Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need to sign and return my award letter to the Financial Aid Office?
You only need to return a signed award letter to the Financial Aid Office if you are declining a portion of or the entire award.
- How often will my financial aid funds disburse?
For Undergraduate students, funds are divided and disbursed equally between the fall and spring semesters, for Accelerated Degree Program students, funds are divided and disbursed equally between the Modules, and for New Dimensions students, funds are divided and disbursed equally between Payment Periods. The Financial Aid Office confirms that a student has attended class in all matriculated courses prior to disbursing any funds. Disbursements happen approximately three weeks into the start of a term.
- Why do I have an "out of pocket" or a bill if I have financial aid?
Student aid is limited and frequently will not cover all costs. Students are responsible for their educational expenses. For alternative financing options, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
- Do I need to renew my Financial Aid each year?
Yes. Returning students should complete the FAFSA by the priority deadline April 15 to receive his/her maximum award package. Students must also submit all required documents by the published deadline. Renewal notices are sent approximately two months prior to the end of the current award year to remind students to update their FAFSA. Failure to renew in a timely matter may result in loss of financial aid, out of pocket payments for classes, or withdrawal from the program.
- Where can I find information about the Federal Pell Grant?
Information regarding Federal Pell Grant funds can be found on the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid page.
- Why did I not receive Federal Work-Study?
Federal Work-Study funds are limited and priority is given to existing students who have already participated in the Federal Work-Study Program. If you are interested in receiving Federal Work-Study, you can contact the Financial Aid Office or place yourself on the Federal Work-Study Waitlist. Please note that placement on the Waitlist does not guarantee employment.
- What is a good financial literacy resource?
Sallie Mae's College Answer website has some great tools, calculators, tips, a scholarship search, and more. If you have any questions after viewing the site, you can contact either the Financial Aid Office or Sallie Mae for more information.
- What is SALT?
SALT was created by American Student Assistance (ASA), a nonprofit organization, to help students become more financially savvy. It is a free service which allows students to take charge of their finances, track student loans, and look for scholarships, jobs, and internships. If you have not done so already, visit www.saltmoney.org for more information and to sign up.
- What is a FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the financial aid application process and helps determine a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial Need. This document needs to be completed for each year that a student is enrolled. The results will be sent electronically to the College as long as the correct School Code (001374) is entered.
- How do I apply for a FAFSA PIN?
All students completing the FAFSA for the first time must apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov. Once activated, the PIN number will be needed for every FAFSA submission as well as for Entrance Loan Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Parents of dependent undergraduate students must also apply for a PIN number at www.pin.ed.gov.
- Is there a FAFSA Tutorial?
Yes! You can go to www.finaid.ucsb.edu/fafsasimplification/ for a FAFSA Tutorial.
- What is an EFC?
The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is a number that is used to determine a student's eligibility for federal state, and institutional student aid. This number is calculated from the information inputted into the FAFSA and is used to help calculate how much Need the student will have.
- What is a Student Aid Report (SAR) and why is it important?
A Student Aid Report (SAR) is the report sent back to the student based on the information submitted on the FAFSA. It specifies the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and refers to any issues that need to be resolved. Students should keep a copy of the SAR for their records.
- I completed my FAFSA, why are you requesting more documents?
Students interested in receiving federal student aid must complete the Authorization to Manage Funds Form. Students interested in receiving federal student loans must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling. Additionally, if a student is selected for Verification, or has a Correction-Flag on their FAFSA, he/she must submit additional documentation. The Financial Aid Office will notify a student if any additional information or documents are needed to complete the student's financial aid file. All missing documents must be submitted by the published deadline.
- What is the Authorization to Manage Funds Form?
This form documents how the student would like their federal financial aid funds managed. Yes: If any excess remains after current charges are paid, that credit will remain on the student's account until the end of the academic year. No: If any excess remains after current charges are paid, the credit will be automatically issued to the student or parent via check, depending on the type of fund that created the credit. The student's selection can be changed at any time upon completion of a new form.
- What is Verification?
Verification is the process by which the information disclosed on a FAFSA is compared to the student's tax information. Students are selected for Verification by the Department of Education. All students selected are verified by the Financial Aid Office. Students are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when submitting their FAFSA so they do not have to request their Tax Return Transcript from the IRS if they are selected for Verification.
- How do I obtain my Tax Return Transcript?
Students who are selected for Verification and who did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when completing the FAFSA must request their Tax Return Transcript from the IRS at either www.irs.gov or at 1 (800) 908-9946. There is now a "Get Transcript" option at www.irs.gov which allows the student or parent to create an account and view and print their Tax Return Transcript immediately.
- How long is the Master Promissory Note (MPN) valid?
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is valid for ten years.
- Why is the Entrance Loan Counseling in the form of a quiz?
The quiz format of the Entrance Loan Counseling is pre-selected by the Department of Education to ensure that students are reading and understanding the rights and responsibilities of a loan borrower prior to taking out loans.
- I applied for financial aid, why did I receive loans?
Students are awarded according to their financial need and eligibility. The Federal Government considers both loans and grants to be financial aid. For further information please contact the Financial Aid Office.
- How do I apply for loans?
All students who complete their Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling will be awarded federal loans. Students interested in applying for alternative or private loans should visit www.ELMselect.com for a list of lenders who have worked with Albertus Magnus College over the past three years. Parents interested in applying for a Parent PLUS Loan may complete the application at www.studentloans.gov.
- What is the difference between Unsubsidized Loans and Subsidized Loans?
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time that the student is responsible for paying back. The interest rate is 5.41% effective July 1, 2013. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time. The Department of Education pays the interest on Subsidized Loans while the student attends at least half-time. The current interest rate is 3.86% effective July 1, 2013.
- When do I start paying back my loans?
Students who graduate, leave school, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment have a six month grace period before they are required to go into repayment.
- Which loans am I responsible for repaying?
Students are responsible for all Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, and any borrowed alternative loans taken out in their name. Parents are only responsible for educational loans if they borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Co-signers carry a shared responsibility for repaying alternative loans.
- What is a Parent PLUS Loan?
A Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a federal loan for which parents of dependent undergraduate students can apply and use to help pay the student's educational expenses. The current interest rate is 6.41% effective July 1, 2013.
- Can I start paying back my loans before my six month grace period is over?
Yes, and early repayment is encouraged. Students can contact their loan servicer directly to make payment arrangements at any time. Students can visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website, www.nslds.ed.gov, for lender contact information and to see a breakdown of all federal loans.
- How much will my monthly loan payments be?
You can utilize a Repayment Estimator to estimate your monthly federal student loan payments under each repayment plan.
Unusual Enrollment History
- What is Unusual Enrollment History?
The U.S. Department of Education has added Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) flags to some Student Aid Reports (SARs) beginning in the 2013/2014 school year. These flags identify students with Unusual Enrollment Histories who may have received Pell Grant funds at numerous colleges or universities within a short timeframe. Federal Title IV Student Aid cannot be disbursed until a student's Unusual Enrollment History is resolved.
- How can I resolve my Unusual Enrollment History?
The Financial Aid Office is required to review your complete enrollment history for any college or university you attended, and requires that you provide official college transcripts from those schools. Additional documentation, such as a doctor's note or hospital bill if you were ill, confirmation of change of address if you had to relocate, proof of unemployment if you became unemployed, a death certificate if there was a death in the family, or a military order if you had a military obligation may also be requested.
- What if my Title IV eligibility is denied because of my Unusual Enrollment History?
If you are selected for an Unusual Enrollment History review, you will be denied Title IV eligibility if you fail to submit documents requested by the Financial Aid Office or if there is reason to believe that you are attending the college for the sole purpose of obtaining federal Title IV funds. If your eligibility is denied, you may appeal the decision by contacting the Financial Aid Office.