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Changes Ahead For Federal & State Financial Aid Programs

Shaw University Students To Be Impacted By Changes In State & Federal Financial Aid Legislation

By Ryan Girley
On February 13, 2012

Prospective students bound for Shaw University may have a more challenging time ahead of them as they analyze changes to financial aid award packages set to take effect this spring. Financial aid experts often criticize financial aid award packages as confusing, misleading and lacking in enough money to cover a student's true costs over a four-year traditional educational program. The new Federal Financial Aid award rules are a part of Congressional appropriations legislation passed in December 2011 and the Federal Omnibus Bill for 2012.

"We are putting colleges on notice you can't assume that you'll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can't stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down."- President Barack Obama at the University of Michigan

The Federal Government & the State of North Carolina are rolling out sweeping changes to Federal and State Financial Aid programs for 2012-2013. Cuts to higher education on the State level have already been completed in forty-three states since 2008 according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a policy research organization in Washington D.C.

According to the Shaw University Office of Admissions and The Shaw University Website 2011-2012 academic year, tuition costs for undergraduate students are the following:

ON CAMPUS     Total Cost:   Per Semester:    10,393.00           Per Year:     20,786.00                                          

OFF CAMPUS  Total Cost:    Per Semester:      6,613.00           Per Year :    13,226.00                                         

CAPE                 Total Cost:    Per Semester:      6,338.00          Per Year:     12,676.00

According to College Board, Average in-state tuition & fees at four-year public colleges rose 8.3% , with room & board now exceeding $17,000 a year. Shaw University is private four-year institution.

Shaw University students a campus population of about 2,800 on campus, off campus and CAPE Adult students will have to find new sources of money to fill the tuition gap created by the discontinuation of the following programs:

  1. Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
  2. Federal SMART Grant
  3. North Carolina Student Incentive Grant (NCSIG)
  4. North Carolina Legislative Tuition Grant (NCLTG)
  5. North Carolina State Contractual Scholarship Fund (SCSF)
  6. North Carolina Education Lottery (ELS)
  7. DC Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (DCLEAP)


The State of North Carolina will only award monies based on need through a NC Need Based Scholarship Program. Students must file a FASA (Free Application for Student Aid) form to qualify. The NC Need Based Scholarship will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

According to College Board, President Barack Obama is targeting about $3 billion dollars in campus based financial aid. Campus based financial aid flows through college administrators to students. President Obama has proposed that this amount increase from three billion to ten billion but that schools would be subject to stricter eligibility requirements and cost cutting measures. The Federal Government supports over $140 billion dollars in grants and loans that go directly to students and would not be affected by President Obama's proposal.

The new Federal Financial Aid rules and restrictions will change how much federal aid a student can receive, how long they will be able to receive it and how soon they will begin racking up student interests charges on loans postgraduate life.

Students seeking to enter graduate school will not receive loans that are subsidized by the Federal Government and effectively immediately, the Federal Government will not subsidize interest on graduate student loans. Students will also only receive federal financial aid one time for a class passed the previous semester.

The Federal Pell grant a staple of Federal Financial Aid and received by over ten million students nationwide has received full funding for the 2012-2013 school year, however tougher eligibility requirements may make the Federal Pell Grant harder to receive for students in need, aged eighteen and older. The maximum amount a student can receive for a semester remains unchanged at$5,550.

 The Federal Pell grant was birthed out of bipartisan support of Congress and is the largest educational program supported by the Federal Government. The Federal Pell Grant costs $36.1 billion dollars according to figures from the US Department of Education and is funded by three separate pieces of legislation for 2012-2013, according to the Federal Government.

In years past students seeking the Federal Pell grant could receive funding for up to nine years. This meant that a student had up to nine years to graduate from their institution of choice, whether attending school part time, or full time. The Federal Pell grant benefited students who wanted to work while attending college and adults who were balancing work, family and educational needs. The Federal Pell Grant will now only be given to students for six years and they must be full time students. Shaw University considers a student to be enrolled as a full time student with a course load of 12.5 hours a semester.   The changes to the Federal Pell Grant are effective immediately and are retroactive, this means a Shaw University student who has been in college and receiving monies from the Federal Pell grant for eight years would immediately become ineligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant for next school year.

Shaw University Administrators are encouraging students to meet with their financial aid award counselors, complete their FASA forms, maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and apply for scholarships from organizations like the United Negro College Fund.

Students wishing to check the status of their 2012-2011 financial aid can call (919) 546-8240

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