Financial Aid FAQ's
Log onto your Vanguard Portal account to review your financial aid award information. You will be able to see missing documents that must be submitted to Financial Aid in order to determine your aid eligibility, when you have been awarded, and the award amounts.
You must complete the FAFSA to start the process of applying for aid. Once we have received that information from the Department of Education, we can determine if you are eligible for aid and if so, how much and what kind you are eligible. This is based on your EFC (expected family contribution), the cost of attendance, your enrollment status, and whether or not you are meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. An award letter will be posted on your Vanguard Portal with the type and amount of aid awarded.
If you have been determined to be dependent, you must provide your parents' tax information on the application. Changes in dependency status are at the Financial Aid Director's discretion, based on extenuating circumstances, and are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Your award letter will be available on Vanguard Portal once your file has been processed. Your aid is automatically accepted, but you do have the option to decline your aid. You must contact the Financial Aid Office if you choose to adjust the amount of any loans.
Changing your Degree Program
Yes, it could.
You need to review your total attempted credit hours and the number of hours needed for your new degree to determine if you can complete the new degree within the 150% timeframe required under the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP).
Time Frame (150%): Student must complete a course of study within 150% of the published length of their degree program,
(i.e. 60 credit hours for your degree x 150% = 90 attempted credit hours).
If you have attended other colleges or universities, career schools or any other post-secondary education, you must submit an Official Transcript from each of them to the Admissions Office and verify with Financial Aid that the hours from these schools have been evaluated.
Yes, there is.
All students may receive Pell Grants up to 12 semesters, measured by percentage of Scheduled Award(s) disbursed (“Lifetime Eligibility Used” or “LEU” field in COD up to 600%). This LEU is monitored by the federal government through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) system.
Yes, there is.
Beginning July 1, 2013, first-time borrowers (those who have no principal or interest balance on any Direct or FFEL Loan on the date they receive a Direct Loan or after July 1, 2013) may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of the academic program in which they are currently enrolled. This length of time is also known as the “maximum eligibility period.”
Example: If you are enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of 4 years = 6 years). If you are enrolled in a two-year associate degree program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is three years (150 percent of 2 years = 3 years). If you are enrolled in a one-year certificate program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 1.5 years (150 percent of 1 year = 1.5 years).
Yes, it could.
Because your maximum eligibility period is based on the length of your current program of study, your maximum eligibility period can change if you change to a program that has a different length. Also, if you receive Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then change to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans you received for the earlier program will generally count toward your new maximum eligibility period.
Example: If you have received a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and you change your major from an Associates Degree to a Technical Certificate prior to completing the Associates Degree, you would lose your subsidized eligibility for any prior Direct Subsidized loans if you are unable to complete the new degree within the allotted time for the degree program. This means the Direct Subsidized loans will change to Direct Unsubsidized loans.
Subsidized Direct Loan: the government covers the accrued interest for the student while enrolled in at least
6 credit hours.
Unsubsidized Direct Loan: the student is responsible for the interest that is accruing on the loans even while enrolled.
The Department of Education will track, calculate, and inform borrowers and schools of borrower eligibility for subsidized loans and loss of subsidy benefits based on program length information that schools report to the Department.
No, it does not matter.
The above regulations affect all students as of July 1, 2013 and it does not matter if you began at a 4-year college or a 2-year college. The eligibility is based on your degree program length and your completion of your degree program within a timely manner.
Additional Information on Federal Student Aid
- Arkansas Department of Higher Education (Financial Aid Programs)
- Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Foundation
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Paying for College
- Financial Aid Shopping Sheet
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- FAFSA ID/Pin
- Selective Service
- Smart Student Guide