Understanding Your Financial Award

Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans — but of course, not all applicants qualify for all of these awards. In general, scholarships are based on academic merit; grants and work-study are based on federally defined need; and loans are based on need, cost, class level and other factors. Fund availability also affects the kinds and amounts of awards we can offer.

Financial aid awards will be estimated if we still need to confirm or correct information. The most common reason that an award is estimated is if the student’s FAFSA data was selected for federal verification. When this occurs, students and parents must provide a completed verification worksheet and official documentation of their income from the IRS. Estimated awards can be finalized only after we receive and review this information.

Information about additional steps needed to obtain certain kinds of funding, such as finding a work-study job or applying for loans, accompanies the award notifications. Students who are awarded work-study typically work 10 — 20 hours per week while classes are in session and are paid twice per month. Jobs are on-campus or at approved off-campus sites. Students who borrow federal loans must complete and submit an electronic master promissory note and do online loan entrance counseling.

Awards can change for several reasons. They can decrease if students receive outside scholarships that meet part of their remaining need or, in combination with their financial aid, exceed the students’ annual cost of attendance. Awards can also decrease due to changes to FAFSA data, changes in a student’s major or coursework, or reductions in available federal, state, or institutional funding that sometimes occur during the year. Awards can increase due to certain FAFSA data changes, and as a result of our consideration of students’ special circumstances.

Student Rights & Responsibilities at Pacific University

Financial aid recipients have the right to know:

• What financial aid programs are available to Pacific University students and the application requirements and deadlines to be considered for all financial aid resources at Pacific.
• The names of the school’s financial aid personnel, where they are located, and how to contact them for information.
• The method used to determine financial need.  This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, and personal and miscellaneous expenses are considered in your cost of education. It also includes the resources considered in calculating your need (such as parental contribution, other financial aid, assets, etc.).
• How and when financial aid will be disbursed.
• How to decline any part of a financial aid award including loans and/or work.
• How to cancel all or a portion of a loan disbursement.
• The policies and procedures for refund of charges and return of funds in the case of complete withdrawal from the University.
• The appeal process for reconsideration of financial aid eligibility.
• How Pacific University determines a student is making satisfactory academic progress for the purpose of remaining eligible to receive financial aid and what happens if standards are not met.
• How the student employment program is administered at Pacific, including the required work hours, the job duties, the rate of pay, and how and when the student will be paid.
• What portion of the financial aid offered is in the form of loan(s) and must be repaid. If the aid is a loan, the student has the right to know what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, fees during repayment, the payback procedures, the length of time available to repay the loan, when repayment is to begin, and available options for consolidation.
• If a parent or the student receives a Title IV, HEA Loan, the loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Financial aid recipients have the following responsibilities:

• Complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time to the appropriate location for each year the student wishes to receive financial aid.
• Provide documents upon request to validate the information provided on the FAFSA or any other financial aid application.
• Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms you are asked to sign.
• Maintain full-time student status.  The Financial Aid Office must be notified of any plan to attend less than full time.
• Remain in good academic standing as defined by the program in which the student is enrolled.
• Make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree as defined in the satisfactory academic progress policy for financial aid for the program in which the student is enrolled.
• Notify the Financial Aid Office immediately regarding other assistance, including external resources and other educational benefits, received for the academic year. Such assistance must be taken into consideration when determining the financial need of a student and may affect eligibility for federal and institutional need-based aid.
• Secure a job and work the number of hours necessary to earn the Federal Work-Study (FWS) award, as desired.  An offer of FWS is not a guarantee of employment.
• Complete the process for securing any loan funds offered if it is determined that the funds are needed.
• Repay loan funds received in accordance with the terms of the respective loan program.
• Pay all college charges not covered by financial aid on time and in accordance with Business Office payment schedules.
• Complete exit counseling if the student

  • drops below half-time enrollment
  • graduates
  • transfers to another school
  • fails to enroll for any semester