As NIC continues to proactively work toward eliminating student loan debt and the amount of debt that the institution is responsible for involving financial aid, several processes will change for Fall Semester 2013 regarding how certain types of financial aid are disbursed.
Students will no longer be awarded an unsubsidized student loan in their aid package. In order to receive an unsubsidized loan, students must follow a new procedure, which will require additional paperwork with the Financial Aid Office (more information will be forthcoming).
In addition, students receiving both types of student loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) as part of their financial aid package will receive their disbursement in two increments per semester now instead of receiving a lump sum at the start of the semester. The first disbursement will take place a few weeks into the semester and the second disbursement will occur after midterms each semester. This is to ensure that students receiving student loans are actively attending at least six credit hours of their registered courses. Once this is confirmed, the remaining loans will be distributed. The goal is that this change will reduce students overall loan debt, as well as the amount of money the institution is returning.
"Approximately $340,000 was sent back to the federal government last year because of these issues with student loans," said NIC Financial Aid Director Joe Bekken. "But with the various changes we've made in financial aid already, we've seen improvements in the debt rate at NIC."