by Robyn Stewart, former financial aid officer at College of the Holy Cross
How Many Years Can I Receive Financial Aid for College?
It takes 4 years for a student to complete a typical undergraduate degree, right? Not necessarily. Today, students are taking longer to graduate for a variety of reasons, from a decline in personal and institutional resources to indecision about choice of major at the time of enrollment. If you’re currently weighing options for a fifth year (or more) of college, we’ve provided a few things to consider as you manage your college payment plan.
150 Percent Rule for Subsidized Direct Student Loans: A new federal regulation may impact students who receive Federal Subsidized Direct Loans. These programs are now available for only 150 percent of the semesters that the college publishes as the typical time it takes students to complete their degree or certificate. This “150 percent rule” means students in a four-year degree program will be eligible for subsidized student loans for the equivalent of six years. Eligible fifth and sixth year students should be able to benefit from this loan program as long as they meet the college’s definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and are on track to graduate within this time frame.