Financial Aid Packaging and Awarding

Policy Number: #03-60-02-01
Policy Type: Administrative
Administrative Policy Type: Enrollment Services
Approval Date: November 13, 2018
Responsible Office: Financial Aid
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Enrollment Services
Applies to: Students who request and receive Financial Assistance

Financial Aid Packaging and Awarding Policy Statement

There are many financial demands on Wiley College students, hence most financial aid packages will not meet 100% of the financial need calculated for each applicant. Students at Wiley College are awarded based on a first-come, first-serve basis, provided all required documentation has been received, financial need, cost of attendance, period of enrollment and statutory award maximums. It is the goal of the Office of Financial Aid to provide financial aid to students to meet as much of the calculated need as possible.


Definitions

AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps is a voluntary civil society program supported by the U.S. federal government, foundations, corporations, and other donors engaging adults in public service work with a goal of “helping others and meeting critical needs in the community.

VA Benefits: VA benefits are the monthly benefits provided by the VA to eligible surviving spouses, parents, and dependent children.

Vocational Rehabilitation: Vocational Rehabilitation is a state program which assists people with disabilities to obtain services that help them prepare to obtain and maintain employment.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): A grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.

Cost of Attendance: A budget built based on a student’s enrollment status and housing. This includes allowances for tuition & fees, room & board, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Cost of Attendance is NOT the amount a student is going to have to pay, but rather a maximum theoretical cost they should incur based on their enrollment plans. The College ONLY charges for direct costs which include tuition, fees, room and board.

Anticipated Resources: This figure includes all scholarships and other awards not mentioned above. Students can view a breakdown of their awards on their JICS account if more detailed information is needed.

Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG): Grant funding from the state of Texas based on several criteria including Texas residency, enrollment, GPA, financial need, etc.

Federal Direct Loans: Federal student loan program is under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is the lender. There are four types of Direct Loans: subsidized (based on financial need and federal government does not charge interest on these loans while the student is in school); unsubsidized (not based on financial need and interests begins accruing once funding is disbursed); and PLUS (not based on financial need but a credit-check and for parents of dependents).

Federal Pell Grant: Federal grant funding awarded based on exceptional financial need and undergraduate status.

Waivers: Tuition and/or fee waivers are granted to students and allows for a portion of a student’s tuition and/or fees not to be paid. The student is responsible for payment of the remaining tuition/fees not covered by the waiver. Waivers include but are not limited to housing, employee discounts, books, etc.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): Calculated by the federal processing center according to formulas regulated by the federal government based on the information provided through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). EFC is utilized to determine the federal Pell grant, FSEOG, subsidized loans, work study, TEG, etc.

Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR): One of two output documents created by the CPS after processing a student’s FAFSA. The ISIR is made available electronically to the institutions listed on the student’s FAFSA and his/her state agency.

Contact(s)

The Office of Financial Aid officially interprets this policy. The Vice President for Enrollment Services is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by Wiley College. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.

Stakeholder(s)

Students who are eligible and wish to receive student financial assistance.

Policy Contents

All students, if applicable, are required to complete the FAFSA before being awarded financial assistance. While the Office Financial Aid strives to cover need, institutional aid within an award package may not exceed direct costs (tuition, fees, room and board). Further, the combination of the Pell Grant, SEOG, and institutional and non-institutional scholarships cannot exceed direct costs. Institutional aid eligibility will be reduced if the addition of institutional aid will make the total aforementioned funds exceed direct costs. Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan and Alternative Loans can be added to an award up to the cost of attendance.

A Wiley College student is assigned to a specific budget population, based on the academic program in which he/she is enrolled in. Budgets per academic program are uploaded into PowerFaids, the financial aid software. Currently, the assigned financial aid counselor is responsible for identifying and verifying the appropriate budget to assign to students before awarding. If the student is not registered for a specific academic program, the student is packaged according to a traditional program. Students can request an increase in his/her budget utilizing the Professional Judgement policy and form based on mitigating circumstances. Please see the Professional Judgement policy for more information.

In summary, based on the budget and need, a student is packaged according to the following order:

  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Non-Institutional Scholarships
  3. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  4. Texas Equalization Grant
  5. Institutional Scholarships
  6. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  7. Federal Work Study
  8. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  9. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  10. Private Loans

Once students have been awarded, the Office of Financial Aid notifies the students through email via the Award Letter. If all aid has not been received or an award has to be adjusted for any reason, students will receive subsequent emails notifying them of the adjustments.

Procedures for Complying with Criteria for Each Federal Aid Program When Awarding Federal Aid

Federal Pell Grant
Most of the information necessary to determine the Pell grant eligibility is available on the student’s FAFSA. Once the information has been verified, and the student’s enrollment status and budget have been entered into Wiley College’s financial aid software program, PowerFaids, a Pell grant will automatically be calculated by the software and packaged into the student’s awards. Pell awards, and adjustments to Pell awards, are reported to the Department of Education through the federal Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) website. Students lifetime eligibility usage (LEU) is verified on the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) and through National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

FSEOG
The information necessary to determine the student’s FSEOG can also be found on the student’s FAFSA. Undergraduate, pursing first Bachelor’s degree students with the lowest EFCs, who will also receive Pell Grants for the award year, have primary consideration for an FSEOG. However, priority is given to Pell Grant recipients who have an EFC of 0. A student who receives a Pell Grant at any time in the award year may be awarded an FSEOG for that award year; the student does not have to receive a Pell Grant in the same payment period as the FSEOG. For example, in the case of a student who receives a Pell Grant for the fall semester only due to reaching his lifetime eligibility used (LEU), the student may be awarded an FSEOG for both the fall semester and subsequent spring semester. If the Office of Financial aid has remaining FSEOG funds after making awards to all Pell Grant recipients for that award year, the Office of Financial Aid must next select students with the lowest EFCs who are not receiving Pell Grants. This group of students is known as the FSEOG second selection group. This group also includes students who have exceeded their LEU.

Students may receive an amount between $100 and $4,000 a year depending upon the extent of their need. These grants are available to both full-time and part-time students, but those who attend school full time will receive larger amounts. Since more than one grant may be awarded by other programs, the amount awarded also depends on what other grants the student qualifies for.

Another serious limit to FSEOGs is the amount available during any given school year. Because the federal government distributes the funds once a year to each school participating in the program, the funds may run out before the academic year is completed. However, the Office of Financial Aid will ensure funds are available to award students who begin enrollment during the Spring semester. The Office of Financial Aid’s selection procedures specify categories of students to ensure that the students in each category have an opportunity to be awarded FSEOG funds.

Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan
If a student does not indicate that he/she is interested in federal Stafford loans, and if the student meets the eligibility requirements for a Stafford loan, then loans are packaged into the student’s awards by the assigned Financial Aid Counselor. The Financial Aid Counselor will check the student’s FAFSA and if necessary, the National Student Loan Data System to be sure the student is not in default and has not exceeded loan limits. Before disbursing a loan, the Office of Financial Aid will document in the PowerFaids system that a completed Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling by way of the Department of Education’s records. To decline or reduce any loan, a student must submit the Loan Cancellation or Reduction Form to the Office of Financial Aid.

Federal Work Study
Federal Work Study (FWS) award depends on when the student applied, the level of need and the funding level available at the time the student applied. Work-study awards are need-based and awarded on a first come, first served basis. The standard award amount is $2000.00 for the full academic year, $1000 per semester. Students enrolled half-time can be offered work-study in the amount $1000.00 for the full academic year, $500 per semester. Work-study awards will be prorated for students that do not attend the full year or change his/her enrollment from full-time to half-time

Because FWS awards are highly competitive financial aid awards, there are not enough funds to award all students that show financial eligibility. In order to accommodate additional requests, a student can request to be placed on a waiting list. However, we cannot guarantee the College will have funds to fulfill all requests.

Additional Resources

Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
If the College has a student who qualifies for both federal funds and for vocational rehabilitation assistance funds, the Office of Financial Aid will determine the student’s package exclusive of both the costs related to the student’s disability and anticipated vocational rehabilitation assistance. In this way, the student with disabilities will be offered the same aid package as a student who is in the same financial situation but who does not have disabilities; the student with disabilities will also receive the maximum amount of vocational rehabilitation aid to which he or she is entitled. If the vocational rehabilitation agency does not fully meet the student’s disability costs, you may wish to include the unmet disability expenses in the student’s cost of attendance, and increase his or her aid award.

Although the vocational rehabilitation funds should not be considered estimated financial assistance when initially package aid for the student, the Office of Financial Aid must coordinate funds available from the vocational rehabilitation agency and from institutional, state, and federal student financial assistance programs to prevent an over award. The amount of assistance from the vocational rehabilitation agency must be documented in the student’s file.

Veterans and AmeriCorps Benefits
For federal student aid purposes, federal Veteran’s education benefits, as defined under Section 480(c) of the HEA, are not treated as estimated financial assistance (EFA). Veteran’s benefits are also not to be counted as income, and therefore are not reported as income on the FAFSA.

Also, AmeriCorps benefits are not included in the EFA when determining eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans. Note that this packaging exclusion does not affect any campus based awards made to the student, because the Office of Financial Aid may exclude the Direct Subsidized Loan from the EFA, up to the amount of the student’s AmeriCorps benefits, for those programs. All AmeriCorps benefits are included as EFA when determining eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized Loans.