Federal Financial Aid Programs

Below is a list of federal aid programs for which eligible Berkeley College students may be considered:

Federal Pell Grant: For the 2021-2022 standard academic year, the Federal Pell Grant Program provides awards of up to $6,495 per calendar year for financially eligible undergraduate students who have not previously earned a Bachelor’s degree. Recipients must be United States citizens or eligible noncitizens enrolled in degree programs. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)must be completed when applying for financial assistance. The federal government limits students to six full scheduled annual awards. At Berkeley College, that would mean 12 semesters of full-time attendance (or 24 semesters at half-time attendance, etc.). Pell Grants used at other institutions count toward the maximum amount allowed. (Students who have attended multiple institutions within a brief period, and have received Pell disbursements, may be identified by the Department of Education as persons with an “Unusual Enrollment History.” Regulations require Berkeley to review these circumstances for possible fraud and/or abuse of the Pell Grant Program.)

Year-Round Pell: The federal government has made it easier for full-time students to accelerate and attend three semesters in one calendar year. In the past, students could only receive two full-time payments of Pell in a calendar year. Now, with Year-Round Pell, students can receive three full-time payments of Pell in one calendar year. Note this change does not increase the amount of a student’s lifetime eligibility for Pell.

Federal Direct Loans: Berkeley College participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. Eligible students and their parents borrow Federal Direct and/or PLUS Loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education and repay the loans through various loan servicers chosen by the U.S. Department of Education. Students must complete a Master Promissory Note, a legal document in which the student promises to repay such loans and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. The Master Promissory Note also explains the terms and conditions of the loan(s). The Master Promissory Note is available at https://studentaid.gov/mpn/. Various repayment and deferment options exist for federal loans. All first-time borrowers will be provided entrance counseling that describes these options prior to loan disbursement.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan: This loan is usually interest subsidized. This loan is available to students who are enrolled at least half-time and have financial need. Effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, a fixed interest rate of 3.73 applies. All federal loans are charged a one-time loan origination fee. In most cases, repayment must be completed within 10 calendar years. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while the borrower is in school. First-standard academic year students may borrow up to $3,500 for qualified educational expenses; second-academic year students may borrow up to $4,500. Third- and fourth-academic year students may borrow up to $5,500 annually. To progress from one academic year to the next students must earn at least 30 credits towards degree completion.

    Loan amounts are calculated by the College based on enrollment status and need, as determined by federal formulas and college policy. Students are responsible for repaying their entire debt, with interest, as specified in the terms and conditions of the Master Promissory Note. 

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This loan is available to students who are enrolled at least half-time, regardless of financial need. The borrower is responsible for interest during the life of the loan. Effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, a fixed interest rate of 3.73 percent applies. All federal loans are charged a one-time loan origination fee. In most cases, repayment must be completed within 10 calendar years. All students are eligible for the base amount, up to $2,000. In addition to the base loan of up to $2,000, independent students and those whose parents have been denied a Parent Loan may borrow an “additional” unsubsidized loan. First- and second-academic year students may borrow up to an additional $4,000 for qualified educational expenses. Third- and fourth-academic year students may borrow up to an additional $5,000 annually. Dependent students may borrow up to a total of $8,000 in Unsubsidized Loans, and independent students may borrow up to a total of $34,500, for an undergraduate degree. Loan amounts will be calculated by the College based on enrollment, need, and dependency status as determined by federal regulations and college policy. Students are responsible for repaying their entire debt, with interest, as specified in the terms and conditions of the Master Promissory Note.

  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students: This loan is available to parents of dependent students who are enrolled at least half-time. Financial need is not a requirement. Parents are responsible for interest during the life of the loan. Effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 a fixed rate of 6.28 percent applies. In most cases, repayment must be completed within 10 calendar years. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial assistance and resources. Loan amounts will be calculated by the College based on enrollment and dependency status as determined by federal regulations and college policy. Parents are responsible for repaying their entire debt, with interest, as specified in the terms and conditions of the Master Promissory Note.

  • Federal Student Loan Aggregate Limits: Loans have aggregate (total lifetime) limits that are the same for all students based on dependency status (see chart below).

Aggregate Loan Limits
Student Type Total Aggregate
Limit
Maximum Subsidized
Aggregate Limit
Dependent student $31,000 $23,000
Dependent student whose
parent is ineligible for PLUS
$57,500 $23,000
Independent undergraduate student $57,500 $23,000
  • Repeal of 150 Percent Subsidized Usage Limitation: The 150% Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA) requirement has been repealed.  This repeal applies to any borrower who receives a Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, regardless of the award year associated with the loan.  In addition, all subsidy benefits will be reinstated retroactively to the date on which the loss of subsidy was applied for all Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loans with an outstanding balance on July 1, 2021, and for all award years since the 2013-2014 award year. 
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG): For the 2021-2022 standard academic year, students with exceptional need (Zero Expected Family Contribution) may also be awarded a Federal Supplemental Grant. FSEOG for the 2021-2022 standard academic year are based on fund availability and can generally range from $650 to $700 per standard academic award year. Eligible students are automatically considered for this grant. The FAFSA must be completed annually. Students who exhaust their Pell eligibility are not eligible for FSEOG.
  • Return of Title IV: The U.S. Department of Education regulates the treatment of all federal grants and loans. For those students who withdraw during the semester, the College is required to exercise the "Return to Title IV calculation" (R2T4). The R2T4 is based on the number of days in the semester divided into the number of days attended based on the separation date. This provides the percentage of Title IV aid a student has "earned."

    For example, if the semester is 100 days, and a student’s separation date falls on the 40th day of the semester, the formula used would be 40/100 or 40 percent. This percentage would then be applied to the Title IV aid disbursed, or potentially disbursed, in order to determine how much and which proceeds need to be returned. Students who separate after the 60 percent point of the semester, per federal guidelines, will have earned 100 percent of their federal aid.

    For SEVEN-WEEK SESSIONS

    For purposes of the College’s obligation to return Title IV funds to the federal government, a student who withdraws from a subsequent session while still attending classes in either Session I or a 15-week semester is not subject to a return of funds calculation. Based on new federal regulations effective July 1, 2021, but that were adopted early for the Spring 2021 semester, the College determines a student's frozen schedule at census each semester. Whatever the student is registered for at that point in time will serve as the student's denominator for the R2T4 calculation.

    The following examples will illustrate the important differences in timing:

    Example 1
    A student registers for Session I and Session II and at census is still registered for both. If the student withdraws from Session II the denominator will be the days in Session I plus the days in Session II. The week of no classes in-between the Sessions do not count. The numerator is the number of days the student attended in Session I and Session II (if any).

    Session I = 47 days

    Session II = 47 days

    Total Denominator = 94 days

    If student attends three days in Session II, then the denominator will be 50. Thus the calculation will be 50 divided into 94 or 53%, which is the percentage of aid the student may keep.

    Example 2
    A student registers for Session I and Session II, but at census is only registered for Session I, which will serve as the denominator. If the student withdraws in Session I after 20 days, then the calculation will be 20 divided into 47 or 42%, which is the percentage of aid the student may keep.

    Session I = 47 days

    Total Denominator = 47 day

    Student attends 20 days in Session I.

    Fraction is 20/47 making the percentage of aid the student may keep 42%.

    Example 3
    A student registers for Session I, Session II, and the semester. At census the student is only registered for Session I and the semester. That is frozen. If the student withdraws from Session I, then the denominator will be the days in the semester (the semester does not have a break week so it does not exclude those days). The numerator is the number of days the student attended in Session I or the semester, whichever is longer.

    Session I = 47 days

    Semester = 105 days

    Total Denominator = 105 days

    Student attends 52 days (a few days after completing Session I). Fraction is 52/105 making the percentage of aid the student may keep 49%.

    Federal regulations determine the order in which the College must return financial aid funds after a student withdraws. The Attribution Table requires the College to return funds as follows:

    First - Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    Second - Direct Subsidized Loan
    Third - Direct Parent Loans
    Fourth - Pell Grant
    Fifth - SEOG

    Note: Federal Work Study earnings are not part of the above formula and funds earned do not need to be returned.

Veterans’ Benefits: Veterans and/or dependents planning to receive educational assistance benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should get VA approval prior to enrollment. Veterans may apply for their GI Bill benefits at the VONAPP website, located at vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp. Veterans are required to submit copies of their Certificate of Eligibility for their VA benefits and DD214 Member 4 copy during the admissions process in order to most effectively process their benefits.

Study Abroad: Federal financial aid funds may be available for students enrolled in a study abroad program if a consortium agreement between the home and visiting school is approved in advance. Questions regarding consortium agreements should be directed to the Center for Global Studies.

Federal Aid to Native Americans: For information on Title VII - Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education, go to: www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg98.htmlandhttps://www.bie.edu/topic-page/grants.

Social Security Benefits: Social Security benefits may be available to eligible students under 18 years of age. For more information, go to: https://www.ssa.gov/schoolofficials/index.htm.