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Various Financial Aid Policies

Eligibility For Financial Aid

This page explains requirements for receiving federal financial aid and how the amount of aid is determined. Students apply for aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://fafsa.ed.gov. Eligible students receive financial aid funds at the beginning of each term.

A student’s eligibility for aid refers to:

  • whether or not the student meets the requirements to receive funds for college
  • the amount of available aid the student is eligible to receive

FEDERAL STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS (Infographic on Aid Eligibility)

The federal government is a primary source of financial aid for many college students. Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible for federal aid:

  • Have a High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Be admitted and enrolled to a degree program. Students must enroll at least half-time and be working toward a degree or combined degree/certificate. Students enrolled in a certificate-only program are not eligible for federal aid, including loans.
  • Demonstrate financial need through their financial aid application materials. (Some loans and scholarships are available to students without need.)
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or eligible non-U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security Number (unless from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • Be registered with the U.S. Selective Service, if required.  To check registration, click here.
    • Male U.S. citizen (or eligible noncitizen) between the ages of 18 and 26 must register with the Selective Service. Registration may be completed in one of the following ways:
      • Online.
      • Obtain a registration form from the student’s high school or any U.S. post office.
      • Register via the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree program.
  • Use aid only for educational purposes.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on any federal educational loan. Review Pell Grant and Loan History at https://www.nslds.ed.gov/.
  • Enroll for coursework that is accepted for credit by the degree-granting program.
    • If a student enrolls in coursework that does not count toward their degree, it cannot be used to determine enrollment status.
    • Exception: if the course(s) are eligible remedial courses or the course(s) have been approved by the college/department to count toward the student’s degree progress.
  • Students must attend all classes for which they enroll. Failure to attend class may result in the adjustment of aid.

RESTRICTIONS ON ELIGIBILITY

SECOND BACHELOR'S DEGREE: Students are eligible for federal aid if they are pursuing double majors or dual-degree programs as long as they meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. If a student has earned an undergraduate degree and continues or re-enters college to pursue another Bachelor's Degree, federal financial aid is limited to loans only.

NON-DEGREE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: A student admitted as a non-degree undergraduate student is not eligible for federal aid.

NON-DEGREE GRADUATE STUDENTS:  A student admitted as a non-degree graduate student may qualify for federal loan assistance if the student is taking prerequisite courses for admittance into a GSON Graduate Degree program. More information is available at http://financialaid.arizona.edu/managing-my-aid/non-degree-graduate-students-seeking-federal-financial-aid.

ENROLLMENT AT MORE THAN ONE INSTITUTION: Students who are enrolled at more than one college or university at the same time may receive aid from only one institution.

HOW MUCH AID IS A STUDENT ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE?

Financial aid programs were created with the idea that the primary responsibility for paying college costs rests with the student and their family. The amount of aid for which a student is eligible depends on their family’s financial circumstances and resources, year in school, enrollment status, and the cost of attendance at the school they are attending.

When a student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Department of Education uses the information provided to assess the family’s financial situation and calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is an index number that determines the amount of need based aid a student may qualify for; it is not the amount owed to the college or university.

Once the Department of Education has calculated the EFC, the amount of federal, state, and institutional need-based aid is calculated as follows:

Cost of Attendance – EFC = Financial Need

The Cost of Attendance (COA) includes estimated amounts for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board (housing and food), and a modest allowance for personal/miscellaneous expenses. The COA represents the amount of aid a student is eligible to receive.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: If a student’s EFC is less than a college’s cost of attendance, then the student qualifies for need-based financial aid. Need based aid (including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), state grants, institutional grants, and Federal Direct Subsidized loans) cannot exceed the financial need figure. However, there are other types of aid which can be awarded regardless of your financial need (including Federal Direct Unsubsidized, Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans, and/or private educational loans).

PARENTS of UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: Federal regulations require that a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan borrower be either a biological parent or an adoptive parent. A step-parent may also borrow the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan for their student as long as their income is listed on the FAFSA with one of the biological or adoptive parents. View an infographic on Who’s My Parent When I Fill Out My FAFSA?, or text on reporting parent information.

GRADUATE STUDENTS: Graduate students are only eligible for non-need based federal aid including Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, Federal Direct Grad PLUS loans, and/or private educational loans. Need-based aid may be offered by UA departments or outside scholarship entities.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES THAT MAY AFFECT ELIGIBILITY

Students may seek scholarships from private sources, UA departments, and other sources at any time. In accordance with federal regulations and university policies, scholarships from external sources must be counted as financial resources when calculating a student’s eligibility for need-based aid.

Some scholarships and awards administered by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid are awarded based on student need. Although this may reduce a student’s institutional grant and/or other need-based aid, their total aid awarded should remain the same or may increase. Total aid should not be reduced if there has not been a change to a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

 

Student Rights & Responsibilities

As a student consumer you have the right to:

  • know what financial assistance is available, including information on all federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs;
  • know the deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial assistance programs available;
  • know how your financial need is determined. This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, and personal expenses are decided in developing cost of attendance budgets;
  • know what resources (such as parental contribution, other financial assistance, student assets, etc.) are considered in the calculation of your financial need;
  • know how much of your financial need, as determined by the University, has been met;
  • request from the Financial Aid Office, an explanation of the various programs in your student aid package.
  • know what portion of the financial assistance received must be repaid, and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time you have to repay the loan, and when repayment is to begin; and
  • know how the Financial Aid Office determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress, and what happens if you are not.

It is your responsibility to:

  • review and consider all information about the financial aid programs at GSON prior to enrolling;
  • complete all financial assistance applications and forms accurately, and submit them to the Financial Aid Office by the appropriate deadlines;
  • fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA completely because it determines your eligibility for a wide variety of financial assistance. You may experience delays in receiving a decision about financial aid if forms are filled out incompletely or incorrectly. Falsification of information on application forms for federal financial assistance is considered a criminal offense, and you may be subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code;
  • respond quickly to all requests for additional documentation related to verification or corrections;
  • notify the Financial Aid Office if there is a change in any of the information reported on the FAFSA;
  • read and understand all forms that you are asked to submit or sign, and keep copies of these forms. You are legally responsible for all agreements which you sign;
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Counseling, and Exit Counseling if you are a Stafford or GradPLUS borrower;
  • notify your lender of any changes in your name, address, or school status if a loan is part of your financial aid;
  • know and comply with the GSON's refund procedures, should you withdraw from GSON;
  • be formally admitted to GSON in a degree-seeking program.

Disbursement of Funds

The Financial Aid Office will disburse funds (Federal Student Aid and Alternative loans) to be credited to student accounts no earlier than the first day of the term.

Institutional Scholarship Awarding & Disbursement Policies

GSON awards Institutional scholarships to recruit and reward students based on many Institutional goals. If you have been awarded, and decide not to start your program with us, we may award your Scholarship to another student. In order to be eligible for all scholarship disbursements, you must have begun attendance in all classes you were enrolled. You must maintain the qualifying renewal GPA, and remain in sequence with your original graduating class. If you are unable to meet these criteria, you will forfeit any and all future disbursements. If you have unique circumstances that led you to not be able to fulfill these renewal criteria, you are welcome to submit a typed appeal to your Financial Aid Counselor. 

 

Provisions for books & Supplies

If you are eligible for a Pell Grant, and disbursement of the Grant and other Federal Student Aid funds would have created a Federal Student Aid credit balance 10 days before a term, you are entitled to a GSON Book voucher no later than 7 days into the term. You will receive information about this procedure sent to your College email address. If you choose to use the voucher as payment for your books and supplies, you have authorized GSON to use Financial Aid funds, and no written authorization is required. You must take the book voucher to the GSON Library where they will help you complete the form. The Library will then forward the form the to Business Office where a refund will be calculated if eligible. It is GSON’s intent that we have planned for all the procedural steps to take place that by the 7th day of the term the student has the refund check in hand, or ACH Direct Deposit in their bank account.  You also have the right to opt-out of using this voucher. If you choose to opt-out, you will need to wait until the Financial Aid credit balance reaches you under the normal refunding policy.

Title IV Loan School Code of Conduct

Title IV Loan School Code of Conduct

Drug Conviction

Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving financial aid shall not be eligible to receive any federal or institutional grant, loan, or work assistance.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance (COA) is not the bill that you may get from your college; it is the total amount it will cost you to go to college each year. The COA includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and, if applicable, dependent care. It can also include other expenses like an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, or costs for eligible study-abroad programs.

Note: The COA for graduate and professional programs is usually higher than for undergraduate programs.

For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes tuition and fees and an allowance for books, supplies, transportation and dependent care expenses; but can also include room and board for up to three semesters or the equivalent at the institution, but no more than two of those semesters or the equivalent may be consecutive. Contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend if you have any unusual expenses that might affect your cost of attendance.

2015-2016 Cost of Attendance
2016-2017 Cost of Attendance
2017-2018 Cost of Attendance

 

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