Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
A: The first step is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at: www.studentaid.gov. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for grants, loans and work study. It must be completed EVERY YEAR. For maximum consideration, it should be completed by March 1. The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year becomes available October 1.
Q: I received a letter that states I am selected for verification. What does that mean?
A: Each year a random number of students are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for verification. The verification process requires the Financial Aid Office to confirm the data supplied by the student and/or parent(s) for accuracy and completeness. You will need to submit a verification worksheet along with financial and/or other documentation to verify the information reported on the FAFSA.
Q: What is verification?
A: Each year, the U.S. Department of Education selects certain applicants for verification. The verification process requires the Financial Aid Office to confirm the data supplied by the student and/or parent(s) for accuracy and completeness. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, immediately submit all requested documentation to our office for review since timeliness is necessary for certain financial aid awards.
Q: How will I know if I am selected for verification?
A: Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate whether or not your file has been selected for verification. The SAR is typically accessed via a link sent to you by the Department of Education after you file your FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, there will be an asterisk* next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure on your SAR. You will also receive a letter and/or email notification from the Financial Aid Office alerting you to what documentation you will be required to submit before your financial aid application is fully processed.
Q: What if I cannot or do not submit documentation for verification?
A: Failure to provide required documentation WILL negatively impact your financial aid award package.
Q: What happens after my first year in college?
A: You need to reapply for aid each year using the FAFSA. Aid changes each year based upon changes in the family’s financial situation and changes in college expenses. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standardswill also apply, along with the established renewal requirements for state and institutional aid.
Q: What happens if I have to withdraw from school?
A: The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.
If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term, the Office of Financial Aid recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV Funds formula:
Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.
Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:
Aid to be returned = (100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.
If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a balance to the institution.
If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.
The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 30 days after the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.