Undergraduate Catalog 2009-2011

FINANCIAL AID SERVICES

Richard Bishop, Director
Memorial Hall, Room 103
Phone: 860-832-2200
Fax: 860-832-1105
Website: www.ccsu.edu/finaid
 

What Is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is to assist students in paying for their college education. Financial aid funds come from federal and state governments, CCSU, and other agencies and organizations.

Financial aid consists of these types of funding:

  • Grants--funds made available by the federal and state governments, and the institutions.
  • Scholarships--funds awarded to students, based on merit, either by the institution or outside private donors.
  • Loans--funds made available to borrowers, either student or parent, by the federal government and private lenders.
  • Work Study--funds awarded to students for on-campus employment.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Aid?

A student must meet the following basic requirements to be eligible for financial aid:

  • Have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen;
  • Be formally accepted (matriculated) by the institution's admissions office;
  • Be enrolled each semester for a minimum of six (6) credit hours;
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress at the institution; and
  • Not be in default on a federal loan or owe a refund on a federal grant for attendance at any institution.

How Do I Apply for Aid?

All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov to determine a student's and family's ability to pay for the educational costs.

In order to complete the FAFSA both the student and parent need to go online at www.pin.ed.gov and each request a Personal Identification Number (PIN). A PIN enables the student and parent to access and electronically sign the FAFSA.

CCSU's Federal ID code--001378--must be included on the FAFSA in order for it to be sent to the CCSU Financial Aid office.

If a student is married, a graduate student, a veteran, supporting a child or other dependent, or a ward of the court, he or she is not required to enter the parents' data on the FAFSA. However, if the student is married, the spouse's data must be included.

What about Deadlines?

A student may file or renew a FAFSA from January 1 to October 1 for the fall semester; February 15 for the spring semester; and June 1 for the summer term and academic year.

However, the CCSU Financial Aid office posts two priority processing deadlines:

   March 1--for all new, incoming first-year and transfer students.

   April 15--for all continuing CCSU students.

These deadlines enable the Financial Aid office to make full consideration of each student's eligible need and allow the student to make basic decisions with regard to financing his or her college education.

If the student does not meet the posted priority processing deadline, certain financial aid funds, including institutional and SEOG grants, work study, and Perkins loans, will not be available to award to the student.

Is the FAFSA Difficult to Complete?

The FAFSA requests demographic and financial information about the student and parent (and spouse when applicable). From the FAFSA website homepage a student may download and fill out a FAFSA worksheet, which is a template of the on-line application.

Answer all questions, including all optional information; failure to do so may cause delays in processing. Students do not have to be formally admitted to CCSU to file the FAFSA. If a student has not filed a federal income tax return, enter estimates and then make corrections when it is filed.

If students or their families have unusual circumstances, such as loss of employment, they should complete the FAFSA and contact the Financial Aid office for further instruction.

A student will receive notification by email or by letter that his or her FAFSA has been processed. If notification has not been received, call 800-433-3243 to learn why.

Upon notification, a student should access his or her FAFSA and download a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR), which includes a summary of data entered and lists areas that need further attention or correction.

When Is the Aid Awarded?

The student will be sent a letter listing the aid awarded and an instruction sheet telling how to electronically accept and sign the aid award in the student's Pipeline account. If the student has not completed all of the requirements outlined by letter from the Financial Aid office, the aid award will not be processed. Award letters will be sent in about three to four weeks to students who have met the respective priority processing deadlines. If the aid is not electronically accepted and signed within 15 days following the date of the award letter, all aid may be cancelled.

The financial award is normally awarded for a full academic year--fall and spring semesters on a full-time basis, but, only one-half of the aid may be used per semester.

A student's eligible need is determined by subtracting the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) provided by the FAFSA from the Cost of Attendance (COA) budget created by the Financial Aid office.

Awarded and accepted aid is subject to change as circumstances may dictate, including changes in enrollment and residency status, receipt of other funds and in-kind support, and funding provided from other resources.

What Resources Are Available?

Financial aid to students comes in three basic forms--grants and scholarships, employment, and loans.

Grants and Scholarships

Federal Pell Grant--eligibility is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Only students who have not earned a bachelor's degree are eligible.

ACG and Smart Grants--the ACG grant is available only to incoming high school students. The Smart Grant is available only to students who have completed their sophomore year. Eligibility requirements are set by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Connecticut State University Grants and Connecticut Aid for Public College Student Grant Program--eligibility is based on financial need, and the amount of the grant is determined by the Financial Aid Office.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant--Eligibility is based on exceptional need and Pell Grant recipients have priority. Only students who have not earned a bachelor's degree are eligible.

Scholarships--for information, availability, and application deadlines, refer to the section on scholarships linked here.

Loans

Loans are available to students and parents in two categories--federal direct and alternative private signature loans. The Financial Aid office encourages students and parents to take full advantage of the federal direct loans because they are less expensive than alternative loans.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan--this loan may come in subsidized and unsubsidized components, based on student eligibility as determined by the FAFSA. It is a fixed interest rate loan with repayment to begin six months after the student leaves school. For the subsidized component, the government pays the accruing interest while the student is in school; for the unsubsidized component the student will be billed quarterly for the accruing interest while the student is in school.

Federal Perkins Loan--this loan is available to undergraduate students who demonstrate eligible need as determined by the FAFSA. The fixed interest rate is applied and repayment begins nine months after the student leaves school.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan--this fixed-rate interest loan is available to a dependent student's parent. The amount of the loan may not exceed the student's cost-of-attendance budget set by the Financial Aid office less all other awarded aid and resources. Repayment begins 60 days following the disbursement of the loan; normally the third week of the semester.

Additional Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan--this loan is available only for a dependent student whose parent has applied for a Parent PLUS loan and has been denied. The amount available increases each year according to the student's enrollment status. This fixed interest rate loan is not need-based and has the same repayment and interest billing requirements as the Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan.

Student Employment

Federal Work Study Program--this work program allows the student to find employment on campus and receive a paycheck every two weeks based on hours worked and the rate of pay. Eligibility is based on eligible need as determined by the FAFSA.

Student Campus Employment--many University departments will employ students who have not been awarded FWSP funds. Financial need is not a necessary requirement.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Academic progress is a requirement for all students receiving federal, state, or institutional aid. Specifically, financial aid recipients must meet a standard to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Students must be matriculated and must maintain that quality of academic performance required to remain a matriculated undergraduate or graduate student in the University.

Academic progress towards graduation is measured on a yearly basis. Measurement is conducted at the close of the spring semester. An academic year runs from the beginning of the fall semester to the end of the spring semester. Deficiency with the quantitative and qualitative satisfactory academic progress guidelines will result in the denial of financial assistance. Applicants denied financial assistance because of inadequate satisfactory academic progress will be granted the option of appealing their aid denial. Appeals must be based on "special or unusual circumstances."

Student Aid Programs Affected

These guidelines apply to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Central Connecticut State University who have been awarded federal, state, and/or institutional aid. Student aid programs include the following:

   Federal Pell Grant (PELL)

   Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

   Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP)

   Federal Perkins Loan (PERK)

   Federal Parent Loan (PLUS)

   Federal Direct PLUS Loan (PLUS)

   Connecticut State University Grant (CSUG)

   Connecticut Assistance for Public Colleges Grants (CAPS)

   Federal Stafford Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized) (FELP)

   Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized) (FDSL,FDUL)

   Federal ACG, SMART and TEACH Grants

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible for any financial aid, a student must complete 67% of all credit hours attempted and must maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average. In order to receive financial aid, a student must make satisfactory progress towards a degree regardless of whether the student had previously received aid.

Please consult this page for more information about maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

For information about Scholarships, please see this page.

 

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