Financial Aid Handbook
Attention New Students:
- Send your $300 matriculation deposit to the Office of Admissions by May 1, 2018, to enroll at Elizabethtown College.
- Accept or decline your financial aid awards on the STUDENT AID PORTAL by May 1, 2018.
- Review the Financing Your Education information on the various programs available to your family.
- You will receive information on how to complete Federal Direct Loan and Perkins Loan requirements, if applicable.
- You will receive your bill for the fall semester by June.
- Payment will be due August 1.
- If interested, check for on-campus job openings.
- In August 2018, you will arrive for Fall Orientation and your Elizabethtown experience officially begins!
Your financial aid package has now been determined, and you have received a Financial Aid Award Letter listing the amount and type of financial aid being offered. As a first-year student, you have until May 1 to accept your package. Please login to the Elizabethtown College Student Aid Portal to view, accept, or decline your financial aid awards.
If you do not reply according to the above guidelines, your financial aid award might be rescinded. If you need additional time, please ask for an extension by contacting our office. You will receive notification any time a change is made.
Please read this entire handbook for a complete explanation of the parts of the Award Letter, a description of the types of aid you have been awarded and the responsibilities that go with them. Also, carefully review your Award Letter using the following guidelines:
- Check for accuracy of your personal information (name, address, etc.), and correct any errors.
- Note the type of aid awarded. Examine your responsibilities for funds awarded in the Financial Aid Awards section.
The estimate of funds you are scheduled to receive from federal and state programs is based on our best professional judgment; however, since the College does not control the awarding of these funds, final amounts might differ from the estimate, and the College might be unable to make up the difference. You should realize that your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant might not be identical at institutions of similar cost to Elizabethtown College.
- Log onto the Elizabethtown College Student Aid Portal at: https://finaidweb.etown.edu/NetPartnerStudent to view and accept/decline your financial aid awards. You can also access this link on the financial aid webpage at: www.etown.edu/finaid.
Once you access the Student Aid Portal, click “First Time User” and use your Student ID to set up your account. After you are logged in:
1. View and accept/decline your financial aid awards on the Accept Your Awards tab
2. Check the Your Documents tab for any additional documents needed
- If you are a first-year student, the deadline is May 1; returning students must accept/decline within 14 days of receipt. Extensions are not encouraged but will be granted if circumstances warrant.
- An updated Award Letter supersedes all previous letters.
Contribution and Financial Aid Eligibility
Financial aid is funding that colleges, donors and government agencies make available to students to bridge the gap between a family’s federally demonstrated ability to pay and the cost to attend college.
Elizabethtown College uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to assist the Financial Aid Office in determining each student’s need. An Expected Family Contribution is determined by using a fair and uniform analysis system taking into account a family’s income, selected assets, household size, number of dependents enrolled in college and unusual expenses.
Institutional Grant Ineligibility
There are three reasons why a student might not be eligible for institutional grants.
- The student does not demonstrate financial need as determined by the College’s need analysis.
- The student’s need is met from outside sources (such as Pell Grant, state grant, etc.).
- The student applies after the deadline date.
Your Financial Aid Package
When all information has been submitted, a financial aid counselor verifies the accuracy of the data reported and begins to assemble the financial aid “package.” The package might be composed of a combination of scholarships, grants, loans and employment. The exact composition of a package depends upon several factors. The extent of financial need and the availability of funds are prime considerations. Academic record, date of admission and the date on which the financial aid application was filed also could affect the composition of the financial aid package.
The Financial Aid Office determines eligibility for each category of financial aid and assigns awards appropriate to need. Federal regulations prohibit a student from receiving grant, loan and job earnings in excess of demonstrated need.
If your need increases, your package might be increased if funds are available. If your need decreases, a corresponding decrease in your package will be calculated. Items such as number in college and estimated reductions in current year income will be verified midyear and might cause changes to your aid package.
In general, to be eligible for Title IV (Federal financial aid authorized under Title IV per the Higher Education Act of 1965) student financial aid you must:
- be enrolled or be accepted for enrollment in a degree-seeking program leading to a recognized educational credential.
- not be enrolled in elementary or secondary school.
- have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- be a citizen, national, permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen.
- maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- not be in default on Perkins, Federal Loans for students or Federal PLUS Loans at any institution.
- not owe a repayment of Pell, SEOG or SSIG at any institution.
- be registered. If required, register with the Selective Service.
- have determination of eligibility or ineligibility for Pell Grant.
- not have borrowed in excess of loan limits.
- have need, as defined by individual program requirements.
- meet any other program-specific criteria.
ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS — Presidential, Founders (formerly Provost), Dean’s
These scholarships are awarded to first-year students on the basis of high school academic achievements and test scores. Students awarded Elizabethtown College Scholarships must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average in order to be eligible for renewal of the scholarships. These scholarships are not transferable to the summer sessions and are available for only eight semesters (10 semesters for 4+1 Master's Degree students). This money is an outright scholarship to the student and does not have to be repaid. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill. Amounts retain their original values all four years. No increases are given.
MUSIC PERFORMANCE SCHOLARSHIPS
These scholarships are awarded to first-year and transfer students who are outstanding performing musicians and who meet the challenges of Elizabethtown’s academic environment. Scholarships are open to music and nonmusic majors. Awards range in value up to $4,000 annually and are renewable for four years.
Scholarship recipients must participate in a College music ensemble identified by the College and take private music lessons for credit in their primary performing areas to maintain their scholarships. Students must receive “pass” grades in the ensembles and no less than “B-” in the lessons to remain eligible for the scholarship.
These grants are available to students who demonstrate financial need. A student must apply annually to be considered for this grant. This money is an outright award to the student and does not have to be repaid. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill. The receipt of additional merit awards or outside scholarships may impact this amount. The Trustee grant may be swapped dollar for dollar for a named endowed scholarship.
Mosaic Award winners have a demonstrated commitment to valuing and fostering the diversity reflected in their community and in the bigger world beyond. They have sought opportunities to both seek and provide perspective in conversations and activity related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, gender, gender identity and expression, age, and national origin. These awards are valued up to $5,000. Elizabethtown expects Mosaic Award winners to continue to contribute in similar ways during their time on campus. All accepted students are considered for the Mosaic Award. Find more information about the Mosaic Award on the Admissions office website.
CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN SCHOLARSHIP
These awards are available to students who are active members of the Church of the Brethren when they are admitted to the College. This money is an outright award to the student and does not have to be repaid. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill.
The Stamps Scholars Program recognizes and rewards exceptional students who exemplify leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, overcoming obstacles and innovation. Stamps Scholars receive an award meeting 100% of the total cost of tuition plus access to a $6,000 enrichment fund which can be used for study abroad, internship support, community/civic engagement opportunities and other qualified educational activities. This prestigious scholarship is renewable for up to eight semesters. Students must apply to Elizabethtown College by February 1 to be eligible for this scholarship; interviews are encouraged. Find more information about the Stamps Scholarship on the Admissions office website.
At Elizabethtown College, relationships are important. Relationships that develop between students, faculty, staff, and alumni are a large part of what makes the College distinct. Elizabethtown recognizes the relationship legacy students have with our community by awarding $2,000 Legacy Scholarships to accepted students who are children or grandchildren of Elizabethtown alumni.
The $1,000 Sibling scholarship is available for current Elizabethtown College students who have a sibling enrolled at Elizabethtown during the same academic year. This money is an outright award to the student and does not have to be repaid. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill.
Elizabethtown College offers dozens of endowed scholarships. Students applying for financial aid are automatically considered for these funds. Selection is based on a student’s match with a donor’s criteria. A named endowed scholarship does not change the total amount of financial aid awarded. Endowed scholarships are College resources provided by donors to support institutional grant funding awarded to students.
VETERAN'S BENEFITS AND INFORMATION
Elizabethtown College, in conjunction with the Veterans/Military Education State Approving Agency, manages veterans education benefits for students attending Elizabethtown College. Visit the Records and Registration website to find more information about the certifying officials and frequently asked questions.
J. WOOD PLATT SCHOLARSHIP
Available to students who have caddied for at least one season at one or more Member Clubs of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The selection of caddies to receive scholarship funds is made on an annual basis by the Trustees. The scholarship award range up to $10k each year depending on need and as long as the student continues caddying. The College provides a $1000 match to recipients of the scholarship.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE GRANT (PHEAA)
These funds are awarded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the basis of its financial need formula. PHEAA must have received your FAFSA results prior to May 1 to be eligible. The figure shown is only an estimate of your award. You will receive a confirmation notice from PHEAA. This is a grant that does not have to be repaid. PHEAA limits students to eight semesters of PHEAA Grant eligibility. Students with PHEAA Grants must advance a minimum of 24 credits per academic year in order to maintain eligibility. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill. Note: State grants received late reduce institutional need-based gift aid by 100 percent.
OTHER STATE SCHOLARSHIPS/GRANTS
These funds are awarded by your state on the basis of its financial need formula. The figure shown is only an estimate of your award. You will receive a confirmation notice from your state. This is a grant or scholarship that does not have to be repaid. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill. Note: State grants received after the deadline will reduce institutional need-based gift aid by 100 percent. This policy applies to all need-based state assistance regardless of the title of the program. For example, Delaware and others title their programs “scholarships” but are still need-based assistance programs.
FEDERAL PELL GRANT
These grants are funded by the federal government on the basis of its financial need formula. This grant does not have to be repaid. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill.
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG)
These grants are federally funded need-based awards granted through Elizabethtown College. These grants are given to students with extremely high financial need. This money is an outright grant to the student and does not have to be repaid. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill.
FEDERAL WORK-STUDY PROGRAM (FWS)
You are offered an opportunity to seek on-campus employment as part of your financial aid package. The amount indicated is the maximum you will be allowed to earn under the FWS Program during the academic year. Students are paid at least minimum wage for each hour of work completed. If your work award is $1,500, you would work approximately seven hours a week during the academic year to receive your full $1,500 at minimum wage per hour. Job interviews are conducted when students arrive on campus in the fall. Students may not use the FWS award as a credit against their bills. Rather, students may use these work earnings for books and spending money. Due to supply-and-demand changes, on-campus Work-Study jobs cannot be guaranteed. The FWS award, therefore, is not listed as a credit on the College bill. If on-campus employment is not obtained, the student may inquire with Career Services for off-campus employment opportunities.
FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN
This loan is federally funded and granted through Elizabethtown College to first-year or sophomore students who have high financial need. This loan is interest-free during college. Repayment begins nine months after the student leaves college. A 5-percent interest rate applies, with up to 10 years to repay the College at $40 per month minimum principal due. The College will mail first-time borrowers promissory notes and other required forms to be signed prior to the start of classes. This aid is listed as a credit on the College bill.
Tuition Exchange/Remission awards supersede institutional awards.
After receiving an official financial aid package from Elizabethtown College, a student might be the recipient of an outside scholarship, award or grant. Elizabethtown College policy states: Outside scholarships, awards or grants will first be applied to unmet need which includes need based self-help awarded. If the total outside scholarships, awards or grants exceed the unmet need, the College will reduce its institutional need-based gift aid (i.e Trustee) dollar for dollar. If the student has not received any need-based gift aid, this policy does not apply.
This policy allows the students to benefit from the outside scholarships and, at the same time, the College is able to maintain the parameters of its program. Merit-based scholarships (Presidential, Founders (Provost), Dean’s, Achievement Award) are not reduced by outside scholarships but could be reduced by receipt of VA benefits or tuition benefits.
Federal law requires that the Financial Aid Office must be notified in writing of any outside awards, including loans. A copy of the letter from the outside organization is preferable.
Important note: Outside loans also could have an impact on the financial aid package. Contingent upon the financial profile remaining the same, need-based gift aid will return to the original level of funding if outside scholarships are not renewed in subsequent years.
Campus employment consists of two programs: Federal Work-Study and campus jobs.
Federal Work-Study includes community service jobs and institutional employment. Priority for jobs is given to students with demonstrated need under the Federal Work-Study Program. All students are paid at least minimum wage per hour. Students are paid by direct deposit every other week.
All students are encouraged to complete employment forms upon entering college so that they are able to begin work at any time during their enrollment at Elizabethtown College. Students must complete an I–9, W–4, Direct Deposit Authorization form and Workers Compensation form before working on campus. These forms are available at Summer Orientation. Also, direct deposit through a bank is a condition of employment.
All students must interview for their jobs. Campus jobs are posted on the College’s Student Employment website. Employment is not guaranteed; however, students who are flexible and persistent usually are able to find work.
All supervisors and student employees are expected to follow the College’s Employment Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which is available on the Student Employment website. Failure to meet supervisor expectations may lead to dismissal of the student from the job. If a serious infraction of campus regulations is involved, the student may not be permitted campus employment for a designated period of time.
Study Abroad/Affiliated Programs
Check with the Financial Aid Office to verify that a program you are considering is an “affiliated” program. Visit Elizabethtown College's Study Abroad website to find more information about affiliated programs and scholarship opportunities for study abroad.
Students enrolling in a study abroad program must be enrolled in an affiliated program with Elizabethtown College in order to receive federal, state and institutional financial aid. Institutional financial aid is limited to the cost of attendance for a full-time resident at Elizabethtown College.
A consortium agreement is required between Elizabethtown College and the host school. Credits transferred into Elizabethtown College from study-abroad programs do not affect the student’s GPA.
Credits transferred back to Elizabethtown College often come in late, impacting academic progress and loan level eligibility. For Federal/State aid purposes we can’t assume credits until they are officially posted.
Billing Information for Affiliated Study Abroad Programs
BCA Study Abroad, CISabroad, IFE, International Studies Abroad, Kansai Gaidai, KCP International, Nihon University, and Sol Education Abroad
Northumbria University and Queen’s University
Borrowing a loan to pay for room and board?
- Elizabethtown will not automatically forward payment to the study abroad provider for your room and board. A refund request and a copy of the provider’s room and board invoice must be submitted to the Business Office.
- Payment cannot be issued to the provider until the loan funds are received, after the semester begins at Elizabethtown.
- Contact your provider to obtain necessary forms to extend the due date for your room and board payment. Typically, the Financial Aid Office will need to complete the form to confirm the amount of any available credit to pay for room and board.
- The provider may require you to pay a room and board deposit.
Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)*
As part of your financial aid package, Elizabethtown College recommends Federal Direct Loans for students. All students who wish to use Federal Direct Loans must file a FAFSA to determine eligibility.
The maximum Federal Direct Loan limits are set by the U.S. Department of Education. Dependent undergraduate students may borrow: $5,500 for first-year, $6,500 for sophomores and $7,500 for juniors and seniors. Grade level is determined by successful completion of credits. Students who demonstrate financial need, as determined by federal regulations, might qualify for a portion of their Federal Direct Loan to be subsidized.
In addition to the amounts listed, above, dependent undergraduate students, whose parents are denied a Federal Direct PLUS loan, and independent undergraduate students may borrow an additional $4,000 a year for their first and sophomore years and $5,000 a year for their junior and senior years in the unsubsidized loan program.
All Federal Direct Loan funds will be multiple-disbursed via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and made payable to the school. Disbursements are scheduled for the end of the first week of classes in each semester. Interest on the unsubsidized portion of the loans will begin to accrue from the date of disbursement. Subsidized loans will begin to accrue interest when the student drops below half-time status. Interest rates are determined each July for new loans being made for the upcoming award year. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Fees of approximately 1 percent will be deducted from the gross amount of the loan. This aid will be listed as a credit on the College bill.
Click here for current information on student loan interest rates and fees.
Repayment on Federal Direct Loans will begin six months after the student drops below half-time status. Further information, including sample loan repayment schedules, can be obtained at www.studentloans.gov.
Federal Loan Requirements
First-time borrowers of Federal Direct Loans and Perkins Loans are required to complete online entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Instructions for completing both of these processes will be sent to deposited students in May.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for which the U.S. Department of Education is the lender. The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance less any financial aid. Students whose parents are denied a Federal Direct PLUS Loan can borrow an additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan.
Parents must complete a separate application for this loan. All students whose parents apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan are required to file a FAFSA. Under this program, eligible parents may borrow up to the cost of education minus other aid. Repayment can be deferred until six months after the student graduates.*
There is no in-school federal interest subsidy on these loans. The interest rate is determined each June for new loans being made for the upcoming award year. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Federal Direct PLUS Loans are multiple disbursed and payable directly to the school via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Disbursements are scheduled for the end of the first week of classes each semester.
Click here for current information on PLUS loan interest rates and fees.
*Please contact your student loan lender to request an in-school loan deferment.
Private Education Loans
After taking into account the Monthly Payment Plan and Federal Direct Student Loan, students and parents might find there is need for additional financing. Two main sources to consider are the Federal Direct PLUS Loan and/or private education loans.
A private education loan is offered through a bank or another lending institution. For those families who choose to borrow a private education loan, keep in mind that it is usually beneficial to obtain a coborrower. Having a creditworthy coborrower can significantly reduce the rates and fees for most borrowers.
If, after completing and submitting the required financial aid forms, the family suffers a drastic change of income, please submit the Professional Judgment form and contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions. A drastic change of income is defined as unemployment of the major wage earner for a period of 10 weeks or more, divorce or separation, death of the major wage earner, permanent retirement of the major wage earner, permanent or total disability of the major wage earner or natural disaster such as fire or flood. In such cases, financial aid awards might be based upon new, estimated data. This is only possible upon the availability of funds.
Billing and Financial Aid Guidelines
- Costs for the academic year are equally divided between the fall and spring semesters.
- Bills for the fall semester will be mailed by July, and payment will be due August 1.
- Bills for the spring semester will be mailed in early December and payment will be due January 1.
- Elizabethtown College scholarships and grants, Federal grants, PHEAA grants and other state grants, as well as Perkins and Federal Direct Loans for students, will appear on the bill as a credit (half of the award per semester).
- All other financial aid might not appear on the bill. We ask that you refer to your latest Financial Aid Award Letter and subtract half of each type of financial aid received, with the exception of Federal Work-Study, from the amount due on your bill. Remit the difference by the due date.
- Private Outside Scholarships/Loans—Find out from the source of your private outside scholarships if the amount will be split between two semesters or paid to the College all at once. Deduct the proper amount from the amount due on your invoice. Send the Financial Aid Office a copy of your outside scholarship letter. (See Outside Scholarships on this page for details.)
- Monthly Payment Plan—Contact the Business Office regarding the details of the College’s payment plan option. Deduct the proper amounts from the amount due on your bill. Once you have established your total contract amount for the year, you can deduct half of the total contract from the amount due on your tuition bill for each semester.
- Any student who has not paid his or her bill by the due date is assessed a late fee by the Business Office. The late fee will not be charged if arrangements have been made for deferral of an amount anticipated from a governmental or outside source. Any student whose payment arrangements are not complete before validation/check-in is not permitted to register.
- Financial aid for current or future semesters cannot be used to pay past semester debts.
Students applying for financial aid have the right to:
- apply for all funds.
- review their financial aid file.
- accept or decline any aid offered.
- appeal cancellation of financial aid.
- review the rules, regulations manuals and policies pertaining to financial aid.
- make an appointment to meet with a member of the Financial Aid Office.
- know what financial aid programs are available at Elizabethtown College.
- know the deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial aid programs.
- know how financial aid is distributed, how decisions on that distribution are made and the basis for these decisions.
- know how their financial aid was determined—this includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses, etc., are considered in their budget.
- know what resources (such as parental and student contributions) are considered in the calculation of financial need.
- know how much of their financial need has been met.
- apply for supplemental financing in a timely manner after aid has been determined.
- request an explanation of the various programs in their financial aid package.
- know the College’s refund policy.
- know what portion of the financial aid they receive must be repaid and what portion is gift aid—if the aid is a loan, they have the right to know the rate of interest, the total amount that must be repaid, the length of time for repayment, and when repayment begins.
- know how the College determines whether they are making satisfactory academic progress and what happens if they are not.
Students receiving financial aid must assume responsibility for maintaining their aid from semester to semester. If the following criteria are not met, financial aid will be cancelled. Students must:
- complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time to the proper office or agency.
- provide correct information—in most instances, deliberately misreporting information on a financial aid application is a violation of law and may be considered a criminal offense which may result in indictment under the U.S. Criminal Code.
- return all additional documentation, verification, corrections and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which they submitted their application.
- be responsible for reading and understanding all forms they are asked to sign and for keeping copies of all financial forms.
- accept responsibility for all signed agreements.
- be aware that if they are convicted of a drug-related offense, they may lose eligibility for federal student aid and they may be liable for returning any financial aid received during a prior period of ineligibility.
- perform the work that is agreed upon in accepting a College employment assignment.
- maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- notify the Financial Aid Office when family financial circumstances change.
- be aware of the College’s refund policy.
- notify the College’s Counseling Services office when withdrawing from the College and complete an exit interview with a Financial Aid counselor.
- submit a written request to the Financial Aid Office if they wish to review their financial aid file.
Adjustments and Cancellations
The Financial Aid Office is responsible for administering all financial aid funds in accordance with Federal and State regulations and institutional policies. Therefore, we reserve the right to review and, if circumstances warrant, adjust or cancel awards at any time during the year. A student aid offer, an accepted award or a portion of such may be voided for any or a combination of any of the following reasons:
- Falsification of information on financial aid documents.
- Failure to fulfill the satisfactory academic progress requirements.
- Failure to enroll or remain in attendance.
- Failure to report changes in financial resources or other circumstances affecting the calculation of the financial aid award.
- Use of financial aid for expenses that are not educationally related.
- Failure to sign required documents (statement of educational purpose, promissory note, etc.).
- Changes in program guidelines after financial aid has been offered.
- Unexpected cutbacks in funding levels.
- Verification of sibling enrollment or reduced income that changes financial need from initial time of application.
- Students continue to be eligible for financial aid in subsequent semesters as long as they meet program requirements, demonstrate financial need, and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- A student’s financial aid award might change in value and form from year to year, depending upon changes in the family circumstances and the availability of funds.
- Elizabethtown College reserves the right to make changes in the amount and type of a student’s financial aid at any time during a year in which the student receives additional, unanticipated assistance from an outside source, the number in college changes or the College receives information about current family income which varies from the income reported. Such changes are made to protect the equity of financial aid awards and to meet mandated federal program requirements and eligibility.
- A student who is or could be eligible to receive tuition remission/exchange benefits is ineligible for any other College-administered gift aid.
- Changes in a student’s housing status will change a student’s eligibility for need-based aid from the College.
- Late applications are considered only if funds are available.
- Refund Policy: If a student withdraws or changes credit hours or room and board status after the beginning of a semester, the student is obligated to pay for actual room and board charges for the semester. Tuition charges are refunded* on the following basis:
- First Week 75%
- Second Week through Third Week 50%
- Fourth Week 25%
- Beginning of Fifth Week No Refund
*Title IV recipients are refunded according to the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. The exact provisions of this policy are available in the Financial Aid Office or the Business Office upon student request. (Institutional aid upon withdrawal will be reduced by the same percentage as is refunded to the student.)
- Withdrawal from Elizabethtown College terminates any financial aid commitment the College has with a student.
- Students must reapply each year for all need-based financial aid. Aid is not automatically renewed.
If you feel that your financial aid is insufficient, or your special circumstances require an exception to financial aid policy, you may appeal your award in writing.
Financial Aid PoliciesThe primary responsibility for financing the student’s education rests with the student and the student’s family.
- The College holds, in strict confidence, all family financial information and considers any financial aid award to be a confidential matter between the College, the applicant and the family.
- The College does not release information concerning individual financial aid awards and considers it inappropriate for aid recipients to do so. Information regarding student rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is available from the Office of Registration and Records.
- Financial aid awards are made for one academic year and are divided equally between the fall and spring semesters.
- Merit-based aid is limited to eight semesters (10 semesters for 4+1 Master's Degree Programs). Institutional aid for subsequent semesters is solely based on demonstrated need.
- The College does not award institutional aid to a student who already holds a bachelor’s degree.
- A student must be enrolled on a full-time basis in the traditional daytime program (12–18 credit hours a semester) to be eligible for all institutional financial assistance. Students who enroll for less than 12 credit hours in a semester may still be eligible for funding from State and Federal programs.
Official College Communication Policy
Students and faculty and staff members in the residential/day program should expect to receive official Elizabethtown College communications through:
- College-issued email addresses
- College-issued campus mailboxes
Members of the campus community should check these modes of communication frequently for important information from the institution. On some occasions, communications may also be sent via U.S. mail to a permanent home address or a home telephone number via the information individuals provide annually to the College.
Definition of an Academic Year
At Elizabethtown College, an academic year requires a minimum of 30 weeks instructional time. A full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 credits during an academic year.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
The Financial Aid Office has established the following policies and procedures stated to fulfill the requirements expressed in the Higher Education Act (HEA) as revised effective July 1, 2011. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies and procedures of Elizabethtown College are reviewed when changes at the federal or institutional level require review to ensure compliance with Federal Regulations. All Elizabethtown College students applying for Title IV federal aid must meet the stated criteria regardless of whether or not they previously received aid.
The HEA revised section 668 contains updated regulations concerning Satisfactory Academic Progress. Section 668 requires that an institution establish, publish and apply reasonable standards for measuring a student’s ability to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
The federal programs governed by these regulations include Federal Pell Grant, FWS, SEOG, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, and Federal Direct PLUS.
SAP standards include the following:
Maximum Time Frame (MTF)is defined as the required length of time it will take a student to complete a degree program based on the appropriate enrollment status. Federal regulations allow a student to be eligible to receive federal aid up to 150 percent of the time that it would normally take to complete a degree. MTF is calculated for all aid applicants whether or not they previously received aid. All course credits in which a student enrolls or transfers to the College (including AP credits) are included in the MTF calculation, regardless of the number of degrees a student chooses to obtain. All hours are considered when determining the MTF calculation for a degree. Grades that are considered course credit hours attempted and completed in the calculation of maximum time frame include: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, I, P, NP, TR, W, WF. Proper withdrawal from classes or a class during the “withdraw-without-record” period will not affect maximum time frame.
For a student, 150 percent of the course credit hours that it would normally take to complete a baccalaureate degree is 187.5 course credit hours. This is determined by multiplying 125 course credit hours by 150 percent. For a student seeking a degree, the student may remain eligible through 187.5 course credit hours of enrollment. If the 187.5 course credit hours maximum time frame limit is exceeded while pursuing a degree a student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid. (For an associate degree, the 150 percent is 96 course credit hours or 64 credits x 150 percent.)
The Minimum Completion Percentage (MCP) is the percentage of coursework that a student must earn during enrollment. This component requires Elizabethtown College students to earn passing grades in at least 67 percent of their cumulative course credit hours attempted. Day students must properly withdraw from a class prior to the end of the fourth week of classes for that class to not be considered in calculation of the minimum completion percentage.
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) Students must satisfy the qualitative portion of Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations by maintaining the minimum cumulative grade point average accepted as described below.
- 1.7 after up to 18 credits have been completed but before 19 credits have been completed
- 1.9 after 19 credits have been completed but before 35 credits have been completed
- 2.0 between the time that 35 credits have been completed and the student graduates
Proper withdrawal from day classes during the first four weeks of a term will not affect the cumulative GPA. Incomplete courses do not earn credit or influence the GPA in the semester in which the course is incomplete; however, they are counted once they are completed.
Basic Requirement: Federal regulations require students applying for or receiving federal financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree. These standards are applied to Elizabethtown College institutional aid recipients as well. To measure progress, the Financial Aid Office evaluates a student’s academic record at the completion of each semester, reviewing both the quantitative (the maximum time frame and completion rate) and qualitative (cumulative grade point average) as a student pursues his or her degree. Failure to meet these standards will result in the suspension of financial aid eligibility, which may include federal, state and institutional aid.
Repeated Coursework: Students may repeat a previously passed course one time and maintain financial eligibility, assuming all other academic progress requirements have been met. Repeated course work counts toward the 150 percent completion time frame.
Consequences of not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress
The following statuses refer to Financial Aid Warning and Suspension, not academic probation.
Financial Aid Warning:
The first time a student fails to meet the SAP standards as defined in this handbook, the student will be placed on financial aid warning. The student will remain eligible for financial aid during the warning period.
Financial Aid Suspension:
If, after being placed on financial aid warning status, the student fails to maintain the SAP standards as defined in this handbook, the student will be placed in a suspension status and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.
Maximum Time Frame Suspension:
If the student fails to meet the maximum time frame standards as defined in this handbook, the student will be placed in a suspension status and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.
Credit hours attempted during the summer semester will be included in the calculation of SAP standards just as any other period of enrollment. If a student is in a warning status after the spring semester, then the summer will count as the warning period and the student will lose eligibility for the fall semester if standards are not met by the end of the summer term.
Returning Students (including those on approved Leave of Absence [LOA] or Medical LOA):
Returning students are evaluated on a continuing basis from acceptance (if out for more than a year) or enrollment. If SAP standards have not been met, as detailed in this handbook, the student may be placed on warning (first SAP violation) or suspension (subsequent violation). Students on suspension may appeal and must follow the appeal process provided to them at the time of their financial aid suspension.
Study Abroad Semester:
The study abroad credits attempted will be counted when determining the minimum completion percentage for SAP evaluation. If the College does not receive the transcript from the student’s semester abroad, the student will be put on financial aid warning for the term, unless evaluation of the student’s completion rate determines SAP ineligibility. If the transcript is not received after the warning period or the student failed to meet SAP requirements upon receipt and evaluation of their transcript, they will be placed on financial aid suspension until SAP requirements are met.
Reinstatement of Eligibility:
Financial aid eligibility may be reinstated when a student has removed all SAP deficiencies acquired during all periods of enrollment or caused by transfer credits and their federal financial aid eligibility for academic reasons is restored. Reinstatement is not a status granted in regard to an appeal. Students who regain eligibility by completing required coursework must notify the Financial Aid Office in order to have their progress reevaluated and financial aid reinstated. After eligibility has been established, any aid will depend upon the availability of funds and other aid eligibility criteria.
What is Verification?
Verification is the federal process that requires the institution to check the accuracy of the information a student and/or a student’s parents have given when applying for federal financial aid. Information is verified by securing additional documentation, or in some cases, a signed statement attesting to the accuracy of the information provided.
What Information is Verified?
There are a number of items that must be verified. For a dependent student, these items must be verified for the student and parents. For an independent student, they must be verified for the student and spouse. The Institution is required to verify the information that you supplied to the IRS (tax returns) to that of your FAFSA, along with additional information about your household and income or expenses not captured on a federal tax return. In addition, conflicting information in a student’s file must always be resolved.
Who is Selected?
A certain number of Free Applications for Federal Student Aid are selected for verification by the federal government. The selection criteria are established by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, the College can (and does) select students for verification.
What documentation is needed?
If a student’s application is selected for verification, the school the student plans to attend is required to collect certain documentation in order to verify the accuracy of the student’s application. The Financial Aid Office will contact you with instructions on what documents are needed and how to obtain them.
What is the deadline for verification?
Students will be notified in writing of their deadline to submit verification documents. Students should submit verification documents as soon as requested.
What happens when verification is complete?
Receipt of a final financial aid Award Letter constitutes notification to the student that verification has been completed. If, for some reason, an award was sent prior to verification, a revised award will be sent if the award changes due to verification. If the amount of the revised award is less than the original award and the student is now ineligible for aid that was disbursed, the student will be responsible for repaying the amount of the overpayment. The student will also be responsible for repaying the amount of any aid disbursed if he or she fails to complete the verification process.
When you file your FAFSA, you will be answering questions to determine your status as an independent student. For federal purposes you will be considered independent because you are a graduate student. The FAFSA instructions will then tell you that you do not need to report parent income and asset information on the FAFSA. While this is true for federal purposes, Elizabethtown College is still collecting your parent’s information in order to determine your eligibility for institutional funding. Please complete the parent section of the FAFSA, regardless of the instructions on the FAFSA itself. The federal government will still consider you an independent student, but Elizabethtown College will also have the information that we need in order to determine your eligibility for institutional funding.
Types of Financial Aid for Fifth Year 4+1 Master's Degree Students:
Elizabethtown College Merit Based Aid – Presidential, Provost (currently Founder's), and Dean’s Scholarships and Achievement Awards may continue for the master’s year (fifth year) of the program. The scholarship award amount does not change over the five years and is contingent upon maintaining good academic and social standing.
Elizabethtown College Need Based Aid – Trustee Grants and other need-based grants awarded by the College may continue for the master’s year (fifth year) contingent upon demonstrating financial need. Financial need is determined by using Elizabethtown College’s Institutional Methodology as a dependent student. You follow the same process of applying for financial aid as you have done in the past and continue to include parental information.
PHEAA Grant or other state grant programs – PHEAA and most state grant programs do not permit grants to be awarded to students for the master’s year (fifth year).
Federal Pell and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) – The federal government does not permit these grants to be awarded to students for the master’s year (fifth year).
Federal Work Study – Students may be employed under the Federal Work Study program for the master’s year (fifth year).
Federal Direct Stafford Loan – As a Master’s Degree student you will be considered independent for federal financial aid. This entitles you to $20,500 in Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan for the year.
PLUS Loans – Parents are not federally permitted to borrow for their students. Due to this regulation the federal government allows a student to borrow at an increased level through the federal student loan program. Also, graduate students are eligible to borrow Grad PLUS Loans.
Alternative Loans – Private education loans can be borrowed for the master’s year (fifth year). It is to the student’s advantage to apply with a co-borrower because the co-borrower’s credit determines the interest rate and fees for the loan and having a co-borrower will usually decrease the interest rate and fees.
Loan Repayment / Deferment / Forbearance – Student loans typically enter repayment six months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. The interim six months is referred to as a student’s “grace period.” Students who are no longer enrolled in classes at the college, but are completing fieldwork that is a requirement to receive a degree, find themselves in this six-month “grace period” and then in repayment. These students may be eligible to have their payments deferred or to make interest-only payments in forbearance during this time. Students who are completing field work and NOT pursuing the fifth year option will need to contact their loan servicers to determine eligibility for deferment or forbearance options. Students who are continuing on in the master’s year (fifth year) will not have this concern at the present time.