Students should first submit the FAFSA to be evaluated for the need-based programs. The Department of Education determines eligibility for need-based financial aid using submitted FAFSA application information in a standard need analysis formula.
Financial Need can be defined as the Cost of Attendance (COA) minus the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
Cost of Attendance (COA) is a calculation of expected expenses during the time you are enrolled. COA includes allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and other personal expenses. Although some of these costs will be paid directly to the College (tuition and fees) most are considered indirect costs and the responsibility of the student.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated from the information you report on the FAFSA. EFC is a measure of a student’s and his/her family’s financial strength and resources and is used to determine amounts and types of aid available.
Once Financial Need is determined, federal, and state private grant and scholarships are awarded, followed by Federal Direct Stafford Loans. Following determination of need-based aid, non-need based aid such as Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans or Parent PLUS loans is awarded. Students that do not have need-based aid can still receive non-need based aid.
Federal Direct Loans, grants, and scholarships are directly applied to the student’s account. Any remaining balance due is the responsibility of the student and the student is required to make payment arrangements with the Billing Office. Students that have a credit balance will receive a refund check. For more information on Refund disbursements see below.
When is Financial Aid Disbursed?
Financial Aid disbursements are tentatively scheduled for the first full-week of full semester classes for the fall and spring semesters and after July 1 for the summer semester. However, disbursements could be delayed due to specific program requirements or corresponding documents that have not been received, reviewed and/or processed by the Financial Aid Office. Contact the financial aid office to determine your disbursement date.
How is Financial Aid Disbursed?
The award letter will indicate what type of grants, scholarships, and/or loans a student is eligible to have disbursed each semester. See Award Notification tab for further information.
When are refunds disbursed?
If a credit balance exists after all financial aid has been disbursed and all charges have been applied, a student is entitled to a refund. Typically this refund will be processed within 14 days of the date the funds were applied to the students account. The Billing Office will email the student when the refund check is available for pick-up.
Students receiving Federal Student Aid (and most state aid) must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards their degree. The three components of SAP include:
- Cumulative GPA >2.0
- Complete 66.67% of cumulative courses attempted
- Complete degree within 150% of the published course length.
Students not meeting any one of the above criteria will be placed on a Financial Aid Warning semester. During the Financial Aid Warning semester the student will be eligible to continue to receive aid. Students who fail to meet SAP standards following their Financial Aid Warning semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for future semesters and will be ineligible to receive Federal or most State Aid.
The complete Satisfactory Academic Progress policy can be viewed on the Financial Aid Policies tab.
On a case-by-case basis, the financial aid office may review family changes after the FAFSA has been submitted with the previous year’s information. If a major change occurs in your financial situation, you may submit an appeal for our office to review your situation. Examples include:
- Parent(s) or student recently unemployed
- Parent(s) or student is receiving less pay
- Parents or student has become separated or divorced
- Death of parent or student’s spouse
- Medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance
- Private elementary or secondary school expenses
- Unemployment benefits or untaxed income no longer received
- IRA and 401K withdrawals
- Other changes to a student’s status or to a student’s or family’s income or assets
To receive an appeal form, please contact the financial aid office. Appeals are reviewed and handled on a case-by-case basis.