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Division of Student Financial Aid

2013 New Legislation Summary 2013 New Legislation Summary

New laws affecting student financial aid will take affect beginning July 1, 2013. The new law:

  • Requires students first entering college in Fall 2013 and receiving the Frank O’Bannon Award to complete 30 credit hours their first year, 60 credit hours by the end of their second year and 90 credit hours by the end of their third year for an “on-time” award.
    • Students who don’t reach those milestones may still receive an award, which will be a slightly smaller dollar amount, but must still complete 24 credits by the end of their first year, 48 credit hours by the end of their second year and 72 credit hours by the end of their third year.
  • Requires students first entering college in Fall 2013 and receiving the 21st Century Scholars Award to complete 30 credit hours their first year, 60 credit hours by the end of their second year and 90 credit hours by the end of their third year.
    • Students who don’t reach those milestones may still receive an O’Bannon award, but must still complete 24 credits by the end of their first year, 48 credit hours by the end of their second year and 72 credit hours by the end of their third year. They can earn their way back into the Scholars program by increasing their credit completion up to the required levels.
  • Establishes “Annual Awards” rather than term-based awards, allowing students to have more flexibility in using their state financial aid. Students may now use their aid during all summers, rather than just two semesters, and Frank O’Bannon funds (Higher Education Awards and Freedom of Choice Awards) will be available for summer.
  • Sets in law that an appeals process exists for students unable to meet above requirements.
  • Sets in law that academic years do not have to be consecutive, and allows students to use their awards year-round, taking advantage of lower summer tuition and allowing them to supplement their Pell dollars, which cannot be used during summer.
  • Gives an incentive for students who earned an academic/technical honors diploma in high school for the first year of college only, if the student enters college in Fall 2013 or after; these students must still qualify for O’Bannon to receive these awards.
  • Defines academic honors incentive for students first entering college in Fall 2013 or thereafter, as a 3.0 or higher for second, third and fourth years; these students must still qualify for O’Bannon to receive these awards.
  • Defines the accelerated track incentive for students first receiving state financial aid in Fall 2013 or thereafter as 39 credit hours after the first year and 78 credit hours for the accelerated incentive; these students must still qualify for O’Bannon to receive these awards.
  • Removes the tiered GPA policy and replaces it with Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by the institution.
  • Requires students receiving the part-time award to complete at least 18 credit hours per year to renew the part-time grant starting with the 2013-2014 academic year.
  • Requires students receiving the part-time award to enroll in at least six (6), but fewer than twelve (12) credit hours starting with the 2013-2014 academic year.
  • Requires students receiving the part-time award to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by the institution.
  • Allows the Commission to reduce a student’s part-time award if the student is eligible to receive tuition reimbursement from an employer or another outside source starting with the 2013-2014 academic year.

More information about these changes will be available soon.