2009-2010 Financial Aid
Federal Stafford Student Loan Program
Degree-seeking graduate students are eligible to apply for Federal Stafford Student Loan funds. Banks and other lending institutions have traditionally lent money to students to finance their education.
Graduate students may borrow up to $8,500 per academic year in a Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan and up to $12,000 in a Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for a total of $20,500 per year. The aggregate maximum for graduate students is $138,500 of which no more than $65,500 can be subsidized.
Students must be enrolled at least half-time each semester in order to borrow Stafford loan funds for that semester. Half-time is defined as four to six credit hours and full-time is defined as seven or more credit hours per semester.
Applicants must apply for need-based financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Office of Financial Aid will then determine the amount of a loan that the student may qualify for and certify student status to the lending institution of the student's choice.
This loan is available to graduate students who have no adverse credit history. Students may borrow up to the cost of education (budget costs minus any financial aid received) and must use the loan funds solely to pay educational costs. The PLUS is a fixed-rate loan (for loans disbursed after June 30, 2006) that is currently capped at 9%. Students can choose to make monthly principal and or interest payments while in school or can choose to defer payments. The loan may be obtained through a participating lender (banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations). For further information concerning this program, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Graduate student budgets vary based on the graduate program in which the student is accepted. They also vary based on the number of credit hours for which a student enrolls and can include other expenses incurred by the student as a result of enrollment in that graduate program. The allowance for books and supplies is only applicable to programs where books are not included in the cost of tuition. The other budget figures listed below are for 9 months (Fall and Spring semesters) and will be updated for students who attend during the Summer semester.
To determine the financial need of a student, calculate College Costs (Student Budget) and apply Family Contribution against them. If the Family Contribution is less than the College Costs, financial need is established. The Family Contribution is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including information about income, assets, and non-taxable income.
Graduate students must maintain satisfactory progress in their academic studies in order to receive Title IV (Federal) student financial aid funds and institutionally funded financial aid. Title IV (Federal) student financial aid includes the following programs:
Students Receiving Student Financial Aid Funds
The Financial Aid Office will utilize the College's Academic Standing Policy. In addition, full-time and part-time students must complete at least 70 percent of the semester credit hours for which they enrolled to be making satisfactory progress. Any class that appears on the academic transcript as “graded” will be counted toward total credit hours enrolled. Transcript grades include the following:
Additionally, once a student attains sophomore or second-year status, (28 hours and above), the student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
If satisfactory progress requirements are not met, the student will be determined ineligible to receive Title IV student financial aid funds.
Timetable For Review
Students' records will be reviewed at the end of each academic year to determine whether they are in compliance with the Satisfactory Progress Policy. The academic year ends with Spring Term and will include any period of time during the academic year the student was enrolled. Students who have grade changes, including incomplete grade updates, that affect academic progress after it has been reviewed are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office so that their progress may be re-reviewed for compliance. Grade changes, including incomplete grade updates, affecting student eligibility for financial aid must be on file with the Registrar's Office prior to the first date of classes in the next semester of enrollment in order for the student's record to be re-reviewed for satisfactory progress in that semester.
Grade Reports Special Note
The following will not be counted as credit hours completed:
Total Semesters Student Financial Aid Funds
Graduate students are eligible to receive eight semesters of aid while in full-time status, with each Summer counting as one-half semester. Part-time students' eligibility will be extended proportionately. Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree are eligible for four additional semesters after receiving the first bachelor's degree.
After becoming ineligible for student financial aid funds, a student can be considered for receipt of financial aid only when the completion percentage and grade point average requirements have been met.
The Financial Aid Office will notify by letter any student receiving financial assistance who does not meet the satisfactory progress requirement and has been determined to be ineligible for financial aid. The notice will be addressed to the student's most current local address on file at the college. It is the student's responsibility to inform the Registrar's Office of a correct mailing address at all times.
Right to Appeal and Appeal Process
Any student who has been determined to be ineligible for financial aid has the right to appeal. The following appeal process will be utilized:
Federal regulations govern the return of Title IV (federal) financial aid funds that have been disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from college during a term, payment period, or period of enrollment. The regulations operate under the principle that a student “earns” his/her financial aid based on the period of time he/she remained enrolled.
During the first 60% of the enrollment period, a student “earns” Title IV federal financial aid funds in direct proportion to the length of time he/she remains enrolled (that is, the percentage of time during the enrollment period that the student remained enrolled is the percentage of disbursable aid for that period that the student earned). A student who withdraws from college beyond the 60% point has “earned” all Title IV federal financial aid for the period.
Unearned Title IV funds, other than Federal Work-Study earnings, must be returned to the federal financial aid programs. Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned under the formula.
The responsibility to repay unearned Title IV aid is shared by the institution and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to possess.
The institution's share is the lesser of:
The student's share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution's share.
Additional information, worksheets, and examples of return-of-federal-funds calculations can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.
Institutional refunds are determined on the date that add/drop or withdrawal forms are completed and processed in the Registrar's Office. Refer to the appropriate class schedule for the specific refund schedule for each semester. All institutional charges (tuition, fees, and room and board) are refunded based on the refund schedule. Please check the Student Accounts Services webpage for the Tuition Refund Schedule.
Notification of Award--Students submitting applications and other supporting documentation are notified by mail whether they will receive aid.
Changes in Financial Status--Students are responsible for reporting any change in family financial resources from extra income, gifts, or outside aid. If the additions reduce the financial need, the award will be reduced. Failure to report additional resources may result in total cancellation of all financial aid. If resources decrease, students may request additional funds.
The college makes every effort to assist its students in securing the financial aid they need to be successful in their studies and career goals, if funds are available.
Employer Reimbursement--Students receiving reimbursement from their employers who apply for need-based financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are required to notify the Financial Aid Office and submit documentation of the amounts to be received.
Withdrawal from College--If a student receiving merit-based aid should withdraw from the college or be suspended before the end of the semester, the student's financial aid award is canceled and all unpaid tuition resulting from the cancellation of the merit-based aid for that semester is due and must be paid immediately.
Incoming students are encouraged to apply for financial aid at the time they apply for admission to the college. Continuing students are reminded to reapply for financial aid each academic year. Financial Aid awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are depleted; therefore, it is in each student's best interest to submit application materials as soon as possible after January 1. Regulations and policies for many of the Federal Financial Aid Programs change periodically. For additional information about any type of financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid.