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Sudden decrease in Unsubsidized Loan amount

jcaulfield22jcaulfield22 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
Is this legal?

I just got an email very early this morning from the student financial aid office at the New School that my monthly installment plan (I enrolled in one to help ease payment), that the monthly payments had all increased. (As an aside, nice way of telling me about a loan amount change, all in passing).

When I re-checked my awards - it turns out that suddenly, my Unsubsidized Loan amount went from $9,000 for the year to $6,000 for the year. Tuition payment deadline is on this Friday.

Is this legal? I have already signed all the documentation etc to accept the loan back in May or June and I've accounted the financial aid award amount and also accepted attending the school all based on this.

Has this happened to anyone before? I think it's really messed up and I feel like it's the school, not the government loan people, as they don't seem terribly competent in the office...
Post edited by jcaulfield22 on

Replies to: Sudden decrease in Unsubsidized Loan amount

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,974Super Moderator Senior Member
    Are you a dependent or an independent student? If you are a dependent student, $6,000 is the max that u can take out in unsubsidized stafford loans. Were you eligible for the $3500 subsidized stafford loan? If yes your stafford loan Max as a freshman dependent student is $9500
  • jcaulfield22jcaulfield22 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    thanks for your reply!

    i'm an independent student and i already have a BA. i'm going for an AAS, which is also an undergraduate degree.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,052Registered User Senior Member
    They have complete control over decisions regarding your eligibility for aid, based on your particular situation. So yes it is legal.

    Reducing the loan amount may be for various reasons. For instance my sub loan was reduced because I was overawarded because I received a scholarship after my initial award offer, but it took them several months to reduce the loans accordingly. (though in my case they reduced it by more than the amount of the award - I think they used last year's COA instead of this years, am still awaiting a response to my email asking about it).

    I am wondering if your being a student that already has a BA and is pursuing an AAS might have something to do with it. The school's SAP may indicate you are not eligible for aid (though in that case I would expect it to make you completely ineligible rather than reduce the loan). Or do you have other loans? Could you have reached the aggregate limit?

    Really only the school can tell you.
  • jcaulfield22jcaulfield22 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    hi swimcatsmom,

    thanks so much for the response. i finally got a hold of someone in the fin aid office, and basically, i am considered a freshman and that is the max reward that i can get - it doesn't matter that i have a prior BA - it's for what program i am enrolled in now.

    and basically, right now, since tuition is due, they are going through and looking for any errors and mine had an error... they just caught it super late. great! (sarcasm)

    i am sort of crushed, but luckily, i did not file my private student loans yet as i am still trying to assess the smartest amount. i'll surely be tacking another $3K to whatever amount i come up with.

    i'm so bummed.

    thanks so for your responses!
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,974Super Moderator Senior Member
    Link from finaid.org

    FinAid | Loans | Student Loans

    Did your school say that you were no longer eligible for subsidized loans and now you can only get unsub loans?
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 23,115Registered User Senior Member
    But even if you're a freshmen, you're independent so you should be able to get $9500 for an independent freshmen. Could it be that you're at your lifetime loan limit?
  • jcaulfield22jcaulfield22 Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    sybbie719 and romanigypsyeyes - i have subsidized loans at $3500, so the total amount is $9500 as a freshmen.

    it is just major bummer that they only caught it now, but it is what is should be :(
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 23,115Registered User Senior Member
    Oh ok that makes more sense. I thought you meant only 6000 overall.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,615Super Moderator Senior Member
    Here is my guess as to what happened ... you indicated on your FAFSA that you would be a sophomore for the 2011-12 academic year. The school's financial aid awarding system is computerized. It took your word for it & awarded you as a sophomore. Right before or right after initial disbursement for the year, the aid office got an error report listing students who were awarded at a grade level that is higher than what is in the college's system as your grade level. This is how your issue was caught. Computers are great, but they rely on correct information.

    If you become a sophomore in the spring term, you can ask to be evaluated for a $1000 increase in Stafford (they will have to do a half-year budget evaluation, so you may or may not be eligible for the increase, based on COA, EFC, and aid awarded to date).
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