INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AWARD 2013-2014
Financial aid award information will be mailed after the student is formally accepted to Meredith College and the FAFSA has been received. If you are an International or undocumented student, we would require that you will out the Application for Institutional Aid for International students, undocumented students and non U.S. residents before
Your award may include scholarships, grants, loans, or work from federal, state, and institutional programs, as well as funds from sources outside Meredith that were known at the time your award was made. The information in this bulletin is intended to describe the conditions of your award, outline policies and procedures, and explain the process for delivery of funds. In some cases, individualized comments will appear on your Statement of Award. Please read the material carefully so you will understand what is expected of you.
Financial Assistance Eligibility: The amount of assistance offered to you meets as much of your eligibility for financial assistance as available resources permit. Your eligibility is the difference between the costs for you to attend Meredith and what you and your family should be able to pay. The expected family contribution (EFC) was determined according to a national standard established by the U.S. Congress for federal assistance programs and represents the family share of your educational costs to be paid from family current income, assets, and other available resources. The information used in the calculation of your EFC was reported by you and your family on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Types of Assistance: An award will usually include one or more types of assistance in order to meet all or as much of your financial assistance eligibility as possible. If you are an undergraduate student working on your first degree and your application was received by the preference deadline, your assistance package may include some assistance from scholarship and/or grant funds, as well as an offer of loan or work funds. Graduate students, certificate students, and students seeking a second bachelor’s degree typically receive only loans. All assistance received, except Federal Work Study (see the next section), will be credited to your student account during the beginning of each semester if you have completed all the necessary paperwork for receiving these funds.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) Employment: FWS is a need-based assistance program designed to help students earn part of their educational expenses through part-time employment while attending school. Please note that FWS will not be paid to your student account, and you should not include this funding when determining the amount that you will owe to the college. If you are eligible for this work program, the award amount shown on your award letter is the maximum that you can earn through this work program; however it must be earned. On or near the tenth day of each month, you will receive a check for the hours worked during the previous month. If eligible, you will be contacted during the summer regarding how to obtain a FWS position on campus. Meredith College cannot currently guarantee a campus job to all students. FWS jobs are listed on the Meredith College Career Center website.
North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NBS): For the 2012-2013 academic year, the North Carolina Legislature created a new program to help students with financial need named the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NBS). Eligibility for the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship is determined by the NC State Educational Assistance Authority and awards are based upon the results of the Federal FAFSA form as well as residency information collected on this a NBS application. Students must file the FAFSA and complete the NBS application to be considered for eligibility. For more information about the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship, please visit http://www.ncseaa.edu. This form is listed under the "Forms" section on our website. Click here.
Loan Requirements: If your award includes a Federal Direct Loan and this is the first time you have borrowed at Meredith College, you are required to complete Entrance Loan Counseling and complete a Master Promissory Note. Students may complete this requirement at http://www.studentloans.gov.
Award Conditions: You must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program in order to receive financial assistance. However, if eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, you can receive these funds for less than half-time enrollment. Your award is for the period stated on your Statement of Award. Funds may be used only for educational and living expenses during that period (summer study is awarded separately). The sections entitled STATUS CHANGES and ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS provide additional information on award conditions.
Continuation of Assistance: You must reapply for financial assistance each year after January 1 by completing the Renewal FAFSA by March 15. You should receive an email notice from the federal student aid processing center in December each year. However, if you do not receive this notice, you may also complete a blank FAFSA. Meredith College does not mail a Renewal FAFSA to students. It is a student’s responsibility to reapply for aid each year. Summer Study: There is a separate internal application for financial assistance for summer sessions, typically available March 1. Application forms may be obtained from the Office of Financial Assistance or on the financial assistance webpage at http://www.meredith.edu/financial_assistance. A separate Statement of Award is sent indicating eligibility for summer assistance.
Reconsideration of Financial Assistance Eligibility: Your eligibility for financial assistance was determined based on your family’s financial circumstances from the prior year. If these financial circumstances have changed significantly for the current year, your eligibility for financial assistance for that academic year may be re-evaluated. Special conditions taken under consideration for significant financial changes include loss of employment by a parent or spouse, death of a parent or spouse, loss of benefits, and divorce or separation. If any of these conditions apply to you, please send a written detailed description of the changes in your and/or your family’s financial situation. Please keep in mind that increased assistance can be offered only if funds are available and if you have not received maximum support from specific programs.
Change of Status: Your financial assistance award is based on information reported to us about your state residency, dependency status, major, and whether you will live with your parents or away from home during the school year. These assumptions are listed on your Statement of Award. If the information is incorrect, you must notify the Office of Financial Assistance (OFA) of the changes. The disbursement of your funds may be delayed if you do not provide correct information promptly. Further, you must notify the OFA if your status changes at any time during the award period. If a change in your status results in reduced eligibility for assistance, you may be required to repay all or a portion of funds already disbursed to you.
Enrollment Status: Your award is based on the enrollment assumptions listed on the Statement of Award. Because financial assistance eligibility for part-time students is dependent on tuition charges for the number of hours listed on your award notice, any change in your course load may require an adjustment in your assistance. Please notify the OFA if your enrollment plans change. If you are an undergraduate student and are offered a Meredith scholarship or grant based on expected full-time enrollment, you must take 12 or more credit hours to meet that condition. A change in enrollment status after funds are disbursed (and before the end of the tuition refund period) will require repayment of all or a portion of your award. Reduction of your course load below full time at any time during the semester may affect your progress toward completion of a degree and your eligibility for financial assistance.
Withdrawal from Meredith: If you withdraw (or take a leave of absence) from Meredith or drop to less than half-time status during the period of your award or if your registration is canceled, all or a portion of the funds you received must be repaid to the assistance accounts. The refund will be prorated according to your date of withdrawal, course load reduction, or canceled registration. Student assistance funds credited to your student account will be adjusted. As a result, you may have an outstanding balance on your student account that you will be obligated to pay. If you withdraw, take a leave of absence, become less than half time, or cancel enrollment during the first semester of an award, your second semester assistance will be canceled. You must request that the OFA reactivate your financial assistance for the spring semester. If you have a loan during the enrolled period, or had a loan for a previous enrollment period, you must complete loan exit counseling at the time of withdrawal. You must come to the Office of Financial Assistance before withdrawal or a change of status to discuss the effects of your decision and to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower.
In order for a Meredith College student to retain eligibility for federal, state and institutional assistance, the student must meet the criteria listed below. If a student fails to meet both requirements at the end of an academic period (defined as one academic year, if the student attends both semester,) then the student is placed on financial assistance probation for the following semester. If the student does not meet both conditions at the end of the probationary period, she will no longer be eligible for financial assistance until she can again meet both requirements.
Undergraduate Degree Students:
Qualitative Requirement– Each student must maintain the following minimum Meredith QPA, based on credits attempted:
Total Attempted Hours Minimum Meredith QPA
90 and above 2.000
Quantitative Requirement: Each student must also be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree. Satisfactory progress toward graduation is measured in terms of total academic credits earned. A student must earn 75% of all credits attempted and aided for the academic period. Undergraduate students may not receive financial assistance for more than 150% of the expected program length, or ten semesters for full-time students, whichever is less.
Graduate Degree Students:
Qualitative Requirement– Each student must meet the academic standards for continued enrollment in the school or program in order to continue to receive financial assistance.
Quantitative Requirement– Graduate students may not receive financial assistance for more than 150% of the expected program length.
Students placed on financial assistance probation: Students placed on financial assistance probation will receive a letter informing them of their probationary status and will be asked to meet with a member of the Office of Financial Assistance staff. This letter will state that the student’s progress will be reviewed after the next semester. If the student then meets SAP requirements, she will be removed from probation. If
she does not meet/exceed the requirements, her financial aid will be suspended until she meets the requirements to resume receiving aid. There will be a chance for a student to appeal.
Appeal Process: Students who are placed on financial assistance probation, or had financial assistance suspended, have the right to submit an appeal of the decision. Student must submit a letter to the Director of Financial Assistance stating the reasons for reconsideration. This information will then be discussed by the Financial Assistance Appeals Committee who will make a final decision.
Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are the largest sources of financial assistance for Meredith students. Loan capital for the Federal Direct Loans and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
Federal Direct Loan: There are two types of Federal Direct Loans - subsidized or unsubsidized. The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need as a result of filing the FAFSA. Maximum amounts available per student are set by the federal government and are based on the student’s grade level classification at the institution. The government pays the interest on the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan while the student is in school, and the student begins repaying the principal of the loan 6 months after graduation or ceasing at least half-time enrollment. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is non-need based. It is identical to the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan in terms of annual maximum amounts and the application process. However, Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan interest is not paid by the government while the student is enrolled and the interest rate may differ from that of the Subsidized loan. The student has the choice to either make interest payments while enrolled or defer the interest until repayment of the principal begins; however, if you choose to pay the interest as it accumulates, you will repay less in the long run.
Annual Maximum Limits: The subsidized and/or unsubsidized programs cannot exceed the following: dependent Freshmen $5,500 ($7,500 if independent); dependent Sophomore $6,500 ($8,500 if independent); dependent Junior $7,500 ($12,500 if independent); dependent Senior $7,500 ($12,500 if independent); Graduate students $20,500 for each year of study but no more than $8,500 of the annual amount may be in subsidized loans.
Aggregate Limits: For a dependent undergraduate $23,000; independent undergraduate $46,000 (no more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans); Graduate $138,500 (no more than $65,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans), and the graduate debt limit includes Federal Direct Loans received for undergraduate study. Eligibility…Undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours per semester for undergraduates and 3 credit hours per semester for graduate students).
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan: These loans are available to parents of dependent students enrolled in an undergraduate program of study. Parents must pass a credit check to be eligible. The maximum loan amount per academic year is the estimated cost of attendance at Meredith College minus other student financial aid. Interest is 7.9%. Origination fees are set by the federal statute and are deducted from loan proceeds.
Loan Process for New Borrowers:
- If a Federal Direct Loan has been included in Statement of Award, the student must complete Federal Direct Loan Entrance Loan Counseling as instructed in Statement of Award. Once this counseling requirement has been completed, the student will receive a Master Promissory Note (MPN) from the lender. This MPN must be completed and returned to lender immediately. The student will receive a Notice of Guarantee from the lender indicating disbursement dates and amounts to be disbursed. Loan funds will arrive by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Once eligibility for the loan has been verified, the funds will deposit directly into student’s account at Meredith College.
Loan Process for Previous Borrowers:
- If a Federal Direct Loan has been included in Statement of Award and the student has borrowed previously, loan certification will be sent electronically to the lender once the signed Statement of Award indicating acceptance of the loan has been returned to our office. If the lender has the student’s signed MPN on file, no further paperwork will be required. The student will receive a Notice of Guarantee from the lender indicating disbursement dates and amounts to be disbursed. Loan funds will arrive by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Once eligibility for the loan has been verified, the funds will deposit directly into student’s account at Meredith College.
Additional Financial Assistance: If you receive additional financial assistance from an outside source, which has not been included as part of your award and listed on your Statement of Award, you must notify the Office of Financial Assistance immediately and in writing. Additional assistance which should be reported includes scholarships, loans, fellowships, tuition remission, vocational rehabilitation, veteran’s benefits, and other educational benefits. Because your eligibility for financial assistance is based on the resources you expect to have for your educational expenses, any additional financial assistance must be considered. If you notify the Office by July 1, adjustments will be made so that the fall semester funds will be delivered on time.
Award Adjustments: Federal regulations and institutional policy specify that a student may not receive more assistance than is determined by the FAFSA to be the student’s financial assistance eligibility. Additional assistance from other sources must be used to reduce your eligibility and may not replace all or a part of the expected family contribution. Although additional scholarships may not always increase your total assistance, it is to your benefit to apply for and receive scholarship funds because your loan or work study obligation may be reduced.
Payment of Outside Scholarships: If you are awarded a scholarship or other assistance from an organization other than Meredith, it is likely that the donor or organization will send the money to Meredith for credit to your student account. Please refer the donor or organization to the Office of Financial Assistance if there are questions about the payment of your funds.
Employment: You may work during the summer and the academic year to provide additional resources. Your earnings will not affect your assistance eligibility for the current year, although the income may be used to measure your projected contribution from work in subsequent years. Information about on and off campus jobs during the academic year is posted in the Office of Financial Assistance.
Private Student Loans: There are also alternate loan programs available to students at Meredith. You should first apply for a Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. If additional funds are needed to cover the cost of attendance, you may want to consider a loan from one of the alternative programs.
Payment is due at the beginning of each semester. Fall semester payment is due on August 1st, and spring semester payment is due on December 15th. Payments by check are accepted through the Meredith College Office of Accounting. If you would prefer to make monthly electronic payments, please review the information below.
Tuition Management Systems Monthly Payment Plan: Pay your tuition bills in monthly installments, interest-free, with the Tuition Management Systems Payment Plan. Monthly payments are easier on your household budget and they can save you money by reducing the amount you need to borrow and by letting you keep funds longer in interest-bearing accounts. The annual enrollment fee is $65; no other charges are incurred. You may obtain additional information about Tuition Management Systems at https://www.afford.com.