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What Is a Scheduled Academic Year (SAY) in Student Loans?

A scheduled academic year is a fixed period that begins and ends at the same time each year. For example, the first day of the fall semester through the last day of the spring semester would make up a scheduled academic year. Annual loan limits in a scheduled academic year are based on a traditional academic calendar (e.g., fall and spring semesters). Because this fixed interval runs during the fall and spring semesters only, loans are disbursed during those academic terms.

What is A Borrower-Based Academic Year?

A borrower-based academic year (BBAY) is a standard used to determine the amount of federal loans students are eligible to receive when they are not following a traditional calendar used by higher education programs. A BBAY period reflects the student’s academic year, as opposed to a school’s traditional calendar.

The maximum loan distribution amount depends on a student’s academic progress and the length of the BBAY period. A single borrower-based academic year can consist of two semesters, three trimesters, three quarters, or a full academic year of nonterm clock or credit hours. For example, in a semester-based program spring/summer or summer/fall would represent a single BBAY period.

Are There Different Types of Borrower-Based Academic Years?

Post-secondary institutions typically use three types of borrower-based academic years.

  • BBAY1: The first option is available at colleges and universities that offer credit hour programs as part of a traditional academic calendar and don’t use a SAY (scheduled academic year). Loans may be disbursed up to 10 days prior to the beginning of each term.
  • BBAY2: Higher education programs with both standard and non-standard terms (cannot use a SAY) that run at least nine academic weeks generally use BBAY2. Loans may be disbursed up to 10 days prior to the beginning of each term.
  • BBAY3: Post-secondary institutions that rely on the BBAY3 loan distribution method use them for clock-hour and non-term credit hour programs and non -standard terms. Loans are disbursed at the beginning of the program and at the midpoint once the student successfully completes both half the clock/credit hours and half the weeks in the program.

How Does a Borrower-Based Academic Year Work?

Students receive federal loans for two -three consecutive academic terms in a borrower-based academic year. The benefit of a BBAY is that it allows students to receive loans for an entire award year, even if they may not be attending school during the fall or spring. A BBAY period floats with the student’s schedule rather than a program’s curriculum or the schedule of the higher education institution.

A BBAY can also include a subsequent period—a term where students are not enrolled in a program for half the time. However, students must be registered for the first term of their BBAY period. They must also file a FAFSA for the academic year in which they enroll in school.

How Fame Can Simplify Student Tracking in a BBAY Period?

Because student attendance during a BBAY period varies from the traditional academic year, tracking student enrollment and attendance can be challenging. Fortunately, there is a solution. With Fame’s Student Information Systems, your school receives customized reports that track program-related metrics, including student attendance and enrollment status.

Sign up for a free consultation to try our software today.

How Does a Scheduled Academic Year Work?

Lenders distribute loans in one or more installments during a scheduled academic year (SAY). Typically, the first disbursement would occur around the beginning of a semester and the second disbursement would occur at up to 10 days prior to the start of the 2nd semester.

It’s important to note that students are not required to enroll in all academic terms under a SAY to receive their loans. Also, keep in mind that higher education programs that follow the SAY period must have established credit hours that abide by academic requirements.

What Is an Annual Loan Limit Progression?

An annual loan limit progression is simply the amount of federal direct loans students are eligible to receive for an academic year. The yearly limit depends on several factors, including a student’s grade level and dependency status.

Does the Annual Loan Limit Change?

Yes, the annual loan limit does change. For example, the yearly limit increases as students progress in their academic careers.
Undergraduate students in a post-secondary school receive an annual limit for direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans. In contrast, graduate students only have a limit on unsubsidized loans because they are not eligible for subsidized offers.

What Does the Academic Period of the Loan Mean?

The loan period refers to the portion of the academic year or borrower-based academic year for which a student requests a loan.

Is FAFSA Based on Academic Year?

When completing the FAFSA, students should include the period they plan to attend school. The form is good for the entire award year and loan period, so students don’t have to fill it out again until the start of the next award year. A student could be eligible for a second loan during the same award year.

Select Fame’s Services for Your Post-Secondary Program

A borrower-based academic year is flexible for students whose schedules don’t align with a traditional school calendar. This offering can increase their satisfaction, which reflects well on your program. Check out our career school software solution to take your post-secondary institution to new heights. Our customizable software is perfect if you need cutting-edge technology that can simplify student enrollment tracking and financial aid processing tasks. And when you need a software solution to help your program manage aid distribution, our financial aid processing services can do just that.

Check our dictionary for additional terms applicable to your post-secondary program.