Financial Aid Programs & Eligibility Requirements

General Requirements

Be a United States Citizen or permanent resident. 

Be accepted by ABU in a degree or certification program. Students admitted with non-degree seeking status are not eligible for scholarships, grants, or loans. 

Not be in default on an educational loan or owe a refund for an educational grant. Declared a major classification. 

Meet satisfactory academic progress requirements.

Federal Pell Grant Program

The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to eligible students who have not received a bachelor's degree and who have exceptionally high documented financial need. The Federal Pell Grant Processing Center calculates the student's eligibility from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Awards range from $400 to approximately $5,920. Eligible students are limited to a maximum of 12 full-time semesters in which to receive a Pell Grant. Awards are reduced for enrollment fewer than 12 credit hours per semester. Eligible students receive funds by credit to their personal checking account. 

  • Student eligibility for the grant will be reduced from 18 semesters to 12 semesters. This means that students who have received a Pell Grant for six years or 12 semesters will be cut off from further funding.
  • Students must have either a high school diploma or GED certificate to be eligible. This provision is particularly significant for transfer students who may not have provided proof of their high school graduation or GED completion when admitted to the college. Such students will want to provide a certified copy of their high school transcript or GED certification to admissions as soon as possible to avoid delays in the payment of their 2017-18 Pell Grant award.
  • There will be changes in how eligibility for the Pell Grant is calculated that could reduce payments to as many as 100,000 students nationwide.
  • The “Year-Round” Pell payment procedure has been discontinued. Under that procedure, a student enrolling full-time for the summer, fall, and spring terms could receive a full-time Pell Grant payment for each term for a total annual Pell Grant award of up to $8,325. Under the new procedure, the maximum annual award will be $5,645. This means that a student receiving a Pell Grant payment in summer will see a reduction in the following spring term’s Pell Grant eligibility equivalent to the summer payment received. Summer Pell Grant payments are not optional for Pell Grant recipients enrolling in summer terms beginning on or after July 1st or the long summer term.

For information regarding the Federal Pell Grants, click HERE.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and higher Education Grant (TEACH)

TEACH Grants are awarded to eligible students who enroll in coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework. AT ABU the junior year is when a student will be eligible to apply for the TEACH Grant.  Awards provide up to $4,000 per year ($16,000 total for four-year programs) in grants to students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. 

IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLETE THE FOUR-YEAR TEACHING OBLIGATION YOU WILL HAVE TO REPAY THE GRANT WITH INTEREST! 

Student Eligibility Requirements  

  •  Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the year you are applying, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need. https://fafsa.ed.gov (ABU School Code 014305.)
  • Complete the  TEACH Grant Request Form and submit to the financial aid office, who will verify the program with the Registrar’s office  for certification that you are taking coursework in an eligible program.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework. Coursework that will prepare a student to teach in a high-need subject area (e.g., math courses for a student who intends to be a math teacher) is acceptable.
  • Meet the following academic achievement requirements
    • Score above the 75th percentile on one of the following college admissions test(s) - SAT, ACT, or GRE, Or
    • Graduate from High School with a Cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale AND maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 throughout your academic program for which you receive a TEACH Grant.  
  • Complete TEACH Grant counseling
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay each year with the U.S. Department of Education (Agreement must be completed if you are awarded a TEACH Grant 

TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay:  

 Specifically, the TEACH Grant service agreement Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) that will be available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from will provide that –  

Teaching Obligation  

To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant as a loan with interest you must be a highly-qualifiedfull-time teacher in a high-need subject areafor at least four years within eight years of finishing the program at a school serving low-income students. Specific definitions of these terms are included below.  

Highly-Qualified Teacher 

You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 

Full-Time Teacher  

You must meet the state’s definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary school teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.  

High-Need Subject Areas  

Schools Serving Low-Income Students  

Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. 

Documentation  

For each TEACH-eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must also provide documentation to the federal Department of Education that you completed your teaching obligation. TEACH Grant recipients must also confirm to the federal Department of Education in writing within 120 days of completing or otherwise ceasing enrollment in the TEACH-eligible program that they are fulfilling (or planning to fulfill) the terms and conditions of the service agreement.  

Documentation of the teaching service must be certified by the elementary or secondary schools chief administrative officer, upon completion of four academic years of teaching service. This documentation must show that you were a full-timehighly-qualifiedteacher at a school serving low-income students, teaching a high-need subject area for at least four years 

Reminder 

Failure to complete the teaching obligation or properly document your teaching service will cause the teach grant to be permanently converted to a loan with interest.  

Once a grant is converted to a loan it can’t be converted back to grant!

Federal Stafford Loans

Subsidized Federal Stafford Student Loans 

  • Awarded to eligible students on the basis of documented financial need.
  • These loans do not accrue interest during eligible in-school and grace periods.
  • In most cases payments are not required as long as the student is enrolled at least half time.
  • As of July 1, 2012, this loan is no longer available to graduate students.
  • To apply go to the https://studentloans.gov and follow the directions for a Sub/Unsub loan.

 Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Student Loans  

  • Not limited to students with documented financial need.
  • Interest begins to accrue when funds are disbursed.
  • Repayment of principal and interest may be deferred until the student no longer meets enrollment requirements.
  • To apply go to the https://studentloans.gov and follow the directions for a sub/unsub loan. 

Maximum Annual Loan Limits

**To track cumulative amounts of your federal loans go to https://www.nslds.ed.gov 

  • Interest rates will revert from 3.4% back to 6.8% unless Congress intervenes before July 1st.
  • Interest will begin to accrue during the 6 month grace period of the loans. Previously, no interest accrued during the 6 month grace period.
  • For all new graduate student loans with loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012, the $8,500 Federal Direct Subsidized Loan for graduate students will be discontinued and replaced with an $8,500 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. This means that eligible graduate students applying for summer school loans for summer enrollment periods beginning prior to July 1, 2012, may still be able to receive the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan for those summer enrollments, but all graduate loans for enrollment periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012 will be the new Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, which accrue interest while the student is enrolled. The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan does not accrue interest while the student is enrolled.

 

Borrower's
Academic Level
Classification
Dependent
Student Sub &
UnSub
Independent 
Student
Sub
Independent
Student 
Unsub
Freshman$5,500$3,500$6,000
Sophomore$6,500$4,500$6,000
Junior/Senior$7,500$5,500$7,000
GraduateN/A$8,500$12,000
Graduate
(effective 7/1/12)
N/AN/A$20,500
Aggregate Loan Limits
Dependent
Undergraduates
Subsidized + Unsubsidized
(No more than $23,000 can be Subsidized)
$31,000
Independent
Undergraduates
Subsidized Only$23,000
Independent
Undergraduates
Unsubsidized & Subsidized$57,500
GraduatesSubsidized Only
(Includes undergraduate loans)
$65,500
GraduatesUnsubsidized + Subsidized
(Includes undergraduate loans)
$138,500