Frequently Asked Questions
What are my chances of receiving financial aid?
The only way to determine your eligibility for financial aid is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The likelihood of receiving some form of financial assistance is probably better than most students and their families anticipate.
What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?
To receive maximum consideration for aid, the FAFSA and all requested documents must be received by the institution for processing prior to March 15th for the following academic year.
Is there a maximum income level that will disqualify me from receiving financial aid?
Most people have the misconception that income is the only factor in determining need for financial aid assistance. However, other variables are considered such as: family size, number of family members in college, age of older parent, savings, investments, and various other allowances to the family's income and assets.
Are there other forms that I can fill out in order to be considered for any other grants?
The FAFSA is required in order to be considered for all grant programs available through processing by the financial aid department. Grants are considered need based aid. Additionally, if selected for verification, you will be required to submit additional items, which could include various worksheets, tax return transcripts, W2's, etc. These requests will be listed in Banner Self-Serve.
In order to receive financial aid do I have to apply every year?
Yes. In order to receive consideration for eligible programs you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. File the FAFSA as close to January as possible. For speedy processing you can apply over the Internet at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov instead of using the paper form.
If my parents are divorced or separated, which parent do I put on the FAFSA?
You should provide information from the parent that provided you with the most support in the past year. If the parent who provided you with the most support has remarried, your step- parent's information must also be provided on the FAFSA. Additional guidance on who is condsidered a parent can be found online at the Federal Student Aid website.
Why can't I apply for financial aid without using my parent's information on the FAFSA form?
When you apply for federal student aid, your answers to certain questions will determine whether you are considered dependent on your parents or independent. If you are considered dependent on your parents, you must report their income and assets as well as your own. If you think you have unusual circumstances that would make you independent, talk to your financial aid counselor. Additional guidance on dependent vs. independent student status can be found online at the Federal Student Aid website.
What happens if I drop a class?
If you drop a class prior to the census date, you may be responsible for repayment of the difference between the amount of money you received and the amount specified for the new enrollment status. If you drop a class, you must make sure you remain in compliance with our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.
What happens if I withdraw?
If you withdraw completely or drop below ½ time status, you may be responsible for repaying money received from financial assistance. You will be academically ineligible for financial aid, if you return to school and fail to remove all academic deficiencies. Your grace period begins to count down and if you fail to enroll within 6 months, the repayment will begin on your student loans.
Will the financial aid transfer from one school to another?
No. Financial aid does not transfer from school to school. Students planning to transfer to another school should contact the Financial Aid Office at both schools to find out what is required.
What is verification? And why was I chosen?
You should save all records and all other materials used in completing the application because you may need them later to prove that the information you reported is correct. This process is called verification. Students are selected for verification randomly by the federal processor to ensure that information listed on the FAFSA is accurate.
Why is the maximum amount of loan money limited?
Students applying for the Federal Direct Loan are subject to annual and aggregate loan limits that are based on the academic level, dependency status, and length of the academic program. Loan limits and other information may be reviewed at the Federal Student Aid website.
What if my financial assistance is not available by the due date for my tuition?
Students may apply for short-term loans to help pay for certain semester educational expenses. The student must meet specific academic requirements to be eligible. Yes, there is a small short-term loan interest rate but it is minimal compared to other alternatives.
What is Grace?
Grace is granted to a student that does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to give the student a semester to bring up the GPA or complete the hours needed in order to meet SAP and be eligible for Financial Aid for the next semester.
What must I do to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for detailed information.
There is no separate application for summer financial aid. Since summer is considered the end of our academic year, we will simply use the FAFSA already on file for the prior fall and spring, and award financial aid to students enrolled in summer who are making Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you did not attend SHSU the previous fall and spring semesters, you will have to enroll in classes for summer AND at least six (6) hours for the upcoming fall semester, in addition to submitting the current year FAFSA. Summer financial aid is awarded based on remaining eligibility from the prior fall and spring semesters. If 100% of your annual Pell Grant and Direct Loan limits were used, then you may not be awarded anything for summer. Generally, if you did not accept everything that was awarded to you for fall/spring, then you could receive that difference for summer.
Parents of dependent students are eligible to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan. This loan is credit-based and, if approved, can be borrowed to cover the student's cost of attendance that the student's other financial aid does not cover.
If you are interested in receiving this award, you will need to apply for the PLUS loan for the correct award year.
If you no longer wish to have the PLUS loan offered to the student you may submit a request in writing to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office and we will cancel the PLUS loan.
To apply for the PLUS loan please follow the instructions below:
- Go to https://studentloans.gov
- The parent must sign in using their U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN) or login/password
- Select Request Direct PLUS loan
- Select Parent PLUS for loan type on bottom of page
- Follow steps to complete the application and credit check
- The results of the credit check will be given immediately.
- If your credit is approved, you must:
- Complete PLUS Loan Counseling on https://studentloans.gov
- Complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note. You may see if you have already completed a PLUS Master Promissory Note, by signing in at https://studentloans.gov and checking under “Completed MPN’s.”
- Submit the PLUS Disbursement Authorization form to the Financial Aid Office. The form will be listed as a required PDF document on the student's My Sam account if the PLUS loan offer is accepted.
- If your credit is denied, your options are:
- Undecided OR I will not pursue the parent PLUS loan. If this option is selected the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will offer the student an additional unsubsidized loan if their budget allows.
- Pursue an endorser. If this option is selected you will need to have your endorser complete an application on https://studentloans.gov, and if approved they will have to submit the ENDORSER Disbursement Authorization form to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.
- Appeal decision. If this option is selected you will complete an appeal on https://studentloans.gov
- If your credit is approved, you must: