March 26, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
New health care law has impact for SRU students
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The federal health care bill signed into law Tuesday by President Obama and the reconciliation legislation expected to be passed by the U.S. Senate are affecting a number of Slippery Rock University students - but not in the way one might expect.
In addition to now being able to stay on their parents' health insurance plan until they reach age 26 and other health-related provisions of the law, students are finding the new bill also changes the way their federal student loans are handled.
"We have been monitoring the legislation for months because of the potential impact on the federal student loan process," said Patty Hladio, director of SRU's Financial Aid Office. "There will be changes, but mainly in the process of accessing Stafford and PLUS loans, not the eligibility criteria," she said.
Changes in the law affect every higher education student participating in the Stafford and PLUS Loan Program, she said. The new rules and regulations will take effect July 1.
The new law eliminates the Federal Family Education Loan Program and implements substantial funding increases for Pell Grants.
Under the new law, the federal government will act as the lender for both of these loan types. Previously, such loans were handled and processed by lending institutions, which partnered with the federal government to provide funding for the loans.
"All Stafford and PLUS borrowers, regardless of their prior borrowing, will now have to complete new Master Promissory Notes in order to receive federal loans," Hladio said. The appropriate forms will be available online.
"We will notify current students by mail and e-mail of the new MPN process and provide the appropriate links to the federal lending Web site within the next few weeks," Hladio said. "Prospective students will receive guidance with their financial aid award letter beginning in late May."
The SRU financial aid Web site will also carry appropriate up-to-date information, she said. The site is available at: http://www.sru.edu/finaid.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.