Every year a certain number of financial aid applicants are selected for verification. This may happen in two ways. Students may be selected at random by the Department of Education. The Student Aid Report will indicate whether you have been selected for verification. Additionally, the Financial Aid Office may select a student for verification based upon unusual or conflicting information received from the student.
Students who are selected for verification will receive correspondence from the Office of Financial Aid that will detail the subsequent documents that must be submitted. Students must submit the requested items to the Financial Aid Office. If there is conflicting information, corrections must be made. These corrections may result in a change in the student's eligibility to receive financial aid.
To be considered for financial aid, a student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. The student must be admitted, enrolled, and making satisfactory academic progress in a degree program. Additionally, the student can not be in default on a federal student loan or owe money on a federal grant.
Generally, aid is awarded to full-time students (12 or more credit hours per semester); however, part time students qualify for financial assistance as well. A student must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (6 credit hours per semester) if student loan funds are sought.
DETERMINATION OF NEED
COST - FAMILY CONTRIBUTION = NEED
The Government wants to determine what the student and family can reasonably be expected to contribute toward the cost of education. The FAFSA collects financial information from the parents and/or the student. The government uses standardized formulas to determine an expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is subtracted from the cost of attendance to determine the amount of assistance a student is eligible to receive.
Federal law determines whether parental information must be considered in determining need.
Parental information must be included on the FAFSA unless the student is:
- an orphan or ward of the court
- a veteran
- a graduate of professional student
- has legal dependents other than a spouse
- 24 years old
- a student with documented special circumstances for independence
Although the process of determining need for financial aid is generally the same for all students, there is some flexibility for unusual circumstances regarding dependency. If you feel you have special circumstances, contact the Office of Financial Aid.