Awarding of Title IV Funds

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Awarding of Title IV Funds

The FAO staff has developed an institutional packaging policy to ensure consistent, equitable, and fair distribution of financial aid funds.

 Institutional Packaging Policy

One of the greatest challenges the Financial Aid Office faces is the construction of an award package using limited resources. The packaging process combines various types of aid from a variety of sources. It closes the gap between the school’s Cost of Attendance and the student’s ability to pay. Most financial aid packages will not meet 100% of the applicants calculated need.

To be considered for Federal Financial Aid the student must apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The family’s information entered on the application is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The results of the application must be received by the school in the form of an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) with the calculated EFC by the Central Processing System for the Department of Education. The results from the data is used to communication with student and to begin the packaging process.

The financial aid package is based on first-come, first- served, priority given to students with exceptional need (students with the lowest EFC and Pell eligible) for FSEOG. The FSEOG must be made reasonably available to all eligible applicants (FTF, FR, SO, JR and SR). Undergraduate grade levels are considered for FSEOG based on the above criteria. Due to limited program funds, not all eligible applicants will be awarded FSEOG.   FWS is awarded based on the above criteria for students (undergraduates and graduates) who indicate they are interested in work study on their FAFSA. Due to the limited program funds, not all eligible applicants will be awarded FWS.

Financial aid packages are created for students throughout the academic year. Applicants whose financial aid files are complete by the priority deadline date will be given consideration for funding resources according to funding criteria and the availability of certain funds (FSEOG and FWS). All eligible financial aid applicants are packaged their full eligibility for programs they qualify for if funds are available not to exceed the cost of attendance.

Institutional Packaging Procedures

Financial Aid is packaged using the Need Formula Equation:

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Need

Financial Need is funded by various sources on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the availability of funds. Funds are awarded in the following sequence:

1)    Outside resources (if known)

2)    Scholarships (if awarded)

3)    Grants

4)    Federal Pell based on eligibility

5)    FSEOG based on the availability of funds and awarded to exceptionally needy undergraduate students (lowest EFC and Pell grant eligible)

6)    Federal Work Study based on the availability of funds and financial need (undergraduate and graduate students who indicate on FAFSA interested in work)

7)    Direct Loans :

  • Direct Subsidized Stafford based on financial need
  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford non-need based
  • Direct PLUS non-need based

Federal Perkins Loan based on availability of funds and financial need (exceptional need determined by institution)

Determination of Aid Awarded

The Director, in conjunction with the Assistant Director and Financial Aid staff, determines the total aid to be awarded during an academic year. The Department of Education sends the FAO email communications regarding the tentative and final award notifications for the Campus Based Programs. The school’s information is accessed via the eCampus- Based web site (http://cbfisap.ed.gov). Determining the total funds available for awarding includes careful evaluation and projection of available funds for the upcoming academic year. The evaluations and projections are based on historical data, trends and current data.

Outside Resources

Students are encouraged to seek assistance from outside resources. It is required that all outside assistance be reported to the FAO. Student aid including outside resources, may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance. Therefore, if a student has been awarded by the aid office and receives an outside award, an adjustment to the original award may be necessary.

Award Notification

Students receive financial aid award notification via award notification letter or e-Communication. Students are not required to return the award notification letter back to the FAO, if they accept the award. Students wishing to decline part or the entire award may make adjustments on the award notification and return it back to the FAO for adjustments or may do so by e-Communication or online. If adjustments are made to the award, the student will receive another award notification letter.

Summer Aid

There are only a few financial aid programs for which students may apply for during the summer. If a student has eligibility for a Pell Grant and has not used his/her entire scheduled award during the academic year, the appropriate remainder may be used during the summer enrollment period.

Students may also apply for Direct Federal (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) loans if they have not used their annual loan limits for the academic year. Parents of dependents students may apply for the Direct PLUS and graduate students may apply for the Direct Graduate Plus for summer.

Consortium Agreements

A student may receive Title IV aid if he/she is taking courses at two or more schools, if the participating institutions enter into a consortium agreement. A consortium agreement specifies which institution will process and disburse student aid. The agreement also should stipulate which institution will consider the student enrolled. The institution that disburses the aid is responsible for keeping records and returning Title IV funds in the case of an overaward.

International Students

International students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid because they do not meet the citizenship requirement. International students may receive non-federal aid and are encouraged to apply for such aid. International students seeking assistance are referred to the Office of International Studies.

Revision of Financial Aid Awards

Once an award letter is sent to the student, there may be instances which warrant a change to the original notification. An Aid Administrator may review a student’s circumstances, make an adjustment to an award, and release a revised award letter. This revised award invalidates the original award notice.

Revision Initiated by the Financial Aid Office

The FAO will automatically consider a revision in a student’s aid package when the following occurs:

  1. There is conflicting information in the file.
  2. There are changes resulting from verification.
  3. There is a change in availability of funds.
  4. Outside resources not counted in original award
  5. Error made by FAO

Revisions Initiated by Request from Student

Students may decline any portion of their award. If a student wants to add an award (outside resources), the award is updated to reflect the appropriate adjustments made.  It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office of changes in a student’s resources.

Overawards

An overaward occurs any time a student’s disbursed financial aid (federal, institutional, and outside aid) and other resources exceed the cost of attendance for the award period by more than an allowable tolerance.

Eliminating an Overawards

Before reducing a student’s aid package because of an overaward, the Aid Administrator should always attempt to alleviate the situation by reducing or eliminating the overaward. The following possible allowances should be checked.

1) Increase budget using allowable expenses; 2) Adjust EFC; Adjust undisbursed funds (all undisbursed financial aid funds must be withdrawn in the case of an overaward).

Causes of an Overaward and/ or Overpayment

There are several causes of an overaward:

  1. Student wages – the student earns more than the awarded FWSP allocation.
  2. Change in the enrollment status – the student withdraws or drops below the projected enrollment status.
  3. Reduction in cost of attendance – the student changes budget categories.
  4. Additional resources – the student has resources greater than those used to calculate the award.
  5. Administrative error – the Aid Administrator inadvertently makes an error.
  6. Fraud – the student intentionally deceives or misrepresents information to obtain funds.

Treatment of an Overaward :  Direct Loan awards will be adjusted by reducing or canceling subsequent loan disbursements, replacing EFC by converting subsidized into unsubsidized loan amount,

Processing Loans

Process of processing student loans:

  • Student completes the FAFSA, adds JSU school code
  • JSU determines eligibility and loan types and amounts
  • JSU notifies the student of award
  • Student accepts the loan award(s)
  • Student completes entrance counseling and MPN
  • JSU receives the entrance counseling and MPN files from COD   and the files are loaded into Banner
  • Direct Loans are certified for students meeting eligibility requirements
  • Direct Loans certification records are originated and submitted to COD for acceptance and acknowledgement
  • JSU receives the Direct Loan records’ acknowledgement (accepted, corrected or rejected) files from COD and the files are loaded into Banner
  • JSU works the discrepancy reports and resubmits the Direct Loan originations corrected to COD.
  • JSU receives the Direct Loan records’ acknowledgement files from COD and the files are loaded into Banner
  • The electronic process for authorization and disbursement is run after the last date to add and drop classes for the enrollment period. This process checks the students’ eligibility for disbursement.
  • JSU sends the students disbursement notifications
  • Direct Loan origination and disbursement records are sent electronically To the Common Origination and Disbursement system (COD) as required.
  • COD sends acknowledgement records electronically back to JSU and these files are loaded into Banner.

Financial Aid Histories

Financial aid history data is collected through the National Student Loan Data System for the students at JSU.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS):  Schools are required to use NSLDS as the official source of student financial aid histories. The Department of Education has developed a process call “NSLDS Transfer Monitoring” to provide schools with the latest student’s financial aid history. Mid-year transfer students are required to be added to a transfer monitor file so the institution can use the updated financial aid history to make mid-year awards.

JSU is required to review all pushed subsequent transaction of the ISIR for a student the entire processing year. This includes review of previously verified earlier transaction. The review process shall determine if:

  • the EFC or the “C” flag has changed or
  • there are new comment codes
  • there are NSLDS changes that impact eligibility and
  • updates or corrections to data elements

The pushed ISIRs are loaded through the dataload process with the updated NSLDS information loaded into Banner. The Financial Counselor and Specialist are responsible for reviewing the updated NSLDS information to determine if the student remains eligible for financial aid and the current award. If not, the Counselors much take the appropriate action to resolve the eligibility issue with the student and notify the student of needed action or action taken. The pushed ISIR report must be worked by the Counselors daily when JSU receives updated information from NSLDS.