General Financial Aid Information
For Federal, University, State and most private aid, family resources are measured by the needs analysis formula of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is based upon the information submitted on the FAFSA, which includes income, assets, number of people in the family and other family factors. All students are required to file the FAFSA if they wish to apply for federal, state and University aid and scholarships.
The difference between the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the Cost of Attendance (COA) for an academic year represents a student’s “financial need.” A student’s budget is often referred to as Cost of Attendance (COA). It represents a reasonable estimate of the cost of attending the University for a full academic year, including:
- Tuition and fees – are fixed costs each academic year
- Room and board
- on campus – based on residence hall and standard meal plan
- off-campus – not living at home or with parent or have your own apartment/house
- commuter – living with a parent(s)
- Books and supplies – are variable costs, they will depend upon your academic program
- An allowance for transportation/personal/miscellaneous expenses – are variable costs based on living arrangements.
Financial assistance may be in the form of Federal, State, University or private aid. There are three types of aid: grants (“gift aid,” including scholarships), loans (low interest need based/non need based loans requiring repayment) and work opportunities.
All financial aid is disbursed directly to the student’s account for charges relating to tuition, fees, room and board. Aid exceeding student account charges may be issued as a refund to the student for other educational expenses (books, supplies, etc.).
In order to receive Federal financial aid, students must be degree seeking, enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours per semester, must not be in default on a loan or owe a repayment to any aid program at any postsecondary institution, must maintain the Standards of Academic Progress and, if male, be appropriately registered with the Selective Service.
Students are responsible for keeping the Financial Aid Office informed of any changes in their enrollment status, such as dropping of classes, transferring/withdrawing from the university or taking a leave of absence. The Financial Aid Office cannot withdraw students from classes. In order to withdraw from classes, students must complete the University Withdraw form with our Director of Undergraduate Success.
Definition of an Academic Year for Financial Aid Purposes
The definition of a financial aid academic year is one in which a student completes a minimum of 30 weeks of instruction and 24 semester credit hours.
Consequently, the following apply to all federal financial aid programs for students in undergraduate programs:
Academic Year 1: credits 0-26
Academic Year 2: credits 27-59
Academic Year 3: credits 60-89
Academic Year 4: Credits 90+
The College Academic Year consists of a Fall semester and a Spring semester. During an Academic Year the Fall semester runs from August through December. The Spring semester runs from January through May, with one week of Spring break.
The Academic Year is part of a larger Fiscal Year that runs from July 1, through June. This includes the Summer term, the Fall Semester, and the Spring Semester .
If your family income has declined during the current calendar year due to unexpected circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid Office. Our office will evaluate each Special Condition request on a case by case basis. Please remember that it is your responsibility to submit all the documentation required to for the Financial Aid Office to complete the special circumstance request.
The Financial Aid Office will review dependency overrides on a case by case basis. The student must submit in writing and provide supporting documentation along with the institutions dependency override form. A dependency override will not be approved due to parent’s refusal or unwillingness to contribute to the student’s education. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more details.
A student may have a change of registration during the add/drop period, which is during the first week of the semester. Students may add and drop classes without financial or academic penalty during the add/drop period. After the end of add/drop period, a student may no longer add classes or receive tuition refunds for classes that are dropped and a grade of a W (Withdraw) will be recorded for the class(es).
Notice of Federal Student Financial aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study). If you have a conviction(s) for these offenses, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to find out how this law applies to you. If you have lost federal student aid eligibility due to a drug conviction, you can regain eligibility if you pass two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. View more information on the Federal Student Aid Website.