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
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:
- 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 Goldfarb School of Nursing graduate degree program. More information, contact your financial aid counselor.
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.
Verification Policy and Procedure
The priority deadline for federal aid is six weeks prior to the term. The financial aid office will issue a request for additional information if a student is chosen for verification and follow up a reminder every 21 days. While the final request gives a two-week deadline, the student's file automatically will reopen if the verification information is submitted after this date. Please note that while we have a priority deadline, all information will continue to be reviewed after this priority deadline and aid will continue to be determined.
In order to be considered for federal grant funds, students selected for verification must return all requested verification documentation within 120 days from the last date of enrollment, or by Sept. 15, 2018 for the 2017-2018 academic year, or by Sept. 14, 2019 for the 2018-2019 academic year, whichever comes first. Please note that the school also must have received a valid FAFSA result before the end date of the term. If the student fails to complete the verification process, the file will remain incomplete and federal aid will not be awarded.
If a student was chosen for verification after aid has been determined, the student must complete the verification process within this time frame to remain eligible for the funds. If the student's eligibility for aid has changed due to the verification process, the aid will be recalculated. If the student fails to submit the verification information, any federal grants will be returned to the Department of Education and any undelivered or undisbursed federal Stafford loans will be returned to the lender.
Documentation Needed to Satisfy the Verification Requirements
Once a student is chosen for verification, he or she will receive a request to submit additional information and/or materials. Federal regulations have customized the verification process. Therefore, not all students selected for verification will be required to verify the same data. Our office will notify the student which data must be verified and what information or materials will be required to verify that particular data. Some of the requested materials may include, but are not limited to a verification form, an official IRS Tax Return Transcript, W-2 wage statement(s), a written statement declaring any untaxed income received, proof of high school completion status and verification of identity and a statement of educational purpose.
Tax data can also be provided by utilizing the IRS Data Retreival, made available on the FAFSA again for 2018-2019. Please note that if the student is a dependent he or she will be asked to supply parental information on the verification form and will need to obtain a parent signature on the verification certification. A dependent student also will be required to supply tax information for his/her parents and should also utilize the IRS Data Retreival on the FAFSA to supply such information. If any part of the verification documentation is not fully completed or if any discrepancies exist, the student may be asked to supply additional information or explanation.
Only individuals granted a filing extension by the IRS beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2015 (for 2017-2018 applicants) or 2016 (for 2018-2019 applicants) may submit a copy of IRS Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.”
Notification to Students
Once the verification process is complete, students will be notified through postal mail of their award eligibility. Please note that if federal aid was awarded before a student was chosen for verification and eligibility has changed as a result of the verification process, the student will receive an updated award letter. If the aid has been reduced the student will be billed accordingly.
SOURCES 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).
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.
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.
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 Goldfarb 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 Goldfarb to use Financial Aid funds, and no written authorization is required. You must take the book voucher to the Goldfarb 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.
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.
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.
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.