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Financial Aid News Bulletin

Fall/Spring 2008-2009


November 2008



  • Annual Loan Limits

  • Avoiding Refund and Deferment Delays

  • Award E-Notification

  • Awarding Timeline

  • Direct Loan Limit Statements on the ESAR

  • Fall Only FAFSA Deadline

  • Federal Loan Adjustment Form

  • January 2009 (Spring) Starts including transfer students

  • Purchasing Textbooks

  • Scholarships 2009-2010

  • Spring Semester Refunds

  • Summer Financial Aid

  • Teach Grant

  • Tuition Assistance

  • Undergraduate Registration



Annual Loan Limits The chart below is a reminder of the annual Federal Direct Loan eligibility limits for the 2008-09 Fall/Spring Academic Year. If you were awarded, and if you have "used', the annual limit for tuition, fees, and refunds for Fall/Spring please remember that you will not have Direct Loan funds available for Summer semester.

Maximum Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loan Amount
for a Full Academic Year

Credit Hours Earned

Dependent Student

Independent Student



Freshman (0-25)

$3,500 + $2,000 = $5,500

$3,500 + $6,000   =  $9,500

Sophomore (26-55)

$4,500 + $2,000 = $6,500

$4,500 + $6,000   =  $10,500

Junior (56-85)

$5,500 + $2,000 = $7,500

$5,500 + $7,000   =  $12,500

Senior (86 +)

$5,500 + $2,000 = $7,500

$5,500 + $7,000   =  $12,500



$8,500 + $12,000 =  $20,500

NOTE: Your loan limit cannot exceed cost of attendance minus other financial aid received (scholarships, tuition assistance, VA benefits, etc.).




Avoiding Refund and Deferment Delays One way to avoid refund and deferment delays is to make sure you have registered at least half-time* each semester.
  • Eligibility for federal student loans requires minimum half-time enrollment. If you are only registered for 3 credit hours your loans will not release to your student account.

  • Expecting to defer prior federal student loans? CMU electronically transmits to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse each month. If you are registered for 3 credit hours only at the time the enrollment information is transmitted, any loans that require an In-School Deferment will not qualify for deferment until minimum half-time enrollment is reported.

How to avoid these delays. Register for the full semester (e.g. Spring I and Spring II) at the first registration opportunity.


Do you know there is another problem you can avoid by registering for the full semester? If you add a class AFTER your refund is generated you will be responsible for paying for that added class or classes from the refund. To AVOID this problem, register for the full semester.




Award E-Notification The financial aid award e-notification is sent to your cmich e-mail account so be sure you view it often! Financial Aid and Financial Services use e-mail communication to provide students with informational updates such as this bulletin, the award e-notification and billing statement reminders.
4) Awarding Timeline In general an electronically filed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), can package, e-notify, disburse (credit to account), and as applicable, refund within three weeks.
  • Credit to your account and refund are dependent upon minimum half-time enrollment*.

  • Because some refunds can process quickly, a student may end up with an unwanted refund. Any portion of the refund can easily be returned with a personal check or debit card check along with the Federal Loan Adjustment Form found at: Complete the form by indicating the amount of each loan (based on eligibility) you want to keep per semester. Allow 3 to 4 weeks for processing.

5) Direct Loan Limit Statements on the ESAR Some students may see a statement on their Electronic Student Aid Report (ESAR) indicating federal loan limits have been reached or exceeded. Most of these limit issues are cleared in 3 to 4 weeks. The earlier you file the FAFSA the sooner we are able to clear your file for packaging. Once the semester begins, priority review is given to those students who are enrolled at least half-time*. Please contact the Off-Campus Programs Financial Aid Office at if you have any questions concerning a direct loan limit statement.
6) Fall Only FAFSA Deadline If you are enrolled minimum half-time* Fall semester and need financial aid Fall only, time is running out. The FAFSA filing deadline for FALL ONLY is NO LATER than November 7, 2008.
7) Federal Loan Adjustment Form The Federal Loan Adjustment Form 2008-2009 is available to students through the OCP Web site at Use this form if:
  • You want to cancel the Fall 2008 portion of your federal student loan(s) because you did not attend CMU Fall semester or attended less than half-time.

    (PLEASE NOTE: If you attended another college Fall semester you must notify the Financial Aid Office at include your full name and student ID number in your message. Using 2008-2009 federal loans at another college will affect your Spring 2009 semester eligibility.)

  • You want to reduce or cancel any portion of your federal student loan(s) for a semester or for the year.

  • You canceled your student loans and want to reinstate all or a portion of your eligibility.

  • You are an undergraduate who wants to request an increase in your student loan because your grade level has changed after the completion of the prior semester. For example, your aid was awarded at sophomore level but you earned enough credit during Fall semester to be reviewed for junior level eligibility Spring semester.

  • You receive outside financial assistance such as Employer Tuition Assistance, Scholarships, veteran's Benefits, Go Army, etc., ANY payment that will be made to CMU for your tuition and/or charges. You must report these benefits directly to the financial aid office. Use the comment section on the Federal Loan Adjustment form to indicate the amount PER SEMESTER and the name of the agency providing the funding. You may also notify us at be sure to include your full name and student ID in your message.

8) January 2009 (Spring) Starts Here is what you need to know:
  • Haven't filed the 2008-2009 FAFSA yet? Need Spring aid? File the 2008-2009 FAFSA after 11/7/08 and an award package will process for Spring semester only. File as soon as possible! Undergraduates must be registered minimum half-time for an award package to process.

  • Transferring from another college and used federal student loans and/or undergraduate Pell Grant during the Summer or Fall of 2008. Your Spring eligibility at CMU will be affected. Notify the OCP Financial Aid Office at and let us know.

  • What if I don't want all of my Spring loan eligibility? Use the 2008-2009 Federal Loan Adjustment Form to decrease or cancel the Spring award.

9) Purchasing Textbooks We get many calls and e-mails from students asking about vouchers or refunds to use for the purchase of textbooks prior to the start of classes. Please note:
  • Although MBS has a book voucher program that is part of the textbook payment option available for students, CMU Off-Campus Programs does not participate in this program.

  • It is unlikely your refund will be available for book purchases before the start of the first class in the semester since many variables are involved before a refund is released.

  • In general, students are responsible for the initial cost of books required for the first class or classes of the semester. Plan for this initial out-of-pocket cost, then once a refund is received you can reimburse yourself but do not forget to plan accordingly for upcoming semesters.

10) Scholarships 2009-2010 Scholarship information for the 2009-2010 has been updated on the Off-Campus Web site at Please note that applications will not be available until March 1, 2009. Watch for further information via our Web site and the Financial Aid News Bulletin after the start of Spring I classes.
11) Spring Semester Refunds (FOR STUDENT STARTING CLASSES SPRING I) Processing for Spring I semester refunds begins 1/12/09. Students should expect the bank to take up to two business days to post refunds. Any questions or concerns should be directed to The refund dates for Spring II starts will be announced in the January FA Bulletin.
12) Summer Financial Aid Application for Summer financial aid will be made available on the Off-Campus Web site on February 1, 2009. This is an internal application only. Remember your Summer aid eligibility is based on the 2008-2009 FAFSA and on whatever remains of your annual Federal Loan and/or undergraduate Pell Grant eligibility. An update will be sent to students and program centers in late January announcing the Web address for the Summer form.

If the full annual eligibility has been used (see Annual Loan Limits item #1 above) undergraduates have the option of applying for an alternative loan while graduate students have the option of applying for either a Federal Graduate Plus Loan (you must be enrolled minimum half-time for the GradPlus) or an alternative loan (some lenders will allow below half-time enrollment). Both the GradPlus and Alternative loan programs are based on lender credit approval. Find out more in the Off-Campus FA Manual at

13) Teach Grant Please refer to for information regarding the Teach Grant Program. If you checked the box on the 2008-2009 FAFSA indicating "yes" to "Are you planning on completing course work, now or in the future, necessary for you to become an elementary or secondary school teacher?" your information will be reviewed for eligibility starting with the requirements listed on the Web site. Notification letters will go out to both "eligible" and "ineligible" candidates sometime in mid-November.
14) Tuition Assistance Important Reminder It is your responsibility to report any Employer Tuition Assistance or other outside resource that is paid directly to CMU for your tuition and/or expenses to the Financial Aid Office. This includes VA benefits approved at any time in the academic year. Once you have received a refund, any outside aid that is picked up by the FA system will likely put you into an over award situation that would require the return of part or all of that refund.
15) Undergraduate Registration Please remember that if you are an undergraduate student you must be registered before your financial aid will package. If you have questions concerning your eligibility you can contact our office at


*Minimum half-time for an undergraduate student is 6 credit hours while graduate students must be registered in at least 5 credit hours to be considered half-time.


CMU is an AA/EO institution (see  25154   11/08