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1 Financial Aid Guide

2 Privacy: Before speaking with the student by phone or in person, identity will be confirmed. If family members or any other individuals call on behalf of the student, a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release form must be completed and signed by the student to give Liberty University permission to disclose information. This form is available at Liberty University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended. Additionally, the Financial Aid Office annually conducts a review of records safekeeping as required by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of Consumer Information Statement: Liberty University now uses electronic means to disseminate required student consumer information and Right To Know Act information. Anyone signing or processing financial aid forms, seeking financial aid information or assistance at Liberty University, or seeking consumer information regarding Liberty University must read, understand, and comply with the requirements disclosed which are available 24 hours a day at Lending Statement: Liberty University no longer maintains a preferred lenders list. Students are encouraged to borrow from any participating lender they choose. For convenience, Liberty University provides direct links to the lenders that students have previously chosen (federal and alternative loan categories in alphabetical order). Additionally, students are welcome to select any participating lender not shown on the Financial Aid web page. Liberty University encourages students to borrow only what is absolutely needed. Excessive borrowing leads to debt resulting in very large monthly payments in the future. Non-Discrimination Statement: Liberty University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, or physical disability, in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs. Dear Students and Families: We are pleased to provide information to assist you in obtaining financial aid at Liberty University. Education is an investment for the future. It is also a financial partnership between families, the university and other funding sources, such as taxpayers through the state and federal governments. This guide will provide introductory information on financial aid at Liberty University. For more detailed information, available 24 hours a day, visit If you have questions, feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office at (434) or We look forward to assisting you as you navigate through the financial aid process. Sincerely, Robert L. Ritz, Ph.D. Director of Financial Aid Liberty University Applying for Financial Aid Who Can Apply? Anyone applying for acceptance into an eligible degree, certificate, or diploma program at Liberty University can apply for financial aid. This includes undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled and attending Liberty University. When Should I Apply? Apply every year after January 1. To be considered for as many financial aid sources as possible, APPLY BEFORE MARCH 1. More financial aid resources and discounts are available to students who choose Liberty early in the process, confirm their intent, and complete Financial Check-In. Applying by March 1 ensures consideration for most aid. However, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be completed throughout the academic year. Whether you are a resident student or Distance Learning student, applying early is VERY IMPORTANT. Why Should I Apply? Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, discounts, work study and student loans. You may be eligible for one or more sources of financial aid. General requirements for federal financial aid include: Submit any additional documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office. Be accepted to Liberty and enrolled in an eligible degree, certificate or diploma program. Possess U.S. Citizenship or eligible non-citizen status. Have a valid Social Security number. 8 Simple Steps STEP 1: Obtain a Federal PIN Number and begin using your Liberty ASIST Account. You will need a PIN (Personal Identification Number), to electronically sign your FAFSA. If you do not already have a PIN, you can obtain one quickly at Parents of dependent students should also apply for a PIN so they can electronically sign their student s FAFSA. Also, use your Liberty ASIST Account to view your financial information by going to: click on LU Login. STEP 2: Complete the FAFSA each year. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is completed online at Don t forget to list Liberty University s school code number on your FAFSA! If you are interested in loan or work-study funds in addition to your other financial aid, indicate this on the FAFSA. After the federal government processes your FAFSA, you will be notified by mail and/or . You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). This document allows you to correct any errors that you made on the original FAFSA. STEP 3: Apply for Other Types of Financial Aid. Students may apply for additional scholarship assistance, federal work study or other types of financial aid. Virginia residents may apply for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG). Please note that some majors, such as Worship and Ministry majors, are not eligible for aid from Virginia. Please visit the Financial Aid Office website for more details at STEP 4: Provide Additional Documents as Necessary. Provide any missing documents requested by the Financial Aid Office. Requests will be sent to students by mail and . If you are selected by the federal government for a process

3 Have a high school diploma, a General Education Development Certificate (GED), pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education or complete an approved home school or private school program with certification. (Students dually enrolled in high school and Liberty courses are NOT eligible for federal financial aid). Register with Selective Service if you are a male U.S. citizen. How Do I Apply? There are eight simple steps that students may follow each year to ensure they process their financial aid properly. called Verification (an audit of the information you submitted on the FAFSA), Liberty University will contact you and request signed photocopies of federal tax documents and a worksheet. About 30 percent of students will be selected by the federal government. The worksheet is available at STEP 5: Apply for or Check on Loans. Loan information is available at financialaid; click Apply for Loan. First-time borrowers at Liberty University who plan to use a federal educational loan may also complete a required basic online loan counseling session (called Entrance Counseling) and a Master Promissory Note (Loan Application). STEP 6: Review Awards and Financial Aid Status. After information is submitted and reviewed, you will receive an Award Letter detailing any aid for which you are eligible. You are required to notify Liberty University if there are any changes to the aid listed or if ANY other sources of financial aid (i.e. an outside scholarship, veterans benefits) are awarded to you. By logging into the Liberty ASIST account, students may view their awards, requested documents, account and academic information 24 hours a day at The Liberty ASIST Account shows live information faster than mailed letters and even notifications. STEP 7: Complete Financial Check-In. Each term, every student must complete Financial Check-In (FCI). Visit to go through the FCI process which allows registration, calculates charges, shows eligible financial aid and arranges payment plans for any unpaid costs. STEP 8: Review Your Account. Monitor your own academic and financial information to ensure that you stay informed. Liberty s secure website will help you understand what you have been charged and when any eligible financial aid has been disbursed to your account. This is available at by clicking on LU Login.

4 How is Financial Need Determined? Financial aid is intended to supplement -- not replace, -- family resources. Federal student aid programs are based on the principle that students (and their parents or spouse, if applicable) are considered to be the primary source of financial support for a student s college education. The formula for determining financial need is: Cost of Attendance (COA) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need COA: Expenses include direct costs (tuition and fees) and related educational expenses (transportation, allowances for books, room, board, and other living expenses). EFC: Calculated from the information you listed on the FAFSA, it measures your family s financial strength to determine your eligibility for federal aid, including federal grants, loans, and work study. Financial Need: This is the difference between the institution s COA and your EFC. If there is a remaining amount, you are considered to have financial need. Could Financial Aid Awards Change Even After I Receive My Award Letter? Yes. Your award letter is an estimate of financial aid eligibility. There are many factors that could change, lower or even eliminate your financial aid eligibility. Some examples of these include: Not attending or dropping classes. Failing to attend each term or sub-term for which you were registered. Withdrawing from the university. Failing to properly withdraw from the university. Failing to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Providing incomplete, inaccurate, false or misleading information during the application process. Receiving additional sources of aid (such as outside grants, veterans benefits, or private loans). Receiving aid above the amount of tuition (which may lower Liberty University scholarships). Changing enrollment level (some scholarships require full-time enrollment; Stafford Loans require half-time enrollment). Changing grade level or academic programs. Changing between resident student and DLP student status. Defaulting on a student loan or grant. Sources of Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships This aid is free money and does not have to be repaid. Federal grants are limited to students who demonstrate financial need as determined through the financial aid application process. Excluding the Federal Pell Grant, an enrollment of half time or more is required. Federal Pell Grant Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant Federal SMART Grant Federal TEACH Grant/LOAN Program Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) Liberty Grants and Scholarships Student Employment Two programs provide funds for student jobs. This allows students to earn money to help pay for educational expenses: Federal Work Study Program (FWS) this also includes the Federal Work Study Community Service Program (FWSCSP) Campus Employment Federal Work Study Eligibility: Students with Federal Work Study listed in their notice of award who would like to use Federal Work Study employment should note the following: a. Awarded students must complete a Federal Work Study/Student Employment Application available from Human Resources. b. Federal Work Study is not a scholarship, but a chance to earn money for college. c. Earnings are estimated at $2,000 annually; however, students may earn up to their financial need as established by the FASFA. Federal Work Study cannot be included toward your payment plan or Financial Check-In. Student position listings are available in the Human Resource Office and also online at under employment opportunities, student openings. Loans A variety of student loan programs exist to help students and their families finance a portion of educational costs. Some loan programs include: The Federal Stafford Loan Program The Federal PLUS Loan Program The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program Various Law Loan Programs Various Alternative Loan Programs (through private banks)

5 Loans must be repaid with interest. An enrollment of half-time credits or more is required for Federal Stafford Loans. For some loans, repayment does not begin until after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment. This period of time, when no loan payments are required, is called a grace period. To be considered for a Federal Stafford Loan, indicate on the FAFSA that you are interested in student loans. Federal Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. Both have an interest rate that is determined each year but will not exceed 8.25 percent. The grace period applies to the principal of either type of loan. A SUBSIDIZED loan is awarded on the basis of need. The interest is paid by the federal government during half-time credit or greater enrollment and the grace period. The federal government subsidizes the interest during these periods. An UNSUBSIDIZED loan is NOT awarded on the basis of need. Interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. The maximum loan levels are listed below: Student Level & Dependency Status Maximum Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized) Maximum Subsidized Dependent freshman $5,500 $3,500 Dependent sophomore $6,500 $4,500 Dependent junior or senior $7,500 $5,500 The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) enables parents with good credit histories to borrow for the educational expenses of each dependent student. The yearly limit is equal to the student s Cost of Attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid received by the student. The loan has an interest rate determined each year that will not exceed a maximum of 9 percent. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Regulations require the Financial Aid Office to ensure that all students receiving aid are making satisfactory academic progress. Aid includes scholarships, grants, loans and employment programs. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress will lose their financial aid eligibility. Please be aware that there is a difference between academic progress which is evaluated by the Registrar s Office and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress which is evaluated by the Financial Aid Office. For financial aid eligibility, Satisfactory Academic Progress must be maintained in four ways: 1. Students must complete at least 67 percent of ALL credits they attempt. TIP: Avoid withdrawing from or failing your courses. Certain grades (such as F, FN, I, W, or WF) do not count toward the 67 percent completion rate. 2. Students must earn an acceptable cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). TIP: Watch your grades closely! Academic advisors can help. Independent freshman $9,500 $3,500 Independent sophomore $10,500 $4,500 Independent junior or senior $12,500 $5,500 Graduate/professional $20,500 $8,500 Student Classification Bachelor s Programs hours earned Bachelor s Programs hours earned Bachelor s Programs hours earned Bachelor s Programs 72+ hours earned, Diploma (Th.G.), Associates Degree, M.A.R., M.R.E., M.Div., J.D. M.A.T., M.A. (Human Services) M.Ed. M.A. (Counseling, Marriage/ Family Therapy, English, History, Communications), M.B.A., M.S. Accounting Management, M.S.N., S.T.M., Th.M., Ed.S., Ed.D., D.Min, Ph.D. Required Cumulative GPA for Program

6 3. Students must finish their academic program within 150 percent of the published length of the program. TIP: Be sure to take courses that apply to your degree or diploma. Taking courses not required for your program of study may deplete your aid eligibility before the program is completed. Academic Program Maximum Number of Attempted Hours Diploma (Th.G.) 30 Bachelors Degree 180 Associates Degree Masters Degree (Except M.Div.) Education Specialist Ed.S. Doctoral Degree (Except J.D.) 90 M.Div., J.D Students must earn passing grades in their classes. Students attempting at least half-time level credits who earn no credits for the term will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not be permitted to receive financial aid in their next term. TIP: Earn passing grades. If you stop attending all of your classes during the term, you must officially withdraw by immediately contacting the Registrar s Office (DLP students are to contact their advisor). SAP APPEAL: The appeal process is contained in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at Keep in Touch Please visit for the most current financial aid information. Please include your FULL name and Liberty Student ID number when ing Liberty University. It is important that you check your Liberty University frequently as it is the primary way that various departments will contact you with information or questions. Please use your Liberty address instead of an alternate address to contact us. If you are unsure of your username or password, or need assistance with your LU , please contact the Help Desk at (866) Financial Aid representatives are available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Phone: (434) FAX: (434)

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