Taxable Financial Aid
Current federal tax laws have made some financial aid taxable income. Financial aid received (other than loans) above the cost of tuition, fees, and books are considered taxable income. You should contact the IRS or a tax preparer for additional information.
Educational Income Tax Credits
There are three educational income tax credits that can reduce your or your family’s federal taxes. They are based on your university tuition and fee charges. The Hope tax credit can be claimed during the first two years of college, up to a maximum of $1650 per year. The Lifetime Learning tax credit is available for any level of post-secondary study, up to a current maximum of $2000 per year. Note that only one type of credit (Hope or Lifetime Learning) may be claimed for a student in a given year. The third is the American Opportunity Credit. For more information about tax credits, you can visit the IRS web site at www.irs.gov.
Student Loan Interest Deduction
You may be able to reduce your taxable income for interest paid during the tax year on your student loans.
Please check IRS Publication 970 (for the current tax year), Tax Benefits for Education.
Deductible interest includes loan origination fees, capitalized interest and voluntary interest payments on loans taken out solely to pay qualified educational expenses for a student enrolled at least halftime. Interest paid on loans from a relative or made under a qualified employer plan does not qualify for the deduction. You can claim this deduction even if you don’t itemized deduction.
Financial Aid Calculators
Net Price Calculator
Semester Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculator - http://www.back2college.com/gpa.htm
Calculator for Raising Your GPA - http://www.back2college.com/raisegpa.htm
Your GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted. Your grade point average may range from 0.0 to 4.0. For example:
A = 4 grade points per credit
B = 3 grade points per credit
C = 2 grade points per credit
D = 1 grade points per credit
F = 0 grade points
Credit/no credit (CR/NC) courses are not factored into your GPA. An “I” (incomplete) and “W” (withdrawal) do not receive grade points and do not have an effect on your GPA.
Total Grade Points ÷ Total Credit Hours Attempted = GPA
Your credit completion rate is calculated by taking the amount of credits you earned divided by the amount of credits you attempted.
Total Credits Earned ÷ Total Credits Attempted = Credit Completion Rate
To check your total credits earned and total credits attempted:
- Go to STAR Degree Check at https://www.star.hawaii.edu:10012/studentinterface/
- Use your UH username and password to log on to the website.
- Click the Transcript/Grades tab and then choose Campus Transcript by Semester.
- Scroll to the bottom of the screen and look for the Cumulative box on the right.
- There you can find your Total Credits Earned and Total Credits Attempted
Stafford Loans Interest Rate
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans = 6.8%
· Subsidized Stafford Loans borrowed by undergraduate students
· First Disbursed Between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013 = 3.4%1
Annual Subsidized Limits
· 1st Year Undergraduates = $3,500
· 2nd Year Undergraduates = $4,500
· Remaining Undergraduate Years = $5,500
· Preparatory Coursework Needed to Enroll as Undergraduate = $2,625
· Preparatory Coursework Needed to Enroll in Graduate/Professional Program if Student has a Baccalaureate = $5,500
· Teacher Certification if Student has a Baccalaureate = $5,500 Annual Unsubsidized Limits
· Dependent undergraduates whose parents can borrow PLUS = $2,000
· 1st and 2nd year undergraduate dependent students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS and independent students = $6,000
· Remaining undergraduate years for dependent students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS and independent students = $7,000
· Preparatory Coursework Needed to Enroll as Undergraduate = $6,000
· Preparatory Coursework Needed to Enroll in Graduate/Professional Program if Student has a Baccalaureate = $7,000
· Teacher Certification if Student has a Baccalaureate = $7,000
· Graduate/professional students = $20,500 Aggregate Limits
· Dependent students = $31,000 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized)
· Independent students and dependent students whose parents cannot borrow PLUS = $57,500 (up to $23,000 may be subsidized)
· Subsidized = $65,500 (includes undergraduate borrowing)
· Unsubsidized = Defined by the U.S. Department of Education
Annual Minimum Award - $606
Annual Maximum Award - $5,920
Interest Rate = 7%
Annual maximum depends on cost of attendance and other financial aid received
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Annual Minimum Award
Annual Maximum Award
· $4,400 annually for students in approved programs
1 The interest rate for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013, has not been set by Congress. The interest rate could be as high as 6.8%.
2 These are anticipated award amounts. Congress has not yet appropriated funds for 2013-14 Federal Pell Grant awards.