Frequently Asked Questions

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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 November 1 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 October as possible. For speedy processing you can apply over the Internet at: https://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 considered 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 half-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.

How do I make sure I completed my required counseling and/or Master Promissory Note (MPN) for my loan(s)?

Log on to StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID and password.

To check your counseling status

  • Select My Documents
  • Filter by Loan Counseling
  • If completed, you will see a completion date

To check your Master Promissory Note

  • Select My Documents
  • Filter by Master Promissory Note
  • If completed, you will see a completion date

Make sure that you completed the correct counseling type and correct MPN type based on the loan you are borrowing, and list SHSU as your school.

What if my financial assistance is not available by the due date for my tuition?

Students may apply for semester loans to help pay for certain semester educational expenses. The student must meet specific academic requirements to be eligible. Yes, there is a small semester loan interest rate but it is minimal compared to other alternatives.

What is Grace/warning?

Grace/warning 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.

How do I apply for Summer financial aid?

There is no separate application for Summer financial aid, we use your current FAFSA. We award financial aid to students enrolled in Summer to those who are meeting SAP, and enrolled in at least six (6) hours.

If you did not attend SHSU the previous Fall and Spring semesters:

  • You must submit your FAFSA for the current aid year
  • You must enroll in classes for Summer
  • Enroll in at least six (6) hours for the Fall semester

Summer Pell Eligibility

You may receive up to 50% of your annual Pell Grant.

Summer Federal Loan Eligibility

If 100% of your annual Federal Loan limits were used, then you are not eligible for additional Federal Loans. Any unused Federal Loans from Fall and Spring can be used for the Summer.

How do I apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?

See our Parent Checklist for more information.

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