Starting with the summer 2010 semester and beyond, students at UW-Washington County (UW-WC) will receive their student loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program instead of private lenders. The change comes just weeks before a July 1 deadline requirement signed into law this week by President Barack Obama.
The priority deadline for completing the 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at UW-WC is April 15. Students who apply by this date and list UW Colleges’ FAFSA code 003897 in one of the first four choices on the FAFSA will position themselves to receive financial aid packages with the best grants. Grant funds may run out for students who apply after the priority deadline, according to Marilyn Krump, Director, Student Financial Aid for UW Colleges.
The change was planned before the legislation passed Congress as part of the health care overhaul bill. “Our plans and procedures were already in place,” Krump explained. “UW -WC students should not experience any problems with the switch from private lenders to the Federal Direct Loan Program.”
However, students will need to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note even if they have already completed those items in the past when they borrowed through a private lender. Students must also select the University of Wisconsin Colleges as their school when filling out loan documents rather than UW-WC.
Under the Direct Loan Program, interest rates and the limits on how much students may borrow will not change. The interest rate on the PLUS Parent Loan will fall to 7.9 percent from 8.5 percent.
In addition to requiring direct loans, the legislation increases the maximum Pell Grant to $5,550 through the 2012-13 academic year, up from $5,350 for 2009-10. After that, it will be indexed to inflation for the next five years. Without the law, the maximum Pell Grant would have declined.
UW-Washington County is a member of the University of Wisconsin Colleges, the 13 freshman-sophomore campuses of the UW System, which offer an associate degree in arts and science and prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for baccalaureate and professional programs. UW-WC is located at 400 University Drive in West Bend. To learn more about the campus, visit their website at washington.uwc.edu or phone Student Services at 262-335-5201.