Federal Student Loan Programs Current Interest Rates
Undergraduate Subsidized and Unsubsidized
Current Interest Rate: 3.86%
Projected Fixed Cap: 8.25%
Exceptions or Special Circumstances that may impact the Federal Financial Aid Analysis
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not provide families with a place to explain special circumstances affecting their ability to pay for the student’s education. The Federal Need Analysis Methodology (FM) is a rigid formula, with no provisions for exceptions. To remedy this, Congress has delegated to the school’s financial aid administrator the authority to compensate for special circumstances on case-by-case basis with adequate documentation.
Professional Judgment refers to the authority of a school’s financial aid administrator to make adjustments to the data elements on the FAFSA and to override a student’s dependency status. The school does not have the authority to change the need analysis formula itself or to make direct adjustments to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Instead, the school may make adjustments to the inputs to the formula. The changes to the inputs are dictated by the impact of the special circumstances on the family’s income and assets. The standard formula is then applied to the new data elements, yielding a new EFC figure.
The decision of the financial aid administrator is final. There is no appeal.
As Colleges Retool Aid, Can Entry Stay Need-Blind?
With money coming in more slowly than the financial aid given out, schools say they are nearing the breaking point, and even the most selective elite universities are rethinking their generosity and staying need-blind. To save money many schools are turning some student grants into loans instead. As a result, students may have to take on more debt to attend some schools.