All federal assistance programs are constantly under review. The statements below were accurate as of May 2011, but subsequent legislation may have altered some of the programs. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have any questions.
A candidate's eligibility for the following federal aid programs is based on a formula developed by the Congress of the United States and referred to as the Federal Methodology. The College may amend FM results in the awarding of institutional funds.
Pell Grants are given to students whose federally-defined expected family contribution is less than $4,995. Grants for full-time study currently range between $602 and $5,550. Grant amounts may be adjusted annually to reflect amounts authorized and appropriated by the federal government.
The amount of an individual's award is determined by the Office of Financial Aid based on the results of a candidate's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In order to continue receiving awards, a student must make satisfactory academic progress and must not owe any refunds to the Federal Pell Grant or other federal student aid programs or be in default on repayment of any student loan.
Supplemental grants range between $100 and $4,000 annually and are awarded to students who demonstrate need, with preference given to recipients of Federal Pell Grants. The College's annual federal allocation of FSEOG funds is adequate to make only about 80 awards. Candidates who demonstrate need continue to be eligible for FSEOG assistance during the period required for the completion of the first undergraduate baccalaureate course of study.
All candidates who apply for assistance are considered for a Federal Perkins Loan. The number of Perkins Loans awarded annually may vary, depending upon repayments received by Hamilton from past borrowers, as well as federal appropriations. Aggregate maximum Federal Perkins Loan debt is $20,000 through completion of the baccalaureate degree, but not more than $5,550 in any one year. The current interest rate on Federal Perkins Loans is 5 percent on the unpaid balance. Repayment normally begins nine months after graduation. Deferments and loan forgiveness are possible under certain conditions, including military service and work in the Peace Corps or VISTA.
The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 extended borrowing opportunities to all families, regardless of income or need. Students are eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, and parents may borrow through the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program. Interest subsidy for Federal Direct Student Loans, however, is restricted to those borrowers who demonstrate eligibility based on the Federal Methodology. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for any type of Federal Direct Loan (student or parent). The combined Federal Direct Student Loans, PLUS and other student aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Federal Direct Student Loans are available only to United States citizens or to noncitizens that have permanent resident status.
Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loans of up to $3,500 for first year, $4,500 for second year, and $5,500 for third- and fourth-year students are available for study at Hamilton through the Direct Student Loan Program. Eligible students can request an unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan up to $2,000. Maximum dependent undergraduate indebtedness cannot exceed $31,000. The interest rate on a Federal Direct Student Loan for the 2012-2013 academic year is 3.4 percent (subsidized) or 6.8 percent (unsubsidized). Even though the statutory maximum may be borrowed, interest subsidy is available only on that portion for which the borrower has demonstrated need. The origination fee on a Federal Direct Student Loan is 1 percent.
Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students are available to creditworthy borrowers who seek assistance in meeting expected family contributions. There is no current maximum loan except that the amount borrowed cannot exceed the cost of attendance, less other financial assistance received by the student. The interest rate for a Federal PLUS is fixed at 7.9 percent. The origination fee on a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is 4 percent.
Financial aid plans often include a work component. Hamilton gives preference to students who have the greatest financial need and who must earn a part of their educational expenses. Wage is determined by the nature of the job and the qualifications of the applicant.
Students who are at least one-fourth Native American Indian, Eskimo or Aleut and are enrolled members of a tribe, band or group recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs may qualify for aid under this program. Application forms may be obtained from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office.
Persons who served more than 180 days between January 31, 1955, and January 1, 1977, and continue on active duty, were honorably discharged at the end of their tours of duty, or who qualify because of service-connected disabilities are eligible for benefits. Veterans are entitled to benefits for one and one-half months of study for each month of service, up to 45 months. Educational benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill may be available to those qualified veterans who entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985.
Children, spouses and survivors of veterans whose deaths or permanent total disabilities were service-connected, or who are listed as missing in action, may be eligible for benefits under the same conditions as veterans.
In compliance with the New York State Education Department regulations, eligibility for the continuation of funds awarded through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or Children of Veterans (CV) requires the following minimal levels of academic progress:
Pursuit of the program of study toward the baccalaureate degree requires the completion of at least two courses during both the fall and spring terms of the first year, and the completion of at least three courses during the fall and spring terms of each succeeding year.
Satisfactory progress toward the completion of the degree requirements must be achieved. Satisfactory progress is not made by students who fail to pass at least half of the courses carried, who accumulate failures in a total of five courses, or who incur a third probation. Satisfactory progress includes the following minimal number of courses passed for the respective semi-annual TAP payments: first payment = 0 units, second payment = 3 units, third payment = 7 units, fourth payment = 10 units, fifth payment = 14 units, sixth payment = 17 units, seventh payment = 21 units, eighth payment = 24 units.
Failure to maintain these minimal standards of academic progress will result in the loss of funds from the TAP program. Any questions regarding this requirement should be addressed to either the registrar or the director of financial aid.
The Tuition Assistance Program is available to any New York State resident who is enrolled full time in an approved educational program in New York State. The amount of TAP is based on the amount of tuition charged and family taxable income (income after deductions). Taxable income is adjusted for additional family members enrolled in college full time, or for child support received from a non-custodial parent and any pensions the family may have.
The maximum adjusted taxable income for TAP eligibility for dependent applicants is $80,000. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 per year, depending on income and the year in which the first award was received. After a candidate has received payment for four semesters of study, his or her award is reduced by $100 for each subsequent year of study.
Undergraduate students generally will be eligible for no more than eight semesters of TAP payments, although students in certain pre-approved programs may be eligible for up to 10 semesters.
Applicants for TAP must first file a FAFSA. The United States Department of Education will forward relevant data of New York State residents to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) for further processing. Filers who do not hear from HESC by May 1 or three weeks after filing, whichever occurs last, should call the Financial Aid Office for assistance. Application status may be viewed on-line, and detailed information about all programs administered by HESC can be obtained at http://hesc.ny.gov/index.html.
An award of $450 per year is available to children of veterans who have died, have a current disability of 40 percent or more, or had such a disability at the time of death, resulting from United States military service during specified periods. This award, available to New York State residents, is independent of family income or tuition and is made in addition to other grants or awards to which the applicant may be entitled. Additional information can be obtained at http://www.hesc.ny.gov/content.nsf/SFC/NYS_Regents_Awards_for_Children_of_Deceased_and_Disabled_Veterans.
Awards of $2,000 per year for a maximum of four years of study are available to members of Native American tribes located on reservations within New York State. Additional information can be obtained at http://www.hesc.ny.gov/content.nsf/SFC/NYS_Aid_to_Native_Americans.
Memorial Scholarships provide financial aid, equivalent to the cost of tuition and fees at the State University of New York, to dependent children and spouses of deceased firefighters, police, corrections or peace officers and emergency service workers who have died of injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the state of New York.
Scholarships for Excellence provide up to $1,500 per year for up to five years of undergraduate study in New York State colleges.
One student from every public and non-public participating high school who applied will receive a $1,250 award for four years.
The World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship guarantees access to a college education for the families and dependents of the victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The amount of the award is tied to the cost of enrolling in the State University of New York.
HEOP awards are given to academically and financially disadvantaged students admitted to HEOP. Such awards are packaged with other needed assistance. Additional information can be obtained at http://hamilton.edu/opportunity/applying-to-heop.