Eligibility

Applying

To be eligible for any of the need-based Federal programs, your financial need must be determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the federal processor. The deadline to apply for aid, as set by the Department of Education, is April 15. You may file the FAFSA later in the year, however, you must remember that we package a large group of returning students in late spring for the upcoming academic year based on the FAFSA's we have received. In other words, we package based on "First Come/First Complete."

Citizenship

You must be a U.S. citizen; a national or permanent resident of the U.S., the Northern Mariana Islands or the Republic of Palau; or be in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose. In compliance with new Patriot Act laws, we may ask some students to provide documentation of citizenship. Our office will contact you if necessary. Students who have nonimmigrant visa status (indicated by F, J, L, or G visas) are not eligible for federal and state financial aid. If you are a male over the age of 18, you must also be registered with The Selective Service System in order to receive Federal and State Based Aid.

Enrollment

Each semester of the academic year, you must be enrolled at least half time in an eligible program. In most cases, enrollment status is determined by the number of credits for which you are registered on the day of the last day of free drop/add. Enrollment guidelines are also noted on your "Notification of Financial Aid" award letter that is sent to each student. If you plan on dropping a class that may make you less than full time (less than 12 credits undergraduate) or half time (less than 6 credits undergraduate) please contact our office for guidance.

The Financial Aid Office 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% 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% of a payment period or term, the financial aid office 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% 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 debit 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 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (other than PLUS loans)
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of funds is required
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a Return of funds is required
  • Other assistance under this Title for which a Return of funds is required (e.g., LEAP)

Additional Information

Most grants are limited to students working toward their first bachelor's degree, including Pell and SEOG. You must not be in default on any federal loan (e.g., Federal Perkins, Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Family Education Loan, or Federal PLUS). You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or eligible certificate program. You must comply with Selective Service registration requirements (males only). You must be making satisfactory academic progress. Related Topics: Types of Financial Aid, Appeals.