There are a number of reasons why students might consider taking summer classes. During the summer, the library is less crowded, so you can finally snag that perfect comfy nook (the one that’s always occupied already by the time you get there) and settle in for some serious reading. There’s more parking too, which is a major plus in my book (speaking of reading). And in the summer the campus is at its peak verdant splendor. With all that velvety green lawn out there, I think you could have a serious croquet match. But there is, of course, at least one other reason one might take summer classes. It’s a great way to get some extra coursework under your belt. If you’ve fallen behind in your degree progress, the summer term affords the opportunity to catch up. If you’re on track, you can accelerate your progress. When you consider the dual motivation of credits AND croquet, it’s no wonder I’ve had so many students inquiring about financial aid for summer classes lately. As an introduction to summer financial aid, let’s consider a few basic questions.
- How do I apply? The summer sessions, including the summer MBA term that begins April 22, Summer Immersion classes, and all other summer courses, are all part of the new 2013 2014 financial aid year. Thus you should file the new ’13-’14 FAFSA in order to apply for summer financial aid. Remember that you don’t have to have filed your 2012 tax return yet in order to file the new FAFSA. You can estimate the data now and then go back and revise the FAFSA after you file your return. After you file the FAFSA, you can notify our Financial Aid Office that you wish to use aid in the summer by submitting an Anticipated Enrollment Form. Having submitted the Anticipated Enrollment Form, you should see a portion of your aid allotted for the summer when you receive email notification about your 2013 2014 financial aid package in May. After you accept your aid package, summer aid can be applied to your account, provided all financial aid requirements have been satisfied.
- What kinds of aid can be used in the summer? Generally speaking, only Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans can be used in the summer. For undergraduates, Saint Rose scholarships and grants, as well federal and state grants cannot be used in the summer. Graduate scholarships are generally offered year-round until they expire and can be used in the summer. Graduate students should consult the Graduate Admissions Office to confirm that their scholarships can be used in the summer. Perhaps the most important point to remember is that you must take at least 6 credits during the summer sessions in order to use federal loans in the summer.
- How does summer aid affect my financial aid for the rest of the year? It’s important to understand that by using a portion of your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans in the summer, you will have less of these funds available to devote to fall and spring because your overall Direct Loan eligibility for the year does not increase when you borrow in the summer. If you use Direct Loans in the summer, your overall loan eligibility for the year is simply divided into three equal parts (summer, fall, spring) instead of two (fall, spring). To take a hypothetical example, if you were eligible for $6,000 for the year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans and requested summer loan money, the financial aid office would package you for $2,000 for summer, $2,000 for fall and $2,000 for spring. If you did not use summer aid, you would be packaged for $3,000 in fall and $3,000 in spring. In both cases, the overall amount for the year is $6,000, but if you use Direct loans in summer, you’ll have a bit less available for fall and spring.
Financial aid is one of those subjects, like puppy training (pictured here is Duncan, he eats my socks), that defies easy explanation. There are always further details to consider. With that in mind, Director of Financial Aid Steven Dwire recommends that students who are interested in summer financial aid should schedule an appointment with their financial aid counselor to ensure they fully understand how summer financial aid would apply to their particular financial aid package. If you have questions about financial aid for summer classes, wish to set up an appointment with your financial aid counselor or have suggestions for uniform design for the Saint Rose summer croquet league, contact me in the Student Solution Center.