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Financial Aid: Federal Aid

The US Department of Education provides aid to citizens (and eligible non-citizens) of the US to pursue higher education. Federal aid typically includes federal Direct and Perkins Loans, grants and work-study funds. Subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans are federal, low-interest loans. Subsidized loans are need-based and the federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Perkins Loan amounts vary (generally a maximum of $4,000 per year) and are repayable at 5 percent annual interest beginning nine months (for new students) after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. You may have up to ten years to repay the loan.

Federal grants are awarded on the basis of financial need and do not require repayment. Federal Work-Study provides work opportunities, typically on campus, based on financial need. Pay rates vary depending upon the position.

FINANCIAL AID OFFICE

ELIGIBILITY

In order to be considered eligible for federal financial aid, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident of the US.
  • Be a permanent resident of any state except the following: Alabama, Arkansas or Wisconsin. GGU is not authorized to offer on-line education to students who reside in these states. Therefore GGU is not able to offer Federal Financial Aid and/or GGU scholarships, grants or discounts to students who reside in these states.
  • Have earned a high school diploma, GED or state certificate.
  • Be admitted (excluding provisional admission) and matriculated in a degree program at GGU; certificate programs are ineligible.
  • Be enrolled in courses with at least half-time enrollment status at GGU per trimester (minimum 15-week period); exception: Eligible undergraduate students may receive the Federal Pell Grant with less than half-time enrollment status; if repeating a course (which the student previously passed) in order to earn a better grade, the students first repeat attempt only may be included in the enrollment status calculation.
  • Be registered to earn a letter grade (unless letter-grading is not an option) in each course; courses for which you have elected to be registered with the credit/no credit (pass/fail) grade option or audit status are not eligible for financial aid.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as required by the Financial Aid policy. See the SAP Policy page for more information.
  • Not be in default on a federal loan or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • Not simultaneously receiving financial aid at another institution.
  • If a male between the ages of 18 and 25, have been or be currently registered with the Selective Service and be able to provide proof of registration upon request.

APPLICATIONS

All students must complete the following applications:

ENTRANCE COUNSELING

In order to receive federal financial aid, please note the following:
  • In order for GGU to disburse federal title IV funds to your account, you must sign the loan master promissory note and complete an online entrance counseling session at www.studentloans.gov. Upon ceasing to be enrolled half-time or upon graduating, you must also complete exit counseling.
  • In order for GGU to disburse a Federal Perkins loan to your account, you must sign the loan master promissory note and complete the online entrance counseling session atwww.ecsi.net/promwg/. Upon ceasing to be enrolled half-time or upon graduating, you must also complete exit counseling.

PENALTIES FOR DRUG CONVICTIONS

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Aid funds. Convictions only count against a student for aid eligibility purposes (FAFSA question 23c) if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Federal Student Aidthey do not count if the offense was not during such a period, unless the student was denied federal benefits for drug trafficking by a federal or state judge. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the students record does not count, nor does one received when the student was a juvenile, unless the student was tried as an adult.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

Possession of Illegal Drugs

Sale of Illegal Drugs

1st Offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd Offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
3+ Offenses Indefinite period

If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period. Golden Gate will provide each student who becomes ineligible for FSA funds due to a drug conviction a clear and conspicuous written notice of the loss of eligibility and the methods whereby the student can become eligible again.

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program or passes two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it after successfully completing a rehabilitation program (as described below), passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program, or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the students record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. It is the students responsibility to certify to Golden Gate that the student has successfully completed the rehabilitation program.

When a student regains eligibility during the award year, Golden Gate may award Pell grant and Campus-based aid for the current payment period and Direct loans for the period of enrollment.


Standards for a qualified drug rehabilitation program

A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and satisfy at least one of the following requirements:
  • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program.
  • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company.
  • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court.
  • Be administered or recognized by a federally- or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.

LOANS

FEDERAL DIRECT LOANS

Federal Direct Loans are available in two types, subsidized and unsubsidized:

The type of Direct Loan a student is awarded is based on the FAFSA information and determined by U.S. Department of Education calculations and Cost of Attendance at the educational institution.

  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loans have their interest subsidized (paid for) by the federal government while you are enrolled at least half time. For loan periods that start on or after July 1, 2012, there are no subsidized loan awards for graduate students.
  • If you borrow an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, you are responsible for paying the accrued interest from the beginning of the loan, even during periods of enrollment.

For both loans, the federal government may deduct up to 4 percent total fees from the total amount borrowed. For example, if you borrow $5,500, you may receive only $5,280, or 96 percent of the amount borrowed. However, the full $5,500 must be repaid. Six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled half time, you enter repayment with monthly payments of interest and principle. Interest rates on loans vary depending on when a student received the loans and whether they are subsidized or unsubsidized. Interest rates are subject to change on July 1st each year. See the 2013-2014 interest rates table for more information. The minimum monthly payment is $50 with a maximum repayment term of 10 years. The number of years of repayment may be extended depending on the amount of loan debt. You may visit the www.studentloans.gov Web site to calculate what your monthly payment will be if you are able to extend the number of repayment years. Please keep in mind the longer the payment plan the more interest you will pay on your loan debt.

Federal Direct Loan Annual Borrowing Limits:*

Grade Level

Dependent Students

Independent Students

Freshmen $5,500 $9,500
Sophomores $6,500 $10,500
Juniors/Seniors $7,500 $12,500
Graduate/Professional not applicable $20,500

EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2008
*The amounts shown represent the total combined eligibility for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct loans.


Federal Direct PLUS Loan (parents)

Federal PLUS loans enable parents or step-parents to borrow up to the total cost of their dependent child's education, minus any other aid he or she may receive. PLUS loans are for undergraduate student only and are not based on the family's income or assets. These loans are always unsubsidized. Interest rates are subject to change on July 1st each year. See the 2013-2014 interest rates table for more information. A separate loan application is required and credit worthiness check will be completed by the U.S. Department of Education.


Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan or G-PLUS loan

Federal Graduate PLUS loans are for graduate students who have educational expenses in excess of the Federal Direct loans and/or other financial aid. Interest rates are subject to change on July 1st each year. See the 2013-2014 interest rates table for more information. The Cost of Attendance (COA) minus awarded financial aid equals the amount of a potential Federal Graduate PLUS loan. COA includes actual tuition plus general budgets for Books, Supplies, Room/Board, Transportation and Personal expenses. A separate loan application is required and credit worthiness check will be completed by the U.S. Department of Education.For further information contact Student Financial Planning at finaid@ggu.edu or call 415-442-7270.

Determining Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan amounts*

COA $25,000
Minus Federal Stafford Loans $20,500
Minus GGU Scholarship $500
Amount of Potential Direct Graduate PLUS Loan $4,000

*The amounts used above are for illustration only


Perkins Loan

The amount of a Perkins Loan varies but seldom exceeds $4,000 per year. The federal regulations permit undergraduates to be considered for $5500 per year and graduates to be considered for $8000 per year. Perkins loan is dependent on the student's need according to the FAFSA calculation, revolving institution funds from prior Perkins loans collections and other variable established by the educational institution. Loans are repayable at a 5 percent annual interest rate beginning nine months after an individual ceases to be at least a half-time student. A student may have up to ten years to repay the loan at a minimum of $40 per month, depending on the amount owed. The maximum amount that a student may borrow through the Perkins Loan program at all institutions is $27,000 for undergraduates and $60,000 for graduates (including Perkins loans as an undergraduate per Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) August 14, 2008)

GRANTS

FEDERAL PELL GRANTS

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students with very low family contributions (high need) and can range from $278 to $5550 per 2012-13 academic year based upon the student's financial need and enrollment status. Federal Pell Grants are the only form of aid available to students enrolled less than half time. Department of Education requires that institutions provide demographics of the full - time Pell Grant recipients. For the fall 2011 semester full-time Pell Grant recipients: 48% were female, 52% were male, 0% were Pacific Islander, 3% were Black, 21% were Hispanic, 7% were Asian, 52% were Caucasian and 17% were of unknown ethnicity.


Federal SEOG Grants

FSEOG awards are offered to undergraduate students with the greatest need, typically as a supplement to the Federal Pell Grant. Amounts may vary from school to school, based upon available funding. GGU typically offers FSEOG awards of up to $750 per trimester, depending on enrollment status. Due to limited funds, SEOG may not be awarded to students who are receiving Cal Grants, tuition reimbursement or other types of educational benefits.

FEDERAL WORK STUDY

Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides federally subsidized work opportunities. FWS jobs typically are on-campus, but some off-campus positions may be available in nonprofit community service agencies. Students must demonstrate financial need according to the FAFSA and be enrolled at least half-time. In order to be considered for FWS, please indicate your interest when completing the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office will contact all eligible candidates. Pay rates are competitive and vary depending on the position. A student worker will be paid twice a month.

RETURN OF FEDERAL STUDENT AID

Federal regulations specify the method that GGU must use to determine the amount of Federal Student Aid assistance you have earned if you withdraw completely from the payment period (typically a trimester). You are considered to have withdrawn completely from the payment period if you drop all courses before the final drop deadline, or if you receive "UW" or "W" grades for all enrolled courses, or if you have a combination of dropped courses and "UW" or "W" grades at the end of the payment period.

The amount of assistance earned is determined on a pro-rata basis. For example, if you complete 30% of the payment period, you have earned 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed 60% or more of the payment period, you have earned all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period. If you withdraw completely before 60% of the payment period has elapsed, then some or all of your Federal Student Aid funds will be returned to the Department of Education. This may leave you owing a balance to GGU. Call the Financial Aid Office at 415-442-7270 or e-mail finaid@ggu.edu before proceeding.


You must contact a Financial Aid advisor BEFORE dropping if:
  • You intend to withdraw completely by dropping all courses; OR
  • Less than 60% of the payment period (trimester) has elapsed.

60% of a trimester is approximately ten weeks; 60% of an eight-week term is approximately five weeks. Please refer to the drop deadlines below for the last date to drop courses for a given term.


"UW" GRADE POLICY

If you stop attending a course in which you are enrolled and do not officially withdraw from the course by dropping it or requesting a "W" grade (only available after the applicable term's drop deadline), then your instructor will assign you a grade of "UW" indicating unofficial withdrawal. The instructor will also record your last date of attendance. If you receive "UW" grades for all courses in which you enrolled, you will be considered to have "withdrawn completely" for Federal Student Aid purposes. See Return of Federal Financial Aid above for more information.

EXIT COUNSELING

If you drop below half-time enrollment status during the fall or spring trimester or upon graduation, you must complete loan exit counseling: