Federal Student Financial Assistance

Students cannot always afford to pay their educational costs in full at the beginning of their programs of study. Therefore, the school participates in various programs designed to assist students to meet their educational costs on a more affordable basis. The school is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting commission and is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to offer federal financial assistance (Title IV) programs to eligible students.

Many students supplement Title IV assistance or pay for their educational costs with other programs such as Veterans benefits, agency sponsorship, employer reimbursement or in-house financing.

Although not necessary, a student should apply for admission prior to completing a packaging appointment with the Financial Aid Department at the school. In general, financial aid is awarded based upon need. In order to assist applicants to complete their financing prior to beginning classes, the school makes available individual appointments for each applicant with a Financial Aid Advisor who will assist with form completion and answer questions that may arise. However, general information about Financial Aid is available to all prospective applicants in the Financial Aid Department.

In general, an applicant may be eligible for federal Title IV assistance if the applicant:

  • Is enrolled as a regular student in one of the school’s programs
  • Has a valid Social Security Number
  • Is a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Is not in default on any Federal student loan
  • Does not owe a repayment on any federal grant
  • Possesses a high school diploma, or its equivalency
  • Has demonstrated Selective Service registration (males only)
  • Has not been convicted of a drug offense while receiving federal financial aid
  • Continuing students must maintain satisfactory academic progress

The following federal aid programs are available to those students who qualify (subject to availability of funds):

  1. Federal Pell Grant: This is a grant to assist undergraduates who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree with education expenses. It does NOT have to be paid back. For 2016-2017, the maximum Pell Grant award is $5,815. There is a lifetime maximum eligibility for Pell Grants of 600% of the annual awards or apporximately six years of full-time attendance. American Institute 2016-2017 Catalog For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of our students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at: www.americaninstitute.edu/consumer-info
  2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): The FSEOG is a grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need with priority given to students with Federal Pell Grant eligibility. The federal government allocates FSEOG funds to participating schools. This is a limited pool of funds and the college will determine to whom and how much it will award based on federal guidelines. Funds are set aside throughout the award year to ensure the neediest are offered SEOG funds. The range of awards are typically between $100 – $250 for the entire program.
  3. Federal Work Study (FWS) is a financial aid program designed to assist students in meeting the cost of their education by working part-time while attending school. Positions may either be on-campus, off-campus or community service-related. Jobs on-campus must be student service positions. Community service postitions include reading and mathematics tutor as well as family literacy. A candidate must demonstrate financial need to be awarded FWS. The number of positions available may be limited depending upon the institution’s annual funding allocation from the federal government.
  4. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan: This is a low interest fixed rate loan for students attending school at least half time. The interest rate for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 is 3.76 percent. It MUST be paid back. Interest does not accrue while students are attending school, during their grace period, and during periods of deferments. Funds are limited to 150% of the legnth of the program they are currently enrolled in. Once the amount is exceeded an unsubsidized loan may be borrowed and will acrue interest.
  5. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: This is a low interest fixed rate for independent students enrolled at least half-time. The interest rate is 3.76 percent. It MUST be paid back. Interest will accrue on this loan while students are in school, during their grace period, and during periods of deferment; the interest rate can be paid while the student is in school.
  6. Federal Direct PLUS Loan: This is a low interest fixed rate loan for parents who want to borrow to help for their child’s education. The interest rate is 6.31 percent. This loan is available only to parents without adverse credit histories. It MUST be paid back.
Dependent Students (whose parents were not denied a PLUS loan) Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts)
First-Year Undergraduate (Freshman) $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
Second-Year Undergraduate (Sophomore) $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate (Junior, Senior) $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
Independent Students (and dependent students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan) Combined Base Limit for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized Loans (minus subsidized amounts)
First-Year Undergraduate (Freshman) $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Second-Year Undergraduate (Sophomore) $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate (Junior, Senior) $5,500 $7,000 $12,500

FEDERAL AID APPLICATIONS

Any student who wishes to apply for federal Title IV financial assistance must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA information is electronically transmitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s Central Processing Service (CPS) and the School receives in return a processed Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). The ISIR is used to determine Title IV eligibility. The Financial Assistance Office will retain the ISIR as documentation of the student’s eligibility. (If a student wishes to have a printed copy of their ISIR, it may be requested from the School’s Financial Assistance office.)

VERIFICATION POLICY

A certain portion of FAFSAs submitted to the CPS are subject to a process called Verification. Verification means that the applicant is asked to “verify” or confirm that the information on the application is correct.

Verification requires the applicant and spouse or parent (if applicable) to sign a Verification Worksheet in addition to providing the required items selected for verification. Also, the applicant may be required to obtain an official copy of the prior year’s federal tax returns for each year a FAFSA is submitted to the Financial Assistance office. If the applicant is married, the return(s) must include the spouse’s information. If the applicant is dependent, copies of the parents’ prior year’s tax returns are also required. Beginning in 2013-14, the Department of Education will also select applications at random to confirm identity, provide documentation for certain types of state assistance, and provide proof of graduation from a high school or GED.

Except in instances where extenuating circumstances intervene, the required documentation must be provided within 30 days of the date the applicant is notified to do so. All financial aid disbursements are withheld until this process has been completed.

CORRECTION OF INFORMATION

If, as the result of verification (described below) or another documentation process, it becomes necessary to correct any of the information on an ISIR, the Financial Assistance office will require the student (and/or the family) to correct inaccurate information by resubmitting the aid application (with corrected information) to the Central Processor. A new ISIR, showing the corrected information, is then generated.

If the applicant becomes ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant or other Title IV aid as the result of corrections in his/her information, the applicant will be so infomed by the Financial Assistance office. If corrections result in a change in eligibility, the Financial Assistance Office will complete an updated financial plan with the student.

CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE INFORMATION WITHIN 30-DAY PERIOD

Students will receive no disbursement of funds if they fail to provide the information required for verification within 30 days, and they may be dismissed from school. In addition, they will be expected to make cash payments in lieu of any expected financial aid disbursements to the School. If the results of the verification satisfy the requirements, the first disbursement of funds to which the student is entitled will be released. If the verification results are negative, the student will meet with the Financial Assistance office and the items that were not accurate will be discussed.

The student (and/or the family) will be required to correct inaccurate information by resubmitting the aid application (with corrected information) to the Central Processor.

If the School has reason to believe that any application has been intentionally submitted under false or fraudulent circumstances, such application will be referred to the Department of Education Office of the Inspector General.

DEFINITION OF FINANCIAL NEED

Financial need is calculated to determine a student’s eligibility for some types of Title IV aid programs. Financial need is the difference between the student’s cost of attending school and the amount of the student and/or family’s financial resources. The need formula can be stated as follows:

  • COST OF ATTENDANCE minus EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION minus OTHER ESTIMATED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE = FINANCIAL NEED

A student’s financial need may not be funded entirely or in some cases not at all by Title IV programs. Students are expected to pay any unfunded portions.

COST OF ATTENDANCE

The student Cost of Attendance estimate below represents an independent student attending a day program during the 14-15 award year. The School’s Financial Assistance office estimates the student’s Cost of Attendance for aid eligibility determination purposes only, using nationally approved living expense guidelines. An average cost of attendance for a student attending school consists of allowances for room, board, personal, transportation and miscellaneous expenses, plus one academic year’s tuition and fees. A sample cost of attendance for an 8-month period of attendance is as follows:

Program A Program B
First Academic Year Tuition (as indicated per Enrollment Agreement)* $14,995 $15,997.50
Fees (as indicated per Enrollment Agreement)* $525 $25
Room and Board** $6,880 $6,370
Personal $2,168 $2,567
Transportation $816 $931
Total Estimated Cost of Attendance*** $25,384 $25,890.50
* These amounts are for illustration purposes only and do not necessarily represent actual tuition and fees for an eighth month period of attendance. Students should refer to their Enrollment Agreement for actual or estimated costs.
** The School does not offer room and board. These estimates are used solely for purposes of eligibility determination.
*** The Total Estimated Cost of Attendance listed above is a sample used for illustration purposes only, and does not necessarily represent an actual cost of attendance for any particular student or program.

Furthermore, financial aid available does not typically cover the entire cost of attendance. Students and their families are expected to fund the difference. The Cost of Attendance should not be assumed to reflect all of the student’s costs of coming to school.

BOOKS AND SUPPLIES

Books and supplies needed for the programs at American Institute are included in the tuition charge and there is no additional fee. The institution has an arrangement with various book publishers and other entities that enables us to make required books and supplies available to students at below competitive market rates. In addition, some books are custom designed for the programs at American Institute and cannot be purchased from third parties. However, if a student wishes to opt-out of receiving the books and supplies from these publishers and attempt to purchase on their own at potentially a greater cost, they may do so. Please see the Director of Education for a book list including the title of the book, edition, author, and ISBN number, as well as where the book can be obtained by the student. Applicable credit will be given if books are not accepted by the student. Remember, having the correct edition of the book is required for class and the responsibility of the student if you choose to opt-out.

Supplies included with the tuition cost vary by program and are listed below:

  • Medical Assisting: 1 set of scrubs, Blood pressure kit, laptop computer
  • Dental Assisting: 1 set of scrubs, laptop computer
  • Massage Therapy: 1 set of scrubs
  • Computers, Networking, & Security: 1 AI polo shirt, laptop computer

EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION

The student’s Expected Family Contribution is calculated by the Central Processor and is a function of the information entered on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. An Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure is included in the ISIR that is produced by the Central Processor when the student’s application is processed. The EFC is a measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student’s education during the academic year. This is measured by items including but not limited to, income and assets in the household, number in household, and number in college.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE REVIEW OF A FINANCIAL AID APPLICANT’S FINANCIAL AID HISTORY

It is a federal requirement that the school determine any and all federal Title IV aid previously received by any aid applicant. The school uses the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to obtain the financial aid history of each financial aid applicant. The information is found on the ISIR. Financial aid disbursements are withheld until confirmation of previous aid is received.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CITIZENSHIP VERIFICATION

When a student applies for federal Title IV financial assistance, an electronic database match (for Social Security number, name and birth date) is conducted by the Central Processor to determine the student’s eligibility status with the Social Security Administration and the United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS). The results of those matches are reported on the student’s ISIR.

If either match is unsuccessful, the student must resolve his or her citizenship status. The Financial Aid office will inform any applicant in this situation of the steps necessary to verify citizenship, which may include contacting the USCIS. Financial aid disbursements will not be made until citizenship status has been confirmed.

DISBURSEMENT PROCEDURES FOR TITLE IV AID

Title IV aid is disbursed by payment period during each academic year using the following definitions and calculations: An academic year is defined as 24 semester credits and at least 30 weeks. A payment period for most programs is 15-17 weeks, with exception for the DMS program, which is 12 weeks.

Federal Direct Loans are disbursed as a credit to the student’s account. For first time loan borrowers, a student’s first loan disbursement is made after 30 days after the start of the program. Previous borrowers’ loans will disburse at the beginning of the term. The student’s second and subsequent loan disbursements are scheduled for the beginning of each term in the academic year. When a student receives a Direct Loan credit, the student receives a notice advising the student or the parent (in the case of a PLUS loan) that the loan has been credited to the student’s account and asking the student or parentif he/ she continues to want all of the loan.

Federal Pell Grant and SEOG disbursements are credited directly to a student’s account at the beginning of each term. Each recipient is issued a receipt when a disbursement has been credited to his/her account.

Federal work-study funds are paid bi-weekly in the form of an employee paycheck.

If a credit balance occurs on a student’s account, the student or parent in the case of PLUS borrowers may request that the excess funds be retained by the school to pay for future tuition and fee charges, applied to other educationally related charges (i.e., books, supplies, equipment, etc.), or refunded to the Direct Loan Program to reduce the student’s principal balance, all within the current academic year. Without a student’s or parent’s authorization(s), credit balances will be paid within 14 days to the student, or to the parent in the case of PLUS Loans.

HOW STANDARDS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS AFFECT STUDENT AID

In order to qualify for student aid under Title IV programs, a student must meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is discussed in detail in this Catalog, and the requirements are dis¬cussed in the section on Satisfactory Academic Progress later in this booklet.

If students are placed on Academic Probation/Financial Aid Warning, they remain eligible for financial aid disbursements during the warning period. If students fail to make satisfactory progress by the end of their warning period, they are suspended from financial aid eligibility pending any additional appeals. Students who are suspended from financial aid eligibility will also be terminated from the school.

FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID COUNSELING

Entrance Counseling

The institution ensures loan entrance counseling is conducted either online at the Department of Education website, studentloans.gov, before a borrower takes out a loan or a paper copy can also be completed in the financial aid office. The interview includes:
  • an explanation of the use of a master promissory note (MPN);
  • importance of repayment obligation;
  • description of consequences of default;
  • sample repayment schedules;
  • information in reference to a borrower’s rights and responsibilities; and
  • other terms and conditions

Exit Counseling

The institution ensures loan exit counseling is conducted at the financial aid office or via mail at completion of a program or withdrawal from the institution. The interview includes:
  • an explanation of the use of a master promissory note (MPN);
  • importance of repayment obligation;
  • description of consequences of default;
  • sample repayment schedules;
  • information in reference to a borrower’s rights and responsibilities; and
  • other terms and conditions

Loan Payment Calculator

The Loan Payment Calculator may be used to calculate monthly payments under the standard and extended repayment plans. You may refer to the following websites to access a Loan Payment Calculator: finaid.org/ calculators/loanpayments.html or ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/calc/html.

Statement of Educational Purpose

Federal financial aid is to be used solely for educational expenses related to a student’s attendance at American Institute.

Referrals to the Office of Inspector General

American Institute is required by law to make referrals to the Office of Inspector General of any cases of suspected fraud and abuse involving the federal financial aid programs.

Professional Judgements

Students are eligible to apply to the Student Finance Office for various types of Professional Judgments.

Dependency Status

The financial information reported on the FAFSA will be used to determine need for financial aid, the type of need-based student aid, and if eligible, the amount of financial aid a student will receive. Students will need to determine whose information to report on the FAFSA – theirs alone, if they are an independent student; theirs and their spouses, if an independent and married student; or theirs and their parents’, if a dependent student.

The answers to dependency questions on the FAFSA determine whether students are considered dependent or independent.

Dependent students must report their parents’ income and assets on the FAFSA as well as their own. Parents of dependent students are expected to contribute toward the cost of their college education. Federal student aid programs are based on the concept that a dependent student’s parents have the primary responsibility for paying for their child’s education.

Dependency Override

Dependent students must report their parents’ income and assets on the FAFSA as well as their own. Parents of dependent students are expected to contribute toward the cost of their college education. Federal student aid programs are based on the concept that a dependent student’s parents have the primary responsibility for paying for their child’s education.

Sometimes extraordinary circumstances make it impossible for a student who does not meet the definition of independent to obtain his or her parents’ financial information. In extremely rare cases, American Institute may authorize a Dependency Override. If the university grants a Dependency Override, the student can apply for aid in the same manner as an independent student, using only the student’s income and asset information.

American Institute will only consider documented cases of child abuse or the current and continuing incarceration/institutionalization of the custodial parent as being extraordinary circumstances.
Note: In most cases the non-custodial parent would than become the custodial parent.

America Institute will not grant a Dependency Override when the sole basis for the request is that parents do not claim the student on income tax return, parents do not wish to provide income and tax information, parents simply do not wish to contribute to educational expenses or the student is self-supporting.

Students who wish to apply for a Dependency Override must submit the following documentation:

  • A letter of explanation, written by the student, explaining the extraordinary family circumstances that led to the student leaving the parent household. The letter must include information on the student’s means of support since leaving the parent household.
  • A letter of explanation from a family member or close friend, explaining the circumstances that led to the student leaving the parent household. The letter must include information about the current relationship between the students and parents.
  • Letters from one professional detailing their first-hand knowledge verifying the family circumstances as described by the student. Professionals may include guidance counselors, clergy members, teachers, doctors, family counselors, mental health professionals and law enforcement personnel. The letter must include the professional’s name, job title and contact information. In some cases, court documents will be requested.
  • Copies of the student’s federal income tax return transcripts (if applicable)

The letter of explanation requesting a Dependency Override along with all required documentation should be sent to the Student Finance Office. The Student Finance Office will respond within 10 business days of receiving all documentation.

Selective Service

Selective Service registration is the process by which the U.S. Government collects names and addresses of men age 18 through 25 to use in case of a national emergency. Male U.S. citizens are required to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Once men reach their 26th birthday, they can no longer register. Not registering is a felony. Failure to register also may cause men to permanently lose eligibility for student federal financial aid, government employment, job training, and U.S. citizenship for male immigrants.

In order to apply for a Professional Judgement, the following is required:

  • Student statement detailing why they did not register for Selective service
  • Selective Service status letter explaining whether the student was required to register
  • Supporting documents (Immigration paperwork, Incarceration documents, passport, I-551)

Income Adjustment

When appropriate, American Institute may adjust the cost of attendance and or the FAFSA data elements to reflect a more accurate state of the student’s unusual circumstance(s) on a case-by-case basis.

In order to apply for a Professional Judgement, the following is required:

  • Student statement explaining income change
  • Supporting documentation (proof of unemployment, current taxes, W-2’s, pay-stubs, state assistance, etc.)

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