The FAFSA application is available to file online at www.fafsa.ed.gov anytime after January 1. It is important to use the most accurate tax information possible. If you file using estimated information, your initial financial aid package is subject to change. Our priority deadline to file the FAFSA is March 1. We recommend completing the financial aid paperwork as soon as possible.
Financial aid funds, including scholarships, grants, and loans will disburse at the beginning of each semester. Funds will only be disbursed once a student has been verified as enrolled and has completed all the necessary financial aid paperwork. Failure to promptly submit paperwork will delay financial aid funds to be disbursed on the student’s account.
Our office requires you to complete a Change in Family Circumstance form which can be found online on our forms page. Please also provide supporting documentation and a copy of your most recent Federal Tax Return and W2’s.
Parents of dependent students may apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan to help cover their child’s educational expenses. Graduate students may also apply for a PLUS Loan for their own expenses. A Federal Direct PLUS loan applicant must meet certain criteria in order to qualify. Additional information can be found online at www.studentloans.gov.
Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives. On the financial aid award letter the amount of the PLUS Loan is estimated to cover the remaining balance needed to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If your financial aid package includes Federal Work Study funds, keep in mind that those funds are not automatically subtracted from the student bill. The PLUS Loan amount can be increased to cover the amount of the Work Study funds awarded.
Federal Work Study (FWS) allows students to work part time on campus to earn money to pay for educational expenses. You must qualify for the FWS program by completing the FAFSA form every year. FWS funds are not automatically subtracted from the student bill. The student must earn the funds to receive them.
You may be eligible for work study if you:
- Submitted your FAFSA before March 1.
- Requested Work Study on the FAFSA.
- Are eligible for need-based financial aid.
A student’s actual award will depend on the availability of Work Study money. Funds are limited, so we encourage students to file the FAFSA by the priority filing date and to submit all required paperwork as early as possible.
- A need-based federal student loan that does not accrue interest while the student is attending school or during a six-month grace period.
- Interest does accrue on an unsubsidized loan as soon as it is disbursed. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, it will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal.
How do I complete the Master Promissory Note for my direct subsidized/unsubsidized and/or PLUS loan?
To take out a direct loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is completed online at www.studentloans.gov. You will need your FAFSA pin number to sign in.
- Direct Student Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
- Once you are no longer enrolled at least half time, you will begin a six-month grace period when you are not required to make loan payments. You must begin repayment at the end of the grace period.
- Perkins Loan
- You have nine months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status before you must begin repayment.
- PLUS Loan
- The repayment period for a Direct PLUS loan begins when the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due 60 days after the final disbursement. However, for PLUS loans with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2008, the parent may defer repayment:
- while the student on whose behalf the parent borrowed the loan is enrolled on at least a half-time basis, and
- for an additional six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student records by requiring written consent before disclosing personally identifiable information to a third party. If you have not yet completed a Consent to Release information form, you should submit one to the Office of Student Financial planning so that we can discuss your financial aid package with those who you have given us permission to speak with.
If you switch from Corp to civilian, your financial aid package will be adjusted. A student should investigate changes before making the decision to switch lifestyles. Uniforms are distributed at the time of enrollment, but charges are billed over the first two years. When you switch lifestyles, you will be billed for the entire uniform charge. If you turn in your uniform you may be eligible for a credit that will be applied back to your account. Credit will be determined by the Uniform Store.
I have a merit-based scholarship that requires maintaining a certain GPA. When does Student Financial Planning review my GPA to determine eligibility?
Eligibility for the merit-based scholarships is based on your cumulative GPA and is reviewed annually. However, if your GPA is below the requirement at the time that you are awarded your financial aid package, you may be considered ineligible for your scholarship for the next academic year. If you achieve the required cumulative GPA at the end of the semester, you should notify the Office of Student Financial Planning.
If you are eligible for veteran’s benefits you should supply the Office of Student Financial Planning and the veteran certifying official with a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility. You must apply to the VA to get a Certificate of Eligibility.
These are two separate offices. You should contact the Office of Student Financial Planning for any questions regarding your financial aid package, filing the FAFSA and questions related to loans, grants and scholarships. You should contact the Bursar’s office regarding any billing-related questions.
The cash management statement releases permission for the Bursar’s Office to use financial aid funds to pay non-tuition costs such as parking fees or library fees. Signing this is optional.