Financial Aid News Concerning Cal Grants, Pell and SEOG Grants, and Perkins Loans
Important Cal Grant News as of July 17, 2012:
As you have either learned from the media or directly from The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), Governor Brown cut Cal Grant awards by 5% for the 2012-2013 academic year. For all new and renewed Cal Grant A recipients, the maximum annual award amounts were reduced from $9,708 to $9,223 (a reduction of $485). For all new and renewed Cal Grant B recipients, the maximum annual award has been reduced from $11,259 to $10,696 (a reduction of $563). In addition, eligibility requirements for returning students were tightened so that many needy SMC students lost Cal Grant eligibility.
Your Saint Mary's Financial Aid Package and student account will be adjusted to reflect this reduction in aid. The College has decided to use available institutional grant aid funds to help support the neediest students whose full grant was eliminated, rather than fund the Governor's 5% cuts. We understand the impact this State adjustment will have on many students and are seeking ways to provide assistance. While we will not be able to provide grants to cover all of the reductions that were made to the Cal Grant Program, we are available to work with you to identify other avenues for covering this additional expense and will consider appeals in extraordinary cases. We encourage you to search for outside scholarships to help meet your college expenses. To help you in this option visit our website at http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/scholarships/scholarship-websites-that-work.
Finally, given the timing of this reduction, the Business Office will not include this additional cost as part of the amount due on the August 6th payment deadline but will instead include it on your next statement.
In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 70 into law. SB 70 achieves reductions in state spending by changing Cal Grant eligibility requirements for students. These changes will affect new and renewal Cal Grant recipients beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year.
To renew their Cal Grant awards each year, Cal Grant recipients will now need to meet maximum income and asset ceilings and a minimum financial need requirement, all of which previously applied only to initial Cal Grant recipients.
All Cal Grant students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet these new requirements in order to qualify for renewal of their Cal Grants.
For the upcoming academic year cuts to the Federal budget have resulted in some reductions in aid programs for returning students.
Funding of the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Perkins Loan and Work Study Programs have been reduced. As a result, SEOG Grants, Perkins Loans and Work Study awards will be reduced and eligibility limited to those with the greatest financial need. Perkins Loans are limited to freshmen and sophomores only.
Juniors and Seniors are eligible for a maximum Direct Loan of $7,500 each year which will help offset the loss of Perkins Loan eligibility. We also want to encourage all students to pursue outside scholarships. According to Financial Aid expert Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb.com, a free scholarship matching website, and FinAid.org, an online provider of student aid information:
“The typical student is eligible for anywhere between 50 and 100 scholarships, and every year more than 1.5 million scholarships worth more than $3.5 billion are given to students by donors, philanthropists, and corporations.”
Please visit the Financial Aid Office's Scholarships Websites That Work page for links to several scholarship sites and Private Scholarships for scholarship information that has been sent directly to Saint Mary’s.
Please help save the federal aid programs that are under attack by Congress; To learn more visit this site: