credits for which a student earned a passing grade) divided by the number of attempted credits (the total of earned credits, remedial credits, and credits for which a student has received a grade of WD, F, FA, IC, IT, or IP). Courses dropped during the published 100% refund period and audited courses are not treated as attempted or earned credits. For courses that have been repeated, attempted and earned credits for all occurrences are included. For transferred courses, credits accepted will be included in attempted credits only for the purpose of determining placement in the chart above.
Regardless of cumulative GPA and completion rate attained at any time, students will be ineligible for federal, state, and most institutional financial aid when their total credits attempted exceed 150% of the credits required for their program. Progress will be monitored at the end of the spring term by the appropriate academic dean. Students not meeting satisfactory academic progress may regain their satisfactory status during subsequent academic terms without the benefit of student financial aid. Prior to reinstatement of financial aid, the academic dean will determine if the completion rate and grade point average are sufficient to consider the student as once again making satisfactory progress. Students who have been judged not to be making satisfactory progress may appeal that judgment to the Director of Financial Aid. Appeals may be granted due to serious illness, severe injury, or the death of a relative and must be submitted in writing no later than one month after notification of the deficiency. The dean will grant an appeal one time under these circumstances only if it is possible for a student to mathematically meet the qualitative and quantitative program requirements within 150% of the published length of the program. A degree audit is performed for any student who changes programs or pursues additional degrees. If a student has exceeded the maximum time frame based on total attempted credits, including transfer credits, additional time to attempt the remaining credits required for completion may be granted if courses already taken are not applicable to the new programs or if additional courses are needed to earn an additional degree.