Federal Aid Changes

Recent changes to the Subsidized Loan program have required our office to reset 2013-14 Financial Aid awards. Please review/accept new award offers through the “Athens State Online” link.


Effective July 1, 2013, federal law will limit the amount of Federal Direct Subsidized Loans that a first-time loan borrower can receive to no more than 150% of the length of their program. For example, a student enrolled in a two year degree program may be able to receive loans for three academic years (2 years x 150% = 3 years). Once that limit has been exceeded, a student may borrow only Unsubsidized Loans, and will begin to incur interest charges on their outstanding Subsidized Loans. Students must accept all of the Subsidized Loans for which they are eligible before accepting any Unsubsidized loans.

As well, during the 2013-14 school year, awards will be set up on a two semester schedule (to cover the Fall and Spring semester). Your award will be based on a two semester budget as opposed to a three semester budget as it has been done in years past. Please review your new award offers through the “Athens State Online” link. Please note: you aren’t required to accept all awards offered to you. Understand that should you decide to accept all awards, you may not have any remaining loan eligibility should you decide to attend during the summer 2014 semester.

Other changes for 2013-2014 include:

Maximum Pell Grant Award: $5,645
Pell Lifetime Eligibility: 600%
Once you have received a Pell Grant for 12 semesters or the equivalent, you will NO LONGER be eligible for additional Pell Grants.
If you have exceeded the 12 semester maximum, you will lose eligibility for additional Pell Grants.
Pell Lifetime Eligibility is calculated by the NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System) by adding together the percentage of your Pell eligibility that you received each year to determine whether the total amount exceeds 600% (two full-time semesters of Pell equals 100%).

Entrance Loan Counseling will be a student requirement for all students to complete each year.
Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan fees are increased from 1.0% to 1.051%
Direct PLUS Loan fees for parent and graduate student borrowers are increased from 4.0% to 4.204%.
Subsidized loan interest rates set to go up to 6.8% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013 (unless Congress votes to stop the increase).