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Office of Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid administers financial aid from federal, state, institutional, and private resources according to the Federal guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The university works with students and families in determining available funds to help meet the cost of education at the University of Saint Francis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for Financial Aid
Awarding
Disbursement of Aid
Scholarships
Loans
Academic Progress
Verification

Applying for Aid

What do I need to do to apply for financial aid at the University of Saint Francis?

If you wish to be considered for federal, state and institutional funding through the University of Saint Francis, you must:

What is the University of Saint Francis’ Federal School Code?

The Federal School Code for USF is 001832.

Who is considered an independent student?

Based on the definition established by the federal government, you’re independent if you:

Why am I required to report my parents’ income for the purposes of determining student aid when they do not plan to assist me with my college costs?

If you are a dependent student as defined by the federal government, you must report not only your own income on the FAFSA, but the income(s) of your parent(s) as well. The parents of dependent students are expected to contribute to their educational costs, and federal student aid programs are based upon this concept. Simply living outside of your parental home without their support does not make you an independent student based upon the definition used by Federal Student Aid.

My parents are not married. How do I complete the parent section of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

Answer the FAFSA parent questions about the parent that you lived with most during the past twelve months. If this parent is remarried as of the FAFSA filing date, answer the FAFSA parent questions about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).

Is there a priority deadline in applying for financial aid?

Yes. You can file the FAFSA beginning January 1 and will need to submit it before the USF priority deadline of March 10 for institutional funding. The university will only award institutional funds to students completing the FAFSA after the March 10 deadline as funds are available. March 10 is also the FAFSA deadline if you wish to be considered for funds from the State of Indiana. If you miss the March 10 deadline, you should still be able to file the FAFSA, but you will not be considered for grants from the State of Indiana.

How do I know that my FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) has been received and processed?

When you file your FAFSA, you will receive a confirmation page that indicates your FAFSA has been successfully submitted. Please print a copy of your confirmation page for your records. You may then check the status of your FAFSA application at any time. You will receive a link to your SAR via e-mail in approximately two to three weeks. Make sure to watch your junk mail folder if you use an e-mail filter.

Awarding

When will the University of Saint Francis notify me about my financial aid package?

If you are a new student, you will receive your financial aid notification as early as mid-March, provided that you have been accepted to USF and your FAFSA has been received. For returning students, you will receive your aid notification as early as mid-May (for students who receive electronic notifications), provided that you are enrolled for the upcoming semester, your FAFSA has been received, you have submitted supporting documents if requested, and USF has verified satisfactory academic progress.

Is there any way to find out what my family may be expected to pay prior to receiving my financial aid package?

Yes. If you are a first time freshman or a new transfer student, you can use the Net Price Calculator, which has been devised by the University of Saint Francis to assist your family in estimating net price by approximating scholarship and other sources of gift aid.

How does USF determine my financial need?

Your financial need is determined by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the University of Saint Francis’ set Cost of Attendance.

How does the government determine my EFC, or Expected Family Contribution?

The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is measured based on the information you reported on your FAFSA. The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law and includes such components as your family’s income, assets and benefits. Family size and the number of family members in college are also considered. Your EFC will be reported to you on your FAFSA confirmation page and via the Student Aid Report (SAR). The EFC is an index number by which the university will calculate eligibility, but is not a guarantee of how much the student will be billed.

Why have I been asked to submit copies of my tax return transcripts for verification?

A portion of all students who file a FAFSA are selected for verification by the federal government. It is very important that you submit all requested documentation, as you will not receive funding until verification is complete.

What is a Pell Grant, and how do I know if I am eligible for one?

The Pell Grant is a federal award that is given to undergraduate students with no prior bachelor's degree who demonstrate financial need. The amount you receive depends on your level of financial need as determined by your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), Cost of Attendance and full- or part-time enrollment status. You will be notified by the University of Saint Francis on your financial aid award letter if you are eligible for a Pell Grant.

What should I do if my financial circumstances change after applying for financial aid?

If your family experiences a change in your financial circumstances, such as an involuntary loss of employment or unusual medical/dental expenses not covered by insurance, you may request a review of your financial aid file. Professional judgments are reserved for extreme situations, and you must provide the appropriate documentation requested.

Disbursement of Aid

I expect an overpayment of financial aid that I will use for education-related living expenses. When can I expect to receive this check?

Your federal, state and institutional financial aid funds (with the exception of your Federal Work Study award) will be disbursed at the start of each semester to your student account after your financial aid file is complete. Generally, the Business Office begins mailing student account overpayment checks the second week of each semester. The Business Office prints overpayment checks once per week thereafter. Please contact the Business Office at busofc@sf.edu with any questions regarding your expected overpayment check.

I would like to purchase my books and supplies, but my overpayment check has not yet arrived. What should I do?

Please contact the USF Business Office at busofc@sf.edu to see if you qualify for a book voucher. A book voucher may be available to you if the Business Office calculates an anticipated student account credit.

When will I receive my bill? When is it due?

Billing information for the fall semester will be emailed to your student email account in July and the balance is due by the statement date in early August. Billing information for the spring semester will be emailed to you in November and the balance is due in early December.

All of my financial aid has been disbursed, yet I still show a balance on my bill. What are my options?

Will my Federal Work Study be credited to my student account?

No. Your Federal Work Study award allows you to work on-campus to earn money for your college expenses. The amount listed for this award is simply the amount you are eligible to earn—the amount will not be applied to your student account. You will receive a bi-weekly paycheck which can be used for your expenses. The exact amount received will be based on the actual hours worked and your rate of pay.

Scholarships

What types of scholarships and grants are available from the University of Saint Francis?

USF offers many scholarship and grant opportunities. Academic Scholarships are awarded to incoming full-time undergraduate students to USF. Academic Scholarships are automatically offered to you by the Office of Admissions if you are a qualifying incoming student. Additional sources of aid are available from USF as well.

When will I be notified if I am receiving a USF scholarship?

Generally, you will be notified of your award through the Financial Aid Award Notification. Financial Aid Award Notifications are sent to new students beginning in mid-March and to returning students in mid-May.

Where can I go to look for information on outside scholarships?

Loans

What is a Federal Direct loan? How can I apply for one?

Federal Direct loans are for undergraduate, graduate and professional students. You must be enrolled as at least a half-time student (6 credit hours) to be eligible for a Direct loan. You do not need to have financial need to qualify for a Direct loan; however, if you are an undergraduate student and demonstrate financial need, the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest that accrues on your loan during certain periods.

Direct loan eligibility is limited by cost of attendance and by both yearly and cumulative maximums. You will be notified of your Direct loan eligibility on your financial aid award notification from the University of Saint Francis.  To apply for the Federal Direct loan, you must have a FAFSA on file, complete a Federal Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete entrance counseling.  Students can go to www.studentloans.gov to complete the MPN and the entrance counseling session.  The MPN is only required to be completed once and is good for 10 years while attending USF. After the MPN is completed, Direct loans will credit to the student account each semester unless students notify the Office of Financial Aid in writing that they wish to decline all or a portion of the loan.

What is a Federal Perkins loan? How can I apply for one?

Perkins loans are for undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Perkins loans will be offered to you by the University of Saint Francis Office of Financial Aid if you are a student who demonstrates great financial need. Pell Grant recipients receive top priority. The amount offered to you will depend on your financial need, the amount of other aid you have received, the availability of funds at the University of Saint Francis, and by both yearly and cumulative maximums.

What is a Federal PLUS loan, and how can I apply for one?

Federal Parent PLUS Loans: Federal Parent PLUS loans are loans parents can borrow in order to pay for educational costs for their dependent undergraduate children that are enrolled at least half-time. Eligibility is based on credit, not income or need. Your parent may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus your other financial aid as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. Your parent will begin repayment of the Parent PLUS loan 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed; however, the parent may request deferment of payment by contacting the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 800-848-0979. 

Federal Grad PLUS loans: Federal Grad PLUS loans are loans for graduate students. The graduate student borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and must be enrolled at least half-time. Eligibility is based on credit. You may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid you have received. You must complete a FAFSA and must have applied for your maximum annual loan eligibility through the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program before applying for the Graduate PLUS loan. You may qualify for in-school deferment, though interest will accrue after full disbursement of the loan. You will begin repayment of the loan upon graduation.

I received my billing statement, and my Direct loan has not been credited to my student account. What do I need to do?

There are several potential reasons why your Direct loan has not disbursed to your student account. The two most common reasons are:

My Financial Aid Award Notification included a Direct loan that I do not wish to borrow. What do I need to do to decline this award?

Please notify the Office of Financial Aid in writing, via your student email account or otherwise, that you wish to decline your Direct loan. Please include name, date, and student id number in your correspondence.

Why can’t I borrow a higher amount on my loan?

If your loan is a Direct loan, there are specific yearly borrowing limits that have been outlined by the federal government. Your yearly borrowing limit will depend on the number of credit hours you have completed.

Additionally, if your loan is a Direct loan, there are cumulative borrowing limits that may also affect the amount you are eligible to borrow. If you are a dependent undergraduate student, the cumulative Direct loan maximum is $31,000 (no more than 23,000 of which can be subsidized). Independent undergraduate students may borrow up to $57,500 (no more than 23,000 of which can be subsidized).  Graduate students may borrow up to $138,500.

If your loan is a Perkins loan, your yearly borrowing limit will depend on your financial need, the availability of funds at the University of Saint Francis, and by both yearly and cumulative maximums.

All certified educational loans (which includes Direct, Perkins, PLUS, and certified alternative loans) are limited by the yearly cost of attendance at your university.

What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized Direct Loan?

A subsidized Direct Loan is a need-based Federal Loan; the government will pay the interest that accrues on this loan while the student is enrolled at least half time in school and during the six month grace period prior to repayment.  Interest will begin to accrue at a fixed interest rate once the student enters repayment.

An unsubsidized Direct Loan is a Federal Loan in which the interest will begin to accrue at a fixed interest rate once the loan is disbursed. Students can either opt to pay the interest quarterly or allow the accrued interest to be capitalized (added to the principal of the loan) after graduation. The student will still qualify for a six month grace period prior to beginning repayment following graduation or the point in which the student falls below half time.

Academic Progress

What happens to my student aid if I drop a class?

During the university's drop/add period, financial aid will be repackaged based upon any changes to your enrollment.  After the drop/add period, there will be no enrollment-based change to your financial aid unless you drop below half-time enrollment. Please note that although you will be billed for and will retain financial aid eligibility for any courses that you have dropped after the drop/add period, you will receive a “W” on your transcript. This class is now considered a course that you have attempted and must be considered when we review your file for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

What happens to my student aid if I withdraw completely?

If you completely drop all courses during the university's drop/add period, you will receive a refund, which is calculated based on USF’s refund policy. The refunded portion of your financial aid will be returned to the provider of that aid, while the non-refunded percentage will be retained by the University of Saint Francis.

If you completely drop all courses after the drop/add period, you may still receive a refund based on USF’s refund policy. However, all courses dropped are now considered withdrawals. You will receive a “W” on your transcript for each course, and these courses are now considered courses that you have attempted when we review your file for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

What if I have special circumstances that prevent me from satisfactorily completing a semester?

If you lose your eligibility for financial aid due to lack of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), you may appeal for reinstatement of your eligibility if circumstances beyond your control prevented you from meeting the established standards. To appeal, you must submit a completed Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form along with required supporting documentation. Your appeal must be filed in writing within 30 days of the date of the notification of suspension.

Verification

What is verification?

Verification is the process that requires all colleges and universities participating in federal student aid programs to “verify” selected students' data provided on the FAFSA to ensure information about family and finances are correct.

Who gets selected?

A portion of all students who file a FAFSA are selected for verification by the federal government. It is very important that you submit all requested documentation, as you will not receive funding until verification is complete.

What do I need to do if I am selected?

The verification process requires the University of Saint Francis to collect documentation that confirms information regarding your family and finances. This includes, but is not limited to: copies of your Federal Tax Return Transcript for you and your parents (if you are a dependent student) or you and your spouse (if you are married) if you did not utilize the IRS data retrieval feature when filing your FAFSA and the verification worksheet.

Will verification affect my aid?

It depends on the information submitted; if the information on the required documentation matches the information submitted on your FAFSA, your eligibility will not change. If the information submitted is different from the information submitted on your FAFSA, your need-based aid could either increase or decrease depending on the differences found.

When do I need to complete the verification process?

If you receive a letter or email requesting needed materials, you will want to submit these forms as soon as possible in order for the Office of Financial Aid to process your financial aid for the upcoming year. Students are not eligible to receive any form of financial aid until this process is completed, which may cause late fees to be assessed to the student account and the inability to register for classes for the following semester until the process has been completed and the bill paid in full.

Was I selected because I did something wrong?

No. This process was established by the government to ensure the billions of dollars being invested in financial aid programs are being used properly.