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FAQ - Financial Aid

Access the student portal SpelCheck/Banner Web to view your financial aid application status
Financial Aid funds are generally disbursed the Friday after the registration drop/add period ends. You must have a completed financial aid file
At this time additional grant or work study funds are not available. Contact you financial aid counselor to have your name placed on the waitlist for additional aid. Be advised that additional resources may not be available until the end of the summer or beginning fall
Compare your last year FAFSA data to your current year FAFSA data. Different tax year information is used each year. If you discover there is an error, contact your financial aid counselor
Dropped courses take place during the registration period. Depending on what type of financial aid you have depends on whether or not the financial aid will be affected. The Pell Grant adjusts according to enrollment. Withdrawal from courses takes place the first day after the drop/add registration period. You may be billed for a portion or all of your financial aid if you withdraw from all of your courses for the semester. it is important to discuss withdrawing from courses with your financial aid counselor as this may affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress
Financial Aid will only process Pell Grant and/or HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship for summer. As long as you enroll for summer courses, the financial aid office will determine your eligibility accordingly. You can access your Banner Web account after you register for summer courses to view your summer awards
After you apply for federal aid you may be offered either a subsidized or unsubsidized loan, or a combination of both. The primary difference between the two is the interest rate and when the interest begins to accrue.

• Subsidized Loans are awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest while the loan is in deferment status, such as while you are enrolled, as the federal government subsidizes or pays the interest.

• Unsubsidized Loans charge interest from the time the money is first disbursed until it is paid in full. The interest is capitalized, meaning that you pay interest on any interest that has already accrued. One way to minimize how much interest accrues is to pay the interest as it accumulates.

Only undergraduates with demonstrated financial need are eligible for Subsidized Loans. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. The student financial aid office uses federal regulations to determine the amounts each student may borrow by considering the cost of attendance and other financial aid.

To find out more about the differences between Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, visit (https://studentaid.gov/)

Interest rates on federal student loans are determined by Congress. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for the most recently published interest and fee rates (https://studentaid.gov/)
The Master Promissory Note is a binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. The MPN can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic year (up to 10 years). Since it lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, it is important to read it carefully before signing and to save a copy for your records.
Access the student portal SpelCheck/Banner Web to view award amounts
Whether or not your parents claim you on their taxes has no bearing on your status for financial aid. If your parents choose not to help you with school, their income and assets are used to determine how much they could pay, and financial aid eligibility is based upon this information. The only exceptions are when there is a complete breakdown in the parent-child relationship, such as might happen in situations involving abuse. If this is the case, consult with a financial aid advisor for help in documenting your situation.

For financial aid purposes, you are considered a "dependent" if you are an undergraduate and meet the following criteria:

• You are under the age of 24 (born before a certain date)

• You are not married

• You are not supporting dependents of your own

• You are not a veteran or currently serving in the military on active duty

• You are not an orphan or ward of the court

• You are not in legal guardianship granted by a court

• You are not homeless

• You were not emancipated by a court as a minor

Complete the FAFSA, funding is limited and based on need. If you are not awarded Work Study, you may contact your financial aid advisor the end of September to be added to a wait list.
No. You will receive a paycheck just as you would at any other job. If you owe a balance to your Spelman student account, you should make payments using these funds.
Work-Study awarded amounts simply indicate how much you may earn. If you do not earn the full amount, nothing happens to the remaining awarded amount. It is not used and remains in the Federal Work Study budgeted account. Work Study funds are allocated each year.
A student may apply for the scholarships by completing the GSFAPP (one time completion) or FAFSA (completed each academic year).

o New Students are automatically awarded, if eligible.

o Returning students must submit a request to their financial aid counselor to determine eligibility

• The HOPE Scholarship is a merit based scholarship that provides assistance towards the cost of tuition at eligible public and private Georgia postsecondary institutions. A student must graduate from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.0 HOPE GPA (as calculated by GSFC) and meet specific rigor course requirements.

• The Zell Miller Scholarship is a merit based scholarship that provides full tuition at a public postsecondary institution and tuition assistance at an eligible private postsecondary institution. A student must graduate from an eligible high school as valedictorian or salutatorian (meeting the requirements of the HOPE Scholarship) or graduate with a minimum 3.7 Zell Miller GPA (as calculated by GSFC) along with a minimum combined score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of a national administration of the SAT or a minimum composite score of 26 on a single national or state/district administration of the ACT and meet specific rigor course requirements.

Based on estimated cost $46,000 minus estimated financial aid $12,745 (Pell Grant, Spelman Grant, and Student Loans), you would owe approximately $33,255 either out of pocket or approved parent plus loan.
This is conflicting information and must be resolved. You must provide a letter from the IRS indicating that the filing status is allowable for both parents, or provide the IRS Tax Return Transcript with the updated filing status.
Unfortunately, unless you are a permanent resident or a political refugee granted status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you are not eligible. International students who have a F1 or F2 student visa are not eligible for federal aid.
Financial aid cannot be "transferred" from one school to another - each college or university assesses your need and eligibility based upon its own costs and its own aid programs.

Make sure that your FAFSA data gets released to your new school. You may do this by adding the new school's school code to your FAFSA. If you are going to a new school, contact them to get that school's code.

In order to continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 postsecondary GPA at designated checkpoints. The cumulative 3.0 postsecondary GPA does not include Dual Enrollment coursework taken prior to high school graduation or home study completion. Those checkpoints are: end-of-spring and 30/60/90 attempted semester hours or 45/90/135 quarter hours. A student will lose the HOPE Scholarship if their GPA is below the minimum requirement at one of the checkpoints and may only regain the scholarship one time. A student is ineligible to receive HOPE Scholarship funds once the student has reached the 127 hour limit.

In order to continue receiving the Zell Miller Scholarship, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.3 postsecondary GPA at designated checkpoints. The cumulative 3.3 postsecondary GPA does not include Dual Enrollment coursework taken prior to high school graduation or home study completion. Those checkpoints are: end-of-spring and 30/60/90 attempted semester hours or 45/90/135 quarter hours. A student will lose the Zell Miller Scholarship if their GPA is below the minimum requirement at one of the checkpoints and may only regain the scholarship one time. A student is ineligible to receive Zell Miller Scholarship funds once the student has reached the 127 hour limit.

A student may receive the scholarship until one of the following occurs:

• Seven full years have elapsed following high school graduation/home study completion, or

• Reach 127 semester or quarter limit, or

• Upon receiving a baccalaureate degree.

In addition to the required minimum GPA and rigor requirement, you must also meet each of the following:

• U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen;

• Legal resident of Georgia;

• Registered with the Selective Service (if applicable);

• Maintain satisfactory academic progress; • In compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990; and

• Do not owe a refund or be in default on a student financial aid program.

SAP must be maintained in order to remain eligible to continue receiving federal, state and institutional financial aid. SAP progress is determined by measuring the student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and the student’s rate of progress (SAP Pace) toward completion of the degree program.

For additional information: https://www.spelman.edu/docs/financial-aid/satisfactory_academic_progres...

All college students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. This application is required by all colleges for federal and state financial aid. You can submit it online (which is recommended) or by mail. In addition to the FAFSA, there are two additional forms you may be required to submit: (1) V1 Verification Worksheet, (2) Tax Return Transcript

Q:What Is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?" icon="fa fa-plus"] The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a document sent out to students after they’ve submitted the FAFSA. An SAR includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Students should review the information on their SAR to ensure it is correct. Follow the instructions on the form if you need to make any changes. Otherwise, keep it for your records. Meanwhile, the schools you listed on your FAFSA will use this information to determine your eligibility for student aid.

Depending on how you submit your FAFSA, you could receive your SAR in just a few days or after several weeks. If you provide a valid email address on your FAFSA, you will receive your SAR electronically – all others will receive their SARs via postal mail.

Q:How can I Become an Independent Student?" icon="fa fa-plus"] Most students are dependent, which means that their parents’ incomes and information will be considered when determining their financial aid. The Department of Education is very strict when it comes to determining dependency status. In order to qualify as independent, you need to meet certain criteria, such as being a veteran of the U.S. military or having a child that you support. You may have to provide documentation in order to prove that you are an independent student. If this is approved, then your parents’ financial information will not be considered when determining your financial need.

There are three ways to make corrections or updates to the FAFSA after it has been submitted:

• Log into your account at FAFSA.gov and submit your new information.

• Write in the corrections on your Student Aid Report (SAR), sign it and mail it to the provided address.

• Call your financial aid advisor and ask if they can help you make the changes electronically.

There are plenty of great websites that can help students find scholarships that match their financial need, interests, goals and more. Here are some of the best sites for finding student scholarships:

• FastWeb

• FinAid

• Big Future by The College Board

• Scholarships.com

• CareerOneStop

• UNCF (United Negro College Fund)

• Myscholly.com

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount your family is estimated to be able to contribute to your college education. This amount is used to determine how much aid you need in order to pay for school. If your family can not afford your EFC, you have several options:

• Appeal for more financial aid by submitting a written letter to your financial aid advisor.

• Apply for scholarships, particularly those that are need and merit-based.

• Look into your options for private student loans.

• Consider scholarships with private companies, your church, community organizations and check with high school counselor

A work-study job can be a wonderful opportunity to earn money to help you financially. If you qualify for this type of aid, you’ll likely get a convenient job on campus with a flexible schedule that works around your classes and school breaks. However, you might be able to find a part-time job that pays more or looks better on your resume. Consider your financial need, your personal goals and your ability to juggle work and school when deciding whether you should take a work-study job.
There are three main types of student loans: federal, state and private. Federal and state loans generally have more favorable interest rates and repayment plans, so they are preferable to private student loans. However, you may need private loans to fill in financial gaps that your federal and state loans do not cover. Research each of your options carefully before committing to any student loans
Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school.

PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

• The U.S. Department of Education is your lender.

• You must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be conducted. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS loan if you meet additional requirements.

• The maximum PLUS loan amount you can receive is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received. You can apply for a PLUS loan at www.studentaid.gov.

If the PLUS loan is denied, there are several things you can do. 1) try a private loan, 2) consider 1 of 2 payment plan options, 3) replace with scholarships, 4) check with your financial aid advisor in regard to possibility of additional funds.
Spelman College, Financial Aid Office, 350 Spelman Lane, SW, Campus Box 771, Atlanta, GA 30314
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