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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Financial aid added online

    Graduate Plus loans, Academic Competitiveness Grant, Smart grant, and “”Check your financial aid status”” are new services on Student Link that the Office for Student Financial Aid are managing for UA students.

    John Nametz, director of financial aid, said that about 74 percent of UA students received some sort of financial aid administered through the university during the 2005-2006 school year, higher than the national averate of 65 percent.

    PLUS loans, which started as loans for parents with dependent students, are now available for graduate students, too, and have only an 8.5 percent fixed interest rate, Nametz said.

    Another new grant, the ACG grant, amounts to $750 for the first year and $1,500 the second. The grant is available for freshmen and sophomores who have completed college course work in high school, said Shelley Semler, client services administrative associate for the Office of Student Financial Aid.

    The Smart grant is for junior and senior full-time students with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. So far, 230 students have been awarded the Smart grant, for a total of $920,000, Nametz said.

    Nametz said he expects to award roughly 300 students with the grant this year and eventually add $2 million more to student grants.

    Online, the “”Check your financial aid status”” function allows a student to see if his or her grants and loans have been passed, a feature Nametz said he wanted to start when he came to the UA 17 years ago.

    Howver, some students are still having problems with the site.

    Michael Emanuel, a psychology junior, said his financial aid should be unchanged, but the new site is telling him his funds have not gone through and the office is missing some information.

    “”It says I’m missing a parent signature, but my loan is independent of my parents,”” said Emanuel. “”They said it was a mistake.””

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