Everything You Need to Know About Financial Aid
The mission of the Office of Financial Aid into provide access to financial resources in a fair, sensitive and confidential manner; to inform and educate students and their families about their financial options; and to continually improve our services so that students may take full advantage of their educational opportunities.
FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed annually to receive federal and/or institutional financial aid funding. The FAFSA is utilized to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA becomes available on January 1st each year. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by Florida A&M University’s priority date of March 1st. Completing the FAFSA by the priority date aids in expeditious processing of financial aid. The FAFSA may be completed at www.fafsa.gov.
REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID
In order to receive federally funded financial aid at Florida A&M University College of Law a student must:
- have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law;
- be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program;
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen;
- have a valid Social Security Number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
- register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic FAFSA to register, you can register at www.sss.gov, or you can call 1-847-688-6888. (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567);
- maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school;
- enroll in the equivalent of half-time status;
- certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant; and
- certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
Additionally, students cannot receive Federal Stafford Loan funds in excess of the federally mandated Stafford Loan Aggregate limit.
COST OF ATTENDANCE
The Cost of Attendance is the educational expenses budget given to students. The Cost of Attendance includes tuition; books and living expenses associated with being a student. The Cost of Attendance is determined by a student’s enrollment; residency status and housing status. A student may not receive a financial aid package that exceeds the student’s Cost of Attendance.
TYPE OF AID AVAILABLE
Financial aid is divided into two categories: gift-aid and self-help aid. Gift aid is funding given to students that does not require the student repaying any portion of the funds received. Gift aid is typically given in the form of grants or scholarships. Self-help aid requires that a student either earns the financial aid funding via employment or the funds received must be repaid at a later date.
There are a limited number of institutional scholarships given to students based on merit. The criteria for receiving a scholarship vary based on the specific award and the resources available for the academic year. Recipients of institutional funding will be notified and awards will be added to the students’ financial packages.
Federally funded financial aid available to professional/graduate students is limited to self-help financial aid programs. Self-help financial aid programs are not gift aid. Hence, the funds received from the federal programs offered at Florida A&M University College of Law must be repaid. Students at the College of Law may take advantage of the Federal Stafford Loan Program and/or the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program.
Graduate/Professional students who meet the aforementioned requirements to receive federal aid may borrow from the Stafford Loan Program. Stafford loan funding is available to assist students with educational expenses. The Stafford Loan is offered at a low interest rate and does not require a credit check. Students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year in the Stafford Loan Program. The Stafford Loan is not need based. Interest begins accruing on the principal balance of the Stafford Loan after the loan is disbursed to the university. The Stafford Loan has an aggregate loan limit of $138,500. Payment for the Stafford Loan is deferred while students are enrolled at least half-time and up to 6-months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Graduate PLUS Loans
The Federal Graduate PLUS loan is available to Graduate/Professional students who meet the eligibility requirements to receive federal aid. The Graduate PLUS Loan is offered to students at a 7.9% interest rate. Hence, students should exhaust annual eligibility in the Stafford Loan Program before considering borrowing from the Graduate PLUS Loan program. Students must meet the credit worthiness criteria of the U.S. Department of Education in order to receive the Graduate PLUS Loan. Students who are not deemed credit worthy have the opportunity to apply with a credit worthy endorser (cosigner). Students may borrow up to the remaining balance of the Cost of Attendance, for the given loan period, in the Graduate Plus Loan. Once a student has been credit approved, the University will be notified. The Office of Financial Aid will accept the Graduate PLUS Loan on behalf of students with approved credit. Graduate PLUS Loans are certified for the requested amount or the remaining unmet Cost of Attendance, whichever amount is the lesser.
DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
Tuition payment is deferred for financial aid recipients until financial aid disburses each semester. Financial aid begins the disbursement process after the add/drop period of each term. Students are required to submit all requested documentation and have a valid the Master Promissory Note on file with the U.S. Department of Education to receive financial aid disbursements. The Office of Financial Aid authorizes the disbursement of student funds to the accounts of students who meet disbursement criteria. After funds are authorized, Student Financial Services (Student Accounts) releases any remaining funds. At the beginning of each semester, students should be financially prepared with the first two months of living expenses.
SUMMER FINANCIAL AID
Students who have received the maximum Stafford Loan for the academic year ($20,500) will not have remaining Stafford Loan eligibility during the summer term. However, students who have not exhausted the maximum academic year amount may receive the remaining amount up to $10,250 for the summer. Students, who do not have remaining Stafford Loans available in the summer, may apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan.
Federally funded student loans are disbursed in two substantially equal disbursements each loan period. For financial aid purposes, the summer is a non-standard academic term. Hence, the summer term serves as a loan period. Summer financial aid is disbursed in two disbursements. The second disbursement takes place after the midway point of the summer term.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC POLICY
Per federal regulation, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to receive federally funded financial aid. Florida A&M University Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy has the following requirements:
- Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA;
- Students must successfully complete 67% of courses attempted (Successful completion of a course requires a grade of A; B; C; D; or S);
- Students attempted course hours must be within 150% of the hours required for degree completion.
- Students who do not meet standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal based on extenuating circumstances. The appeal form can be found on the main campus financial aid website: www.famu.edu/financialaid.
RETURN TO TITLE IV
Students who withdraw from all courses or fail to earn credit in a given semester may require Return to Title IV calculations. During the Return to Title IV process, the Office of Financial Aid must determine how much financial aid a student who has withdrawn from all courses has earned. Unearned funds must be returned to the appropriate federal financial aid program. As a result, students may incur a debt with the University that must be repaid.
TRANSIENT STUDENT POLICY
Financial aid will be awarded to students who are enrolled at least half-time in courses towards degree completion at Florida A&M University. Students enrolled in eligible ABA-approved study abroad programs that meet all other eligibility requirements, will be qualified to receive financial aid via the Florida A&M University Office of Student Financial Aid. Students who have elected to take transient courses needed for degree completion that are offered at Florida A&M University at a host institution, while remaining a student at Florida A&M University, will not be eligible to receive financial aid via the Florida A&M University Office of Financial Aid.