Federal and State Financial Aid
Students are eligible to apply and receive federal financial aid if they are U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled as matriculating students. To be considered for federal aid, students must file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) annually. Additionally, students borrowing a Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (or parents borrowing a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan) borrow directly through the Federal Direct Loan Program versus an outside lender/bank.
The Federal Pell Grant
This is a need-based grant ranging from $587 to $5,730 for the 2014-2015 academic year. To qualify, full-time undergraduate students must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,157 or less for the 2014-2015 academic year ($4,900 as a part-time student taking 9 cr/semester). Note: Students' Pell Grants are adjusted to reflect changes in enrollment status if made prior to the 5th week of classes. After the 5th week of classes, Pell Grant amounts will not be adjusted based on subsequent changes to enrollment statuses (i.e.-courseload).
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant (SEOG)
This is a need-based grant ranging from $100-1,000 annually, awarded to those students demonstrating the greatest financial need. Typically, students must qualify for the federal Pell Grant to receive an SEOG Grant.
The Federal TEACH Grant
This federal grant program that offers up to $4,000 in an annual award is designed to benefit prospective teachers. To receive the award, which is pro-rated based on enrollment status ($4,000 annual award for undergraduates taking 12 or more credits; $3,000 for undergraduates taking 9-11 credits, $2,000 for undergraduates taking 6-8 credits and $1,000 for undergraduates taking 3-5 credits), students must be currently completing coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching, or plan on completing coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching. More about TEACH Grants. Funding for the TEACH Grant remains uncertain although as of July 1, 2013, we are continuing to offer awards for the 2013-14 year. There is a mandatory 6% standard award reduction due to Federal Sequestration cuts, however.
The Federal Perkins Loan
This is a low-interest loan (5 percent) awarded to those students demonstrating the greatest financial need. The Perkins Loan typically range from $500-1,000 annually.
Federal Work Study
Work study provides a student with an opportunity to work in a campus job for an hourly wage. Awards range from $100 to $1,850 annually. Work Study is not applied directly toward tuition, room and board charges, as the student receives a monthly paycheck for the number of hours he or she works. Direct deposit of funds into the student's personal bank account is available. Students must complete an I-9 and W-4 form in order to receive a paycheck for any hours worked. More about Campus Work Study.
The Federal Direct Stafford Loan*
The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is the basic student loan available to all students, regardless of financial need. It is the educational loan most students borrow first, before all others. If the loan is subsidized, the government will pay the interest while the student is in school. If the loan is unsubsidized, the student has the option of capitalizing the interest or of paying the interest quarterly during the in-school period. Payment of the principle itself, on both the subsidized and unsubsidized loans, does not begin until six months after graduation, provided the student remains enrolled on at least a half-time (6 credits) basis. For 2014-15, for Undergraduate Stafford Loans with a first disbursement date between July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, the interest rate (subsidized and unsubsidized) is set at 4.66%. The Graduate student Stafford Loan rate is set at 6.21%. There is a 1.073% origination fee deducted by the government on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan if the loan has a first disbursement October 1, 2014 and after (fee is 1.072% if first disbursement is prior to October 1). Repayment period is ten years. More about Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
These federal, educational loans are available to credit-worthy parents of dependent students, regardless of financial need, and are borrowed directly through the University and the U.S. Department of Education (no lender/bank required). Parents can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. Repayment begins within 60 days of the second disbursement being made to the student's account (2nd disbursement typically made to student accounts in January so repayment begins in March). Deferments may be available upon request. For 2014-15, for PLUS/GradPLUS Loans disbursed July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, the interest rate is set at 7.21%. There is a 4.292% origination fee deducted by the government on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan with first disbursements October 1, 2014 and after (loans with first disbursements prior to October 1, 2014 will have a 4.288% fee deducted). Repayment period is ten years. More about Federal Direct PLUS Loans.
The Yellow Ribbon Program
Arcadia is a participating Yellow Ribbon institution. The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows post-secondary institutions in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the V.A. (Veteran's Administration) to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. More about the Yellow Ribbon Program.
PHEAA Grants (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency)
PHEAA State Grants are offered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania state residents demonstrating financial need. PHEAA Grants (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency) range from $500 to $4,011 annually for the 2014-2015 year. Awards are made by PHEAA based on the federal EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and annual cost of attendance. PA residents must file the FAFSA by May 1st to be considered. Students enrolled in fully online programs, in programs that are more than 50% online or, students enrolled in any program taking more than 50% of their credits online in a given term are not eligible for PHEAA Grant funding for that term. Questions regarding PHEAA state grant aid can be directed to the PHEAA Grant Division at 1-800-692-7392 or students can visit PHEAA's website at www.pheaa.org.
If you are not from Pennsylvania, check with your local state agency to determine your eligibility.
Please note: The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application for all federal and state financial aid.
As of July 1, 2013, first-time undergraduate Stafford Loan borrowers can only receive Subsidized Stafford Loans for up to a maximum of 150% of their published program length (ex.-for a 4-year bachelor's degree, the maximum time period a full-time student can receive Subsidized Stafford Loans would be 6 years).
Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, Federal Direct Loans will have a variable-fixed interest rate, meaning, the rate will be set each year, effective July 1st, but once set, will remain fixed for the life of that particular loan. See above rates.
New subsidized Stafford loans issued in 2012-13 began accruing interest during the six-month "grace period" after students leave school. This will also be the case for loans issued in 2013-14. However, the federal government will continue to cover the grace-period interest for all subsidized Stafford loans issued before July 1, 2012, and the grace-period subsidy is scheduled to go back into effect for loans issued on or after July 1, 2014.
As of July 1, 2012, graduate and professional students are eligible only for unsubsidized Stafford loans.
The maximum number of equivalent full-time semesters a student is eligible to receive a Pell Grant will drop from 18 to 12 semesters for all students, including those close to completion.
Students who enroll in college for the first time on or after July 1, 2012 must have a high school diploma or GED (to locate a testing center near you, visit http://gedtestingservice.com/testers/locate-a-testing-center) or have been home schooled, to be eligible for federal student aid (federal grants, loans, and work-study). Students who were enrolled before July 1, 2012 are not affected by this change.
In 2010, Congress passed changes to the IBR program to limit monthly payments to 10% of discretionary income (down from the current 15%) and forgiving remaining debt after 20 years (down from the current 25 years). The Obama administration hopes to implement these changes, deemed the "Pay As You Earn" plan, two years ahead of schedule, beginning in 2012.