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ULM Financial Aid FAQs

- questions about applying

1. What is Financial Aid?

2. Do I need to apply for admissions before I apply for Financial Aid?

3. What is the priority deadline for Financial Aid?

4. Can I receive Financial Aid at two schools for the same semester?

5. Do I have to include parent information on the FAFSA, or can I be considered "independent"?

6. What does it take to be an "independent" student?

7. What if I need to correct information on my FAFSA?

8. I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

9. Do I have to reapply for aid every year?

10. I sent in my FAFSA over four weeks ago, but I haven't heard anything. Whatshould I do?

11. I applied for financial aid at a different school, but now I want to attend ULM. What should I do?

12. My parents refuse to give me their financial documents. What are my options?

13. Do I have to reapply every semester?

14. If my parents are divorced and I am a dependent student, whose information do I Report on the FAFSA?

15. Do I report stepparent's information FAFSA?

- after you have applied, questions about what happens next

16. What do I do if I did not keep a copy of my taxes or W2s?

17. When I received my Student Aid Report in the mail, it said I was selected for verification. What does this mean, and what will I need to do to complete the verification process?

18. If I was selected to be verified last year, does that mean I will also be selected this year?

- what you have applied for

19. Are graduate students eligible for Pell Grants?

20. How much Pell money can I receive?

21. Can I receive a Federal Pell Grant if I am enrolled less than half time?

22. Do I have to be a full time student to be eligible for a Student Loan?

23. What is a Master Promissory Note?

24. What is the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan?

25. Who is my lender?

- awards

26. When will I receive a financial aid award notification?

27. Will I receive an award letter?

28. I plan to attend during the summer term, but when I got my award letter, it only shows an award for fall and spring semesters. Why?

29. Where do I send Private/Third Party Scholarships?


 

 

1) What is Financial Aid?

Financial Aid is designed to help individuals meet their educational expenses when their own resources are not sufficient. Financial aid is defined as any resource that you receive (other than funds that you receive from your parents and your non-need based earnings) to assist you in paying for college. It includes (but is not limited to) loans, grants, scholarships, tuition and fee waivers, fellowships, assistantships, employer tuition reimbursement, ROTC subsistence allowance, ROTC, athletic scholarships, and veterans benefits.

2) Do I need to apply for admissions before I apply for Financial Aid?

No. You should submit the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) after January 1st each year as soon as possible (because it may take up to six to eight weeks for processing).

NOTE: The Office of Financial Aid cannot complete the awarding process until you are admitted to the university. So, you should begin the admissions application process as soon as you can.

3) What is the priority deadline for Financial Aid?

The priority deadline is June 3, 2013. You must have your FAFSA filed and all other necessary documents submitted to the Financial Aid Office by this date to ensure that your fee statement will be paid and your refund will be posted on time.

4) Can I receive Financial Aid at two schools for the same semester?

No! You can receive federal financial aid at only one college at a time. If you will be taking classes at two different schools at the same time, you will need to decide which school you want to receive aid from.

5) Do I have to include parent information on the FAFSA, or can I be considered "independent"?

The guidelines to determine your dependency status are listed in step 3 (if paper) or step 2 (if online) on the FAFSA. If you answer "yes" to at least one of the questions listed, you will be considered an independent student by the U.S. Department of Education and therefore do not need to include parent information on the FAFSA (exception: Pharmacy students in the last 4 years of the Pharm. D. program who want to be considered for Health Professions Student Loans must include parent information on the FAFSA). If your parent is remarried and you are a "dependent" student as defined by the federal processor, you will also need to provide your step-parent's information and income on the FAFSA.

You may file an appeal with our office if you have extenuating circumstances such as abuse or abandonment, or if both parents are deceased or incarcerated. Please be sure to attach supporting documentation such as police reports, psychiatrist or counseling reports, death certificates, etc. in order to have your appeal reviewed.

The Financial Aid Office will not be able to approve a dependency override for the following circumstances:

6) What does it take to be considered an "independent" student?

You must be able to answer "YES" to at least one of the following:

a. Are you 24 years of age prior to January 1, 2013?

b. As of today, are you married?

c. Do you have any children who receive more than half of their support from
you?

d. Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with
you and who receive more that half their support from you, now and through
the end of the upcoming academic year.

e. At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward of the court?

f. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?

g. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training? statement)

h. Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

i. Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

j. Are you homeless or at risk of being homeless?

k. At the beginning of the academic year, will you be working on a Master's or Doctorate degree?

7) What if I have to correct information on my FAFSA?

If the information you entered on your FAFSA was incorrect as of the day you signed the FAFSA, you can use Corrections on the Web (FAFSA site) to correct your answers.

You cannot change:

8) I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don't qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. There is no good excuse for not applying.

9) Do I have to reapply for aid every year?

Yes. In order to receive financial aid, our office requires you to fill out a new FAFSA each year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. After your first year you will receive notification of a "Renewal Application" from the Department of Education which contains preprinted information from the previous year's FAFSA. Note that your eligibility for financial aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on you making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credits and achieving a minimum GPA.

10) I sent in my FAFSA over four weeks ago, but I haven't heard anything. What should I do?

If you haven't received a Student Aid Report (SAR), you can check the status of a submitted FAFSA by clicking: FAFSA status. You may also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 (toll free).

11) I applied for aid at a different school, but now I want to attend ULM. What should I do?

If you listed ULM's school code (002020) on your FAFSA and you have been admitted to the University, we will be able to begin the financial aid process. If you have not, you will need to add our school code to your FAFSA by going online to: FAFSA corrections. Or you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 to add our school code. If you are already attending another institution, be sure to cancel the aid you are receiving at that institution.

12) My parents refuse to give me their financial documents. What are my options?

Please visit the Financial Aid Office to speak to your counselor regarding your situation.

13) Do I have to apply every semester?

No. A student must apply for financial aid each "Academic Year" that they plan to attend. The academic year at ULM begins with the Fall semester and includes the following Spring and Summer semesters.

14) If my parents are divorced and I am a dependent student, whose information do I report on the FAFSA?

You would report information about the parent you lived with for the greater amount of time during the 12 months preceding the date you file your FAFSA application.

If you didn't live with either parent, or if you lived with each parent an equal amount of time, then use information about the parent who provided the greater amount of financial support during the 12 months prior to the date you file your FAFSA application.

If you didn't receive any parental financial support during that time, you must report information about the parent who most recently provided the greater amount of parental support.

15) Do I report stepparent's information on the FAFSA?

Your stepparent's financial information is required on the FAFSA if:

- the parent you received financial support from was a single parent who is now remarried.

- the parent you received financial support from was divorced or widowed but has now remarried

This does not mean your stepparent is obligated to give financial assistance to you, but his or her income and assets represent significant information about the family's financial resources. Including this information on the FAFSA helps the Federal Processor form an accurate picture of your family's total financial strength.

 16) What do I do if I did not keep a copy of my taxes or W-2s?

You may request a copy from the IRS. They offer a free tax return transcript that shows most line items contained on the return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. In most cases, a tax return transcript will meet the requirements for your financial aid department. The transcript can be ordered by completing Form 4506-T or by calling (800) 829-1040 and following the prompts in the recorded message. There is no charge for the transcript and you should receive it in 10 business days from the time they receive your request. Tax return transcripts are generally available for the current and past three years.

17) When I received my Student Aid Report in the mail, it said I was selected for verification. What does this mean, and what will I need to do to complete the verification process?

The U.S. Department of Education selects a percentage of financial aid applications for additional review each year. This review process is known as verification.

A student whose application is selected for verification must document the accuracy of the application information by submitting information regarding:

1. Adjusted Gross Income - a signed copy of the student's most recent Federal Income Tax return and W2s will be requested by the school.
2. Parents' Tax Return and W2s - required if student was required to complete the FAFSA with parent information.
3. Household Size
4. Number in College
5. Sources and amounts of Untaxed Income

The Financial Aid Office will contact students selected for verification via their Warhawks account. Students will be notified what documentation is required to complete the verification process. The documentation will be compared to the original application and any corrections will be made through the Federal Processor. A response to the corrections must be received from the Federal Processor before a financial aid award can be made. Students who are selected for verification and do not provide all requested documentation will not receive an award while their file remains incomplete.

18) If I was selected to be verified last year, does that mean I will also be selected this year?

Not necessarily. You will know when you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) each year if you have been selected for verification.

 19) Are graduate students eligible for Pell Grants?
No. The Federal Pell Grant is funded only for financially eligible undergraduate students (as determined by the FAFSA) who have not completed a Bachelor's or professional degree.

20) How much Pell money can I receive?
In 2013-2014 the minimum Pell grant award for full-time students is $605 for the academic year, and the maximum is $5645. Your award will be prorated if you are enrolled less than full time. If your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is greater than $5081 you do not qualify for Pell grants. These amounts are determined by Congress.

21) Can I receive a Federal Pell Grant if I am enrolled less than half time?
Yes, if you are otherwise eligible. You will receive a prorated amount based on the number of hours for which you are enrolled.

 22) Do I have to be a full time student to be eligible for a Student Loan?
No, you must be enrolled in at least six hours as an undergraduate or five hours as a graduate.

23) What is a Master Promissory Note?
A promissory note is the legal agreement between you and your lender stating they agree to disburse the funds on your behalf and you agree to repay the loan in due course.

24) What is the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan?
If you are eligible for and take out a subsidized direct loan, the federal government will pay the interest for you while you are in school and up to six months after you cease to be a student (at least half-time), at which time you will need to begin repaying the loan.

If you are eligible for and take out an unsubsidized direct loan, you are responsible for all the interest that accumulates. You will have the option of either paying the interest as it accumulates or capitalizing the interest (adding it to the principal balance). If you choose to pay the interest back as it accumulates you will pay less in interest overall. Like a subsidized loan, you will have to begin payment six-months after you cease to be a student (at least half-time).

25) Who is my lender?
You can find out detailed information about your lender and loan amounts at: NSLDS. You must have your federal PIN to access this site.

 26) When will I receive a financial aid award notification?

Students who have been admitted to the University will be packaged for financial aid when the Financial Aid Office has received valid FAFSA results from the Department of Education and any necessary documentation is completed. Entering Freshmen will be notified by mail, and continuing and transfer students will be notified through their University email when awards are ready to be accepted on Student Self Service.

 27) Will I receive an award letter?

Yes. If you are an incoming freshman or a transferring student, you will receive an award letter that explains how to accept your awards on Student Self Service. No. You will not receive an award letter if you are a continuing student at ULM. You will need to accept your awards on Student Self Service.

 28) I plan to attend during the summer term, but when I got my award letter, it only shows an award for fall and spring semesters. Why?

Financial aid for summer is awarded separately. Generally, we offer your maximum eligibility for fall/spring. If you plan to attend during the summer and accepted all the aid offered to you for fall/spring, you may have no remaining eligibility left for summer. We review summer aid eligibility after spring grades are evaluated and after you have registered for summer term.


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