How Financial Aid Works
The financial aid office places primary emphasis on financial need, enrollment status, and academic achievement. Your need-based aid amount is calculated by subtracting your expected family contribution (EFC), as determined by your FAFSA results, from the cost of attendance. Once financial need is determined – First, outside sources of aid, such as grants and scholarships are applied to your outstanding needs. Then, financial aid loan awards are offered based upon program eligibility and need.
Every semester students meet with financial aid, after registering for classes, and receives an Award Letter listing the sources, amounts, and terms for which assistance is offered.
The Financial Aid Office may cancel or reduce any award/funds because of changes in a student’s financial or academic status, academic program, living arrangements, or enrollment status.
Most university student financial aid is awarded based on the assumption that students will enroll full time – at least 12 credit hours per semester. Awards may be adjusted for any other enrollment status. Federal programs allow you be enrolled at least half-time – six hours of required course work. All Financial Aid is limited to course work required for a degree program. Complete withdrawal from classes or dropping a class without attending it may result in the required repayment of the financial assistance or the forfeiture of any entitled refund.
Basic Eligibility for Federal Programs:
To be considered for federal financial aid, you must meet all of the following requirements: Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined in the policy in the college catalog; Not owe a refund on any federal/state grant previously received at any institution; Not be in default on any federal educational loan received from any institution; Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident; Be registered with the Selective Service, if applicable.
Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Violations:
Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law (not local or municipal) involving the possession or sale of an illegal drugs during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal financial aid, shall not be eligible to receive any federal student aid assistance during the period beginning and ending date specified in the table below.
Possession of Illegal Drugs:
First Offense – ineligibility period is 1 year from date of conviction
Second Offense – ineligibility period is 2 years from date of conviction
Third Plus Offense – Indefinite Period
Sale of Illegal Drugs:
First Offense – 2 years from date of conviction
Second Offense – Indefinite Period
A student whose eligibility has been suspended based on a conviction for possession or sale of illegal drugs may regain their eligibility before the end of the period if:
- Student satisfactorily completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes at least two unannounced drug test and can satisfy at least one of the following requirements; Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program; Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state licensed insurance company; Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court or, Be administered or recognized by a federally or state licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor
- Student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations or;
- The conviction is reversed, set aside or removed from the student’s record.
It is the student’s responsibility to certify to us that he/she has successfully completed the rehabilitation program.
Financial Aid Helpful Hints:
- Complete FAFSA early. An early start will leave time to collect information, ask questions and solve problems.
- Read instructions and follow directions carefully making sure all documents submitted are complete, accurate and contain required signatures.
- Print your name and Social Security number on all documents submitted.
- Make copies of all documents including all correspondence with your lender or school and keep them in a financial aid file.
- If applicable mail all tax return transcripts and other documents to the Financial Aid Office. Carefully read all correspondence from Financial Aid.
- Respond promptly to all requests for additional information.
- Notify financial aid of any outside aid. (outside scholarships, grants, military benefits etc …) These awards will be added to your award letter for payment to your student account.