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Financial Aid News Bulletin

Spring Semester 2010 

November 2009




Fall Wrap-Up
Spring Refunds
Spring Packaging

Fall Wrap-Up

November 1st was the deadline for filing a FAFSA to be reviewed for FALL ONLY Federal Aid. Students need to look at making payment arrangements with Financial Services or applying for an Alternative Loan to cover an outstanding balance.
Spring Semester
Spring Refunds
The first refunds for Spring Semester are scheduled for January 11, 2010. If you have an award package prior to the start of Spring Semester please do not contact the Financial Aid Office regarding Spring refunds. Information regarding Billing Statement Information, due dates, and Electronic Refund Payment Dates can be found at
Spring Packaging
The week of November 16th the Financial Aid Office will begin processing Spring only financial aid packages for students already packaged for Fall/Spring but who did not attend CMU or attended below half-time for Fall Semester. If you are planning to attend six or more credits for Spring Semester and need to have your financial aid repackaged, please notify our office at Be sure to include your full name and CMU ID. You must notify us no later than December 4 to be repackaged prior to the start of Spring classes on January 11.
If you are transferring from another college that you attended Summer and/or Fall 2009 semester(s) be aware that any federal aid received at that college will affect your Spring eligibility. If you have questions regarding how your aid will be affected contact our office at or call us at 1-800-664-2681, ext. 2. Also see Transfer Students.
NEW! OCP FA E-mail Address
The e-mail address for Off-Campus Financial Aid has changed from to
Filing for 2010-2011 Financial Aid
Believe it or not the 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available at after January 1st. More about this after the first of the year, but for now a word of caution!
Financial Aid for the 2009-2010 Academic Year requires the 2009-2010 FAFSA, this includes Summer 2010. A separate CMU Summer Application (available online mid-February) is required in addition to the 2009-2010 FAFSA. The 2010-2011 FAFSA is required for the semester beginning Fall 2010.
National Student Loan Clearinghouse
Student enrollment for in-school deferment is reported through the National Student Loan Clearinghouse by the Registrar's Office. Paper deferment forms are not processed unless your servicer/lender does not use the Clearinghouse. Please do not submit paper deferment forms to the Financial Aid Office without contacting us first via e-mail at or by phone at 1-800-664-2681, ext. 2. Also see Registration Requirements.
Planning for Degree Completion
Plan ahead for your degree completion and financial aid. Many students reach their capstone class and have no further classes left to take in the semester leaving them ineligible for federal aid because they are less than half-time.
The best option is to plan your schedule so you have a minimum of 6 credit hours remaining for your last semester in order to receive federal aid as eligible. Another option is to save enough of your prior semester refund to pay for the last class, or consider using the payment plan option. An Alternative Loan is the only remaining loan option as some of these lenders will fund at less than half-time. Go to for more information.
Reporting Outside Resources
AVOID bill backs on your student loan disbursements. It is very important that you report all outside educational resources through the E-Award Notification (Check My FA Status) through the CMU Portal under "Finances". This can be a new resource, an increase in one already reported, or a decrease in assistance. Remember that loan limits cannot exceed the cost of attendance (student budget) minus other aid resources received. If you received a refund on your federal aid prior to reporting outside assistance you may need to return some or all of that refund.
Transfer Students
Your Spring Federal Financial Aid eligibility (Direct Loans as well as Pell Grant for undergraduates) at CMU is affected by prior school use of federal funds for Fall 2009 (and possibly Summer 2009 depending upon how the prior school packages federal aid).
Auto packaging will generate an initial award that will need to be adjusted once these prior loans are reported through the National Student Loan Data System. Check with OCP FA if you have questions.
Undergraduate Grade Level Changes
Undergraduate students might change grade levels between Fall and Spring semesters based on course completion from the prior semester. This means you could be eligible for an increase in your federal loans. To request a grade level increase review based on this change you will need to complete the 2009-2010 Federal Loan Adjustment Form at Follow the directions on the form. If you have any questions please contact our office at or call 1-800-664-2681, ext. 2.
Direct Loan Limits 2009-2010
These are the Annual Loan Limits for the 2009-2010 Academic Year (Summer 2010 is considered part of the 2009-2010 academic award year so availability of Summer Direct Loans is dependent upon how much of the annual limit is used Fall/Spring semesters).
Loan limits cannot exceed cost of attendance (student budget) minus other aid resources received which may include but is not limited to MiWorks! (No Worker Left Behind), scholarships, tuition assistance, etc.

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

Options Once Federal Loan Eligibility Is Exhausted
If you have exhausted your Direct Loan eligibility for the academic year or reached your grade level aggregate limit there are other loan and payment options available:

Graduate students can look to the credit based Federal Graduate Plus for assistance, this application is to be submitted to CMU for processing; Direct Loans determines eligibility.

Parents of undergraduate "dependent" students can apply for the credit based Federal Parent PLUS loan, this application is to be submitted to CMU for processing; Direct Loans determines eligibility.

Undergraduates or graduate level students can apply for a credit based Alternative Loan refer to for additional information and application instructions.

NOTE: Alternative loan applications are made online to a lender selected by the student. Loans are not certified by the University unless actually approved by the lender. It is helpful if once you are approved for an Alternative Loan you notify the Financial Aid Office at so the loan can be monitored for certification. The loan amount requested may or may not be certified for the full amount of your request because certification is based on the cost of attendance (student budget) and remaining need after other aid resources are considered.

Semester Payment Plan
Beginning last summer students can now take advantage of the payment option plan to cover costs per semester out-of-pocket that are not covered with financial aid. For more information go to
Registration Requirements
These are the minimum registration requirements to receive Federal Student Loans AND for deferment on eligible prior school loans:
Undergraduates 6 credits per semester
Graduates 5 credits per semester
NOTE: There is a difference between VETERANS enrollment and FEDERAL STUDENT AID enrollment requirements. To receive federal aid a student must be registered a minimum of six credit hours per semester whereas under VA requirements a student is considered full-time at three credit hours.
Textbook Purchases
It is unlikely you will receive your refund in time to purchase books before the start of your first class in the semester.
Although MBS has a book voucher program that is part of the textbook payment options available for students, CMU Off-Campus Programs does not participate in this program.
In general, plan to cover initial book costs out-of-pocket. Once the refund is received, plan to cover the remainder of your book costs for the year accordingly.
Timelines to Remember
March 15 Spring only or Fall/Spring academic year loans
June 1 Summer semester ONLY loans
COMING SOON Scholarship Applications for 2010-2011 (TBA)
March 1 Scholarship Applications available on the Web site
June 1 Application Deadline
June 15 Scholarship Recipients notified
COMING SOON Summer Semester 2010 Applications (TBA)
February 15 Applications Available on the Web site
May 1 Last day Summer Applications accepted for ANY federal aid consideration


CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community.
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