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Year-Round Loan Distribution

As a result of regulatory changes that introduced Federal Subsidized Loan timeframe limits, schools are now required to schedule the disbursements of Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans according to a student’s expected period of enrollment. This change is effective for the 2013-14 academic year and beyond.

Distribution of Direct Loan Funds

Direct Loans, like other aid, are initially awarded for fall and spring. Since this is the academic year that most students follow and plan to attend, funding is split evenly between fall and spring. Students attending only fall and spring will not see a change in their loan distribution.

In cases where students plan to be enrolled at least half-time in fall, spring, and summer semesters, their Direct Loans must now be evenly divided over all 3 terms (rather than fall and spring semesters as originally awarded). It will mean slightly smaller loan funds each term, but it will also mean that the student benefits from loan assistance throughout the enrollment timeframe.

It is the federal requirement that your loan funds are processed for the full, planned enrollment timeframe for the year. This distribution of loan funds is not optional.

Your loan will be evenly split over the terms you are at least half-time (including co-op) even if your costs per term differ.

Co-op students will most routinely be affected by this requirement.

Enrollment Plan Reporting

Students are asked to provide enrollment plans when accepting their aid online. These reported plans are used to give students an appropriate aid eligibility budget as well as determine if the Direct Loans have to be redistributed over all three terms.

It is important that students accurately report their enrollment plans. Doing so will maximize your aid eligibility over the course of the year and for future years.

Any changes in your enrollment plans should be reported to Student Financial Aid.

NOTE: Students who change plans and are no longer planning to attend summer must inform Student Financial Aid at least 2 weeks prior to spring exam week in order to receive any of the planned summer loan allotment.

False Reporting of Enrollment Plans

We understand that some students may prefer to receive two half-sized payments on their Direct Loans rather than three payments at one-third the total amount. But attempting to falsify information to achieve this goal violates the federal regulations that govern your financial aid and can have unintended consequences.

Students planning on attending all 3 terms (even with different costs due to classes v. co-op or a smaller courseload in summer) have costs for each term. Having the Direct Loans distributed over all 3 terms helps you to anticipate meeting more of your costs throughout the year.

Multiple changes to your enrollment plans can lessen aid eligibility, result in retroactive adjustments to loan amounts (causing immediate past due balances subject to late payment fees), and initiate holds on future aid disbursements.

For students subject to the new subsidized loan limits, measurement of 150% can be accelerated (causing you to lose subsidy earlier) when the academic year for a year-round attendee is not calculated as all three semesters. Loss of subsidy due to timeframe limits will mean higher loan payments post-college.

Year-Round Aid Redistribution

Year-round attendance most dramatically affects Direct Loans. At the same time, other aid sources can be more properly maximized through accurate reporting of year-round attendance.

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are generally limited to full-time terms. Students attending year-round and eligible for renewable scholarships can use an additional term of funding toward their four-year equivalency.

  • Grants: The Federal Pell Grant will post for fall-spring. Pell-eligible students are only eligible for summer Pell if they did not receive their annual allotment in fall-spring (either through non-attendance or attending part-time). State grant programs such as OCOG work similarly with restrictions on summer. Other grant programs including Federal SEOG will only carry over to summer if you are on co-op in fall or spring.

  • Work-Study: Students are eligible to continue work-study employment during the summer (even if enrolled less than half-time as long as they will be enrolled the following fall). A specific summer work-study application available after February 1 is required.

  • Loans: As noted, Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans are now processed over the terms of enrollment (including summer when a student is in class or on co-op) per federal regulations. Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan annual loan amounts are divided into equal thirds when a student is enrolled over summer as well as fall and spring. Some students, based on mid-year class progression to sophomore or junior status, could seek a loan increase at the time of the advanced grade level. The Federal Perkins Loan is only available for fall and spring (unless a student co-ops when the funding will shift to the appropriate in-class terms). Alternative educational loans are processed based on the request of the student and encouraged over all terms of enrollment for any given academic year.

If you have questions about specific aid due to year-round attendance, please seek out staff at One Stop on the Clifton campus or service staff on your branch campus.

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students studying in TUC

Currently, students are not able to change their enrollment plans unless there is additional aid that they accept. We understand that this can make it difficult for you to see what you reported previously and how it may now need updating.

Student Financial Aid is currently working to provide an online interface that allows students to update their enrollment plans throughout the year.

Until such time, it is best to alert the Student Financial Aid Office of a change in your plans via email. Simply use "Enrollment Change" as the subject in an email to financeaid@uc.edu, and we will make any appropriate changes to your aid award. Email requests should include your name and student ID and should originate from your UConnect email account.