Earning Your Degree On Time Reduces Costs
The truth is, the longer that you attend school, the more your degree will cost you in the long run. Repeated coursework, program changes, and enrollment in enrichment courses not required for graduation can lead to added semesters of enrollment which have the potential to compound student debt. In addition to the direct cost of tuition you will pay longer for living and other educational expenses, and it will be longer before you start repayment toward your student loans.
In addition, the longer you are enrolled, the greater likelihood you will reach your lifetime limits on Pell Grant and Direct Loan. Not having access to these financial resources when ready to finish your degree leads to more costly borrowing through alternative loan programs.
New borrowers risk losing their subsidized loan benefit if they remain enrolled for longer than 150% of the published length of their program. For a 4 year degree a student has 6 years to complete their program before losing eligibility, 3 years is the maximum if enrolled in a 2 year associate degree.
*Data reflects that $8,000 in additional loan debt is added for each year after the fourth year.
Aid Eligibility is Limited
There is a predetermined annual limit for federal aid. Direct Loan eligibility is based on your grade level, program, and dependency status on the FAFSA. In addition to yearly limits there are limits to the total amount you can receive in many financial aid programs. Funding for the Federal Pell Grant is ends after 6 years of full-time enrollment. Direct loan eligibility runs out in approximately 5 years.
True Costs of Withdrawing
Withdrawing from a class after the 4th class day means you will pay double for that course if a retake is required. You may also experience an economic hardship if your resulting Satisfactory Academic Progress completion rate is affected.
*If aid is suspended due to not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, students often resort to alternative loan options which yield higher interest rates.
Withdrawing from classes may delay the completion of your degree which leads to higher interest accrual balances on loans. If your enrollment drops below half-time, you may go into repayment on your loans. This could cause you to miss payments that you cannot afford to make, which can cause you to default on your loans.
*Do not ignore mail from your loan servicer, if you are unsure of the status of your loan, contact your loan servicer or the financial aid office for assistance.
If you completely withdraw during a semester, we must determine how much financial aid you "earned". This often results in financial aid payments being reversed, resulting in a large balance owed to the University, preventing future registration.
Full Time Enrollment is the Best Utilization of Aid
Although you are eligible to receive your full disbursement of loan with only half-time enrollment, this can result in limits being reached when you have not completed all program requirements.
*Full time enrollment is the best utilization of financial aid unless you are in your last semester or have no other option.