Financial Aid. Undergraduate Award Reference Guide

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1 Financial Aid Undergraduate Award Reference Guide

2 Whitworth University Financial Aid Reference Guide as of 1/14/2015 Financial Aid Staff Contact Information. 2 Understanding Financial Aid. 3 Types of Financial Aid. 4-6 Cost and Payment Information. 6-7 Disbursement. 7-8 Communication. 8 Financial Aid Timeline. 9

3 Contact Information Whitworth Financial Aid Staff Whitworth Financial Aid Office 300 West Hawthorne Road Spokane, WA Phone (Spokane): Phone (toll-free): Fax: Student Last Names A-D: Wendy Olson, Director Phone: Student Last Names E-HA: Nancy Morlock, Assistant Director/Scholarship Coordinator Phone: Student Last Names HE-K: Traci Stensland, Associate Director Phone: Student Last Names L-Q: David Barnes, Assistant Director Phone: Student Last Names R-V: Lori Johnson, Assistant Director Phone: Student Last Names W-Z: John Breneman, Assistant Director Phone: Other Important Numbers Academic Services Admissions or Financial Aid Office or Housing Office of the Registrar Student Accounting Services or by last name: A-G: H-N: O-Z: Student Employment Program Assistant: Jennifer Keen Phone: Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide 2

4 Understanding Financial Aid Whitworth University Financial Aid Office Mission Statement The mission of the Financial Aid Office at Whitworth University is to serve our students and their families, acknowledging their individuality and uniqueness. We will provide an environment that is welcoming, accommodating and professional. Our role in the community will be to educate and provide guidance, support, and encouragement for those individuals interested in the financial-aid process. We will perform our duties with a high degree of integrity, expertise, enthusiasm, and professionalism. In order to enable our students to achieve their educational goals, we will be good stewards of all resources available to us. We support the overall mission of Whitworth University, acknowledging God s presence in our lives. What is Financial Aid? Financial aid is monetary assistance intended to help students pay the costs related to higher education. Financial aid comes in many forms: grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment. Typically, a student s financial aid award will reflect a combination of several forms of aid. The federal government expects the student (and parent, for dependent students) to provide the first resource toward college costs. In most cases, financial aid does not cover all of a student s expenses; it is a resource to help bridge the gap between the family s resources and the cost of attendance. Whitworth University is widely regarded as one of the best higher-education values in the Western United States. A Whitworth degree is a great investment for the student who seeks to prepare for a successful career and a life that makes a difference in the world. We recognize that this investment is significant, and we are committed to partnering with families to keep a Whitworth education within reach. Whitworth University keeps financial aid awards consistent from year to year if the family s FASFA remains similar. How is Financial Aid Calculated? Once you submit your FAFSA to the federal processor, you will receive an with a link to your electronic Student Aid Report (SAR). The federal processor will determine your expected family contribution (EFC). The following formula is used to determine whether the student qualifies for need-based aid. Cost of Attendance Estimated Family Contribution = Financial Need The financial need determined by this formula does not indicate what a family can or must pay toward higher education. Whitworth reviews each application carefully to assure that the student is considered for all sources of financial aid. If you have special circumstances, visit 3 Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide

5 Types of Financial Aid Gift Aid, which includes scholarships and grants, is a financial aid resource funded by the institution you attend, or by federal and/or state governments. Gift aid does not require repayment. Self-Help Aid, which includes loans and work-study, is a financial aid resource that a student may borrow and then repay or may earn through a work-study program. Scholarships and Grants Whitworth Academic Scholarships Many students admitted to Whitworth receive scholarships on the basis of academic merit. These scholarships are awarded by the Whitworth Admissions Office and are based on high-school grade-point average and/or standardized test scores. These scholarships are included in the financial aid award and are renewable for four years, as long as the student makes satisfactory academic progress. The amount of the scholarships does not fluctuate based on a student s change in need or increased costs. Whitworth-Sponsored University Grants and Scholarships These grants and scholarships are awarded to students with high academic achievements or particular talents, or those who have filed the FAFSA. All Whitworth-sponsored aid is for tuition only. Federal Pell Grant The federal government provides grants to students who demonstrate the highest level of financial need as calculated by the federal formula for the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor s or professional degree. Pell Grant awards range from $605 to $5,645. A recipient s specific award depends upon the student s EFC and enrollment status. Students can receive this grant for a maximum of six years. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) Students with the highest levels of financial need may also be awarded a federal SEOG. The source of this funding is the federal government; the selection of recipients is determined by the institution. To learn more about federal grants, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/fseog. Washington State Need Grant A certain number of students are eligible for grant funds under the Washington State Need Grant (WSNG) Program. To be eligible, the student must demonstrate financial need; be a resident of the state of Washington, and, if a dependent student, have parents who are Washington residents; be enrolled half time or greater; be seeking his/her first undergraduate degree in an eligible degree-seeking program; and have a family income below specified criteria set by the state of Washington. Eligible students will automatically be awarded this grant as part of the financial aid packaging process, provided they filed a FAFSA and funds are available. Preference is given to on-time filers. As with federal grants, the WSNG does not require repayment. The state also provides a variety of scholarship opportunities for foster youth. Eligibility criteria vary by program; please visit the state s website at To maintain elegibility, students must complete at least half of the credits upon which their grant was based each semester and cannot go more than two consecutive semesters in which they complete less than the full number of credits upon which the grant was based. College Bound Scholarship The amount of the scholarship is based on tuition and an allowance for books at a public university and is covered through a combination of funding through the College Bound Scholarship, Washington State Need Grant, Passport to College Promise and Opportunity Scholarship. While an allowance for books is used in determining the amount of the scholarship, at Whitworth the full scholarship is applied to tuition and room and board costs, so there is not a separate amount set aside for books. Outside Scholarships Federal regulation requires Whitworth to include all scholarships a student receives in his or her financial aid award. We realize that students make substantial efforts to earn these awards; therefore, it is our policy not to reduce your award due to the receipt of these scholarships, provided that the total aid does not exceed a student s demonstrated financial need. In some instances, the receipt of outside scholarships will have an impact on a student s federal and/or state eligibility. If this occurs, we will try to minimize the Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide 4

6 changes to your award and will reduce any student/parent loans first. You will be notified if any modifications to your financial aid award are required. Typically, outside scholarships are credited to your Whitworth student account in the fall term unless otherwise noted by the donor. To report an outside scholarship, use the following online form: https://www.whitworth.edu/outsidescholarshipreport. Work Study/Student Employment Most Whitworth students are eligible to apply for on- or off-campus jobs. Work-study can help students pay for college expenses, gain work experience, learn job-search and time-management skills, and network within the Whitworth and Spokane communities. If a student has completed the FAFSA, he/she may be eligible for state or federal work-study. While eligibility for work-study is not a requirement for a student to search for employment, some positions may require that a student be eligible in one of these programs. Students can begin searching for jobs when they arrive on campus in early September. Students should be sure to bring an up-to-date résumé with them. While most jobs are available in the fall, there are positions available year round. For more information about work-study, visit Education Loans Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Most Whitworth students borrow through either the subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan Program. Federal Stafford Loan funds are borrowed directly from the government. The Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan is for students who demonstrate financial need; usually, the federal government pays the interest while the student is enrolled in school. Eligibility for the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not contingent upon financial need; hence, the borrower is responsible for interest that accrues on the loan while the student is in school. Combined Federal Stafford Annual Limits: $5,500 (0-29 credits) Freshmen $6,500 (30-59 credits) Sophomores $7,500 (60+ credits) Juniors/Seniors Repayment: Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan repayment begins six months after the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Aggregate Limit: Dependent undergraduates are limited to a total of $31,000. Independent students are limited to $57,500. Of those amounts, $23,000 can be subsidized. If you intend to borrow direct loans, first-time borrowers must complete the following steps: 1. Sign a Master Promissory Note. Go to the Federal Student Aid Direct Loan website at studentloans.gov to sign a MPN. Use your U.S. Department of Education-issued four-digit PIN (PIN used to sign your FAFSA). Once you are on the site, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on Complete New MPN for student loans. From here, select subsidized/unsubsidized and follow the steps to complete your MPN. 2. Complete entrance counseling at before funds can be disbursed. For more information about loans, visit Federal Perkins Loan The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan (fixed at 5 percent) available to undergraduate students who demonstrate high financial need. Dollars to fund this program come from former students who are currently repaying their loans. Whitworth is the lender for this program. To receive a loan, you must be enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program. For students starting in the fall, required paperwork is sent to students during the summer and should be completed and returned promptly. Due to new federal regulations, Perkins Loans for new students will not be re-awarded in subsequent years. Students must qualify based on their economic circumstances in each academic cycle. 5 Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide

7 Repayment begins after a nine-month grace period. The grace period begins after graduation or any period of less than halftime enrollment. For more information regarding deferment and forbearance, visit our website at studentaccountingservices/loanoffice. The Federal Perkins Loan program is unique because of its option to have loans forgiven for working in certain types of jobs after you leave school. See our website for details. Depending on the availability of funds, an undergraduate student could borrow up to $27,500 ($11,000 maximum until two years of academic work are completed). Federal PLUS Loan Program The Federal PLUS Loan Program allows parents of dependent students to borrow money to help meet education expenses. Parents must prove that they have no negative credit history to qualify for this loan. The maximum PLUS Loan amount is calculated by subtracting the total aid awarded to the student from the cost of attendance. Currently, the interest rate is fixed at 7.21 percent and subject to change July 1. If a parent is denied a PLUS Loan, the student may be eligible for an additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan from $4,000-5,000. Apply: An application must be completed; if approved, a PLUS Master Promissory Note must also be completed. The PLUS Loan application and Master Promissory Note must be completed at Private Education Loans Numerous banks offer private educational loan programs to further assist students and families with college expenses. All private educational loan programs are based on credit-worthiness. Most banks require a credit-worthy co-signer in order to approve loans to undergraduate student applicants. Many banks offer some types of private educational loans. All will require school certification. Borrowing this type of private educational loan may have a negative impact on your existing financial aid package. Please contact the Whitworth Financial Aid Office before borrowing money through one of these loans or visit Cost and Payment Information What does it cost to attend Whitworth University? Estimated Nine Month Full-Time Budget for Whitworth Costs Tuition Fees Room & Board Total Expenses On Campus $38,168 $928 $10,714 $49,810 Off Campus $38,168 $928 See below. $39,096 On-campus room and board is based upon a shared double room with the maximum meal plan. Other estimated costs are based upon survey information. Your budget may vary. Other Estimated Room & Board Books & Transportation Personal Avg. Stafford Costs Supplies Expenses Loan Fees On Campus See above $888 $720 $972 $78 Off Campus Without Parent $5,040 $888 $720 $972 $78 Off Campus With Parent $3,267 $888 $720 $972 $78 Loan fees are based on the average amount Whitworth undergraduate students borrowed through the Stafford Loan Program in Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide 6

8 How much I will owe each semester after my financial aid is applied to my Whitworth student account? Estimate your semester costs by using our online Full-Time Undergraduate Cost Estimator, at What options are there to pay my balance? Families are often concerned about how they will pay the balance due to Whitworth after financial aid has been applied. Three options are listed below: 1. Pay the balance in full before each semester begins. Whitworth bills for just one semester at a time, so families need only pay the balance for each semester before it starts. 2. The Whitworth Student Accounting Services Office offers a monthly payment plan to help families manage the balance they owe to the university. For a nominal annual fee of $45, families can choose to make payments either on the 10th or 20th of each month, as indicated below. Payments are debited directly from a designated checking or savings account. The payment schedules offered are as follows: 12-month: Paperwork is due by the end of May. Payments begin in June and end in May. 10-month: Paperwork is due by the end of July. Payments begin in August and end in May. Nine-month: Paperwork is due by the end of August. Payments begin in September and end in May. 3. Parents of dependent students may want to consider borrowing through a Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) to cover their annual balance or to lower their monthly payments. Federal Direct Parent Loans must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education, based on parents credit reports. For more information about Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, visit Prior to the beginning of each term, students receive an from Whitworth s Student Accounting Services Office that provides information about the bill/payment options for the upcoming semester. For questions regarding payment arrangements, please contact the student accounting services office (see Page 2). Disbursement The Whitworth University Financial Aid and Student Accounting Services offices work closely to assure timely delivery of funds to students. Please read the following information related to credit balances. What must occur in order for my financial aid to transfer to my student account? You must be registered in the number of credits upon which your financial aid is calculated. Your Whitworth student account must show accurate charges related to your attendance for the term. Your financial aid file must be complete including any online processes related to student loans. Further, you must have begun the classes for which financial aid was awarded to assist you in order to receive funds from your disbursement. What is a credit balance? A credit balance is the amount of money, usually from financial aid, that remains in a student s account after his/her charges are paid in full. When can I anticipate receiving my credit balance? Credit balance refunds are prepared ONLY if all of the above criteria have been met. Please visit disbursementinformation for an overview of the expected dates when credit balances are available each term. Students should come to Whitworth prepared to purchase books and supplies without relying on their financial aid refund. The Federal Stafford and PLUS Loan programs as well as the Federal Pell Grant Program require your current data to be received and processed by the U.S. Department of Education before funds can be transmitted to your student account. Financial aid funds are transferred to Whitworth student accounts twice weekly. Credit balance funds are processed on Wednesdays and Fridays, with the funds (issued via check) available for pickup after 1 p.m. in the Whitworth Student Accounting Services Office. Be prepared to show photo I.D. Credit balance funds issued via direct deposit are transmitted to students bank accounts on Wednesdays and Fridays and are generally available within 1-3 days from the time of transmittal, depending upon your bank s policy. 7 Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide

9 To sign up for direct deposit, go to WhitNet, select WhitNet for Students, click on the link on the left side of the menu that says Bank Info for Non-Salary Refunds/Payments, and enter the requested banking information. If you change banks or close your account, please notify us as soon as possible to avoid any delay in processing your refund. Students with tuition remission who have completed the correct paperwork with Whitworth Human Resource Services can anticipate that their credit checks will be available a week or two into the semester. Communication Where can I find financial aid forms? To find financial aid forms, please visit What does it mean to be selected for verification? The federal processor selects students for verification and requires the financial aid office to confirm data reported on their FAFSAs. If you are selected, you must complete the requested verification worksheet (which is available in our Forms section on the financial aid website), and return it to the financial aid office. If you filed a tax return and did not load your IRS tax data into the FAFSA, you must also provide a federal tax transcript directly from the IRS. Students and parents can obtain a federal tax transcript by calling or by ordering it at For students who worked but did not file a tax return, a copy of the W2 or statement of earnings may be required. Your financial aid advisor will compare these documents with the FAFSA you completed. You will be notified if changes in verification affect your financial aid award. Please allow business days to process verification documents once all requested documents have been received by the financial aid office. How does the financial aid office communicate with students? In an effort to support Whitworth s commitment to sustainability, the financial aid office staff communicates with students primarily electronically. Freshman students will receive a paper financial aid award; thereafter, all award notifications are provided electronically. Sophomore, junior and senior students are sent an alert and directed to WhitNet on Pirate Port. Other types of information are sent to students via or provided on the financial aid website. For more information about consumer information related to financial aid, visit Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide 8

10 Financial Aid Timeline What can I expect in the coming months? January Print a FAFSA worksheet from the web at Gather the necessary documents needed to complete the FAFSA. Complete the FAFSA worksheet. Complete the FAFSA online at For full consideration of all resources, Whitworth s priority FAFSA deadline is March 1 for new students and May 1 for returning students. Whitworth s federal school code is February/March/April/May Receive your electronic Student Aid Report from the federal processor and review it for accuracy. Make any necessary changes to your FAFSA at Receive your financial aid award notification from Whitworth. Read through the award; to understand the types of aid, visit Review your financial aid award information to determine what is needed to complete your financial aid file at Whitworth. If you need a form, visit Visit WhitNet on Pirate Port to see your award notice and to determine whether you are missing any documents. If you estimated tax information on your FAFSA, consider going back into your FAFSA and loading your IRS tax data. June Receive the confirmation billing e-packet from Whitworth Student Accounting Services via your student . Review your charges and financial aid for accuracy. Determine whether there is a balance due for the semester. Consider a payment plan. Parents may want to apply for a Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS). Register for fall classes at Whitworth with the support and guidance of your academic advisor. Submit a final high-school transcript with confirmation of your high-school graduation to the Whitworth Admissions Office. July Complete processes related to Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans. New borrowers must complete two online processes (Entrance Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Note) in order to receive funds under this program. Please visit to complete these processes. If you are eligible for a Perkins Loan, complete and return Perkins Loan documents you ve received in the mail by the date indicated in the packet. If you have been awarded work-study, watch for an from Whitworth Student Employment that provides information on how to apply for on-campus work-study positions. Prepare a résumé to bring with you to apply for on-campus work-study positions. August At this point, if all required documents have been submitted and processed, your financial aid file should be complete and final, and you should have submitted the confirmation e-billing packet to student accounting services. September Visit the student employment booth at the Welcome Fair during Orientation Week. Pick up a work-study job-search packet. Begin your on-campus work-study job search. If your award is finalized and your loan processes complete, your financial aid funds should transfer to your Whitworth student account during the first week of classes. 9 Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide

11 Whitworth University is committed to delivering a mission-driven educational program that cultivates in students the capacity to engage effectively across myriad dimensions of diversity; the university therefore complies, in its admissions and financial aid policies, with all federal, state and local non-discrimination laws that are applicable to religious nonprofit institutions and does not engage in unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability. Notes: Whitworth University Financial Aid Guide 10

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