Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 [Archived Catalog]

Financial Aid Information and Policies

Robert Ritz, B.S., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President of Student Financial Services


The Financial Aid Office administers the financial aid programs for the University and provides financial assistance to students who have a financial need and would otherwise be unable to attend Liberty University. Primarily the student is responsible for the cost of higher education. A student who needs financial assistance is expected to contribute by working or borrowing a reasonable portion of the funds needed for educational expenses.

Financial aid is available to eligible students to help meet education-related expenses. The types of financial aid available include grants, loans, scholarships, and employment. Grants and scholarships are “gift aid” and need not be repaid. Loans must be repaid to the lender over an extended period, typically after the student leaves school. Employment offered as a type of financial aid is paid at a pre-determined rate for work actually performed.

All applicants for financial aid are required to:

  1. Apply for admission to the University;
  2. Be degree candidates. Student auditors, dually enrolled high school students and special non-degree students are not eligible for federal financial aid; and
  3. Complete, electronically sign, and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the United States Department of Education (ED) by the priority deadline date of March 1 each year in which financial aid is desired.  Students are urged to apply early for optimum financial aid benefits. Complete the FAFSA on the web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. The school code for Liberty University must be entered on the FAFSA for the institution to receive a Student Aid Report. The school code for Liberty University is 010392. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA, when eligible.
    For new students entering in the Spring semester, the preferred date to file the FAFSA is by October 1.
  4. Complete verification when required.

Once the completed FAFSA is received by ED, information provided by the student on the FAFSA is used to produce a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR calculates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is used to determine the student’s financial need.

The student’s financial need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the EFC. The Cost of Attendance may include the educational expenses of:

  • Tuition;
  • Room and board (for students living on and off campus);
  • Required fees;
  • Books and supplies;
  • Transportation; and
  • Miscellaneous expenses.

The amounts for these six educational expenses are the student’s estimated Cost of Attendance at Liberty University, and they become the student’s budget for financial aid purposes. Only the actual tuition, fees, and room and board (for resident students living in campus housing) are provided on the student’s University bill.

Financial aid recipients are selected on the basis of demonstrated financial need (as stated earlier) and academic achievement. Each financial aid recipient is provided an Award Notification Letter, which is the University’s official offer of estimated financial aid. Students do not need to respond to the Award Notification Letter unless they are:

  • Requesting a decreased loan amount;
  • Declining the loans or other aid offered; or
  • Receiving additional financial aid.

Students who want to reduce or decline federal loans that are automatically awarded to eligible students can complete a Federal Direct Student Loan Change Form in ASIST.  In order for a Liberty University student to continue to receive Institutional or Federal financial aid, the student must maintain Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. The link to Liberty University’s policy for determining satisfactory academic progress is listed below.

For more information on financial aid, visit the Financial Aid Office, located in the Student Services Center at Green Hall or find us on the Internet web site at http://www.liberty.edu/financialaid.


Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

This policy describes the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and is in addition to and operates separately from the Academic Satisfactory Progress requirements for each academic program.

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/364.


Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy

When students cease attendance in all classes in a given semester, they will be subject to a proration of all federal, state, and institutional aid. This proration takes into account the total number of days that the student was enrolled.

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/368.


Financial Aid Repeat Policy

Federal regulations limit the amount of federal aid that can be used when repeating a course that has previously been passed with any grade higher than an “F”.

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/318.


Financial Aid Disbursement Policy

The process in which the school pays funds directly to the student's school account from either internal or external aid sources, which is different from a refund. Financial aid is disbursed 21 days following a student’s active half-time enrollment.

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/107.

Additional information regarding how disbursements work, including examples, can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=15247.


Consumer Information Statements

Liberty University, as permitted by federal regulation [34 CFR 668.41], electronically disseminates consumer information, including the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act information. Upon request, the institution will provide a free paper copy. Anyone signing or processing financial aid forms or seeking information or assistance at Liberty University must read, understand, and comply with the requirements disclosed

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/82.


Student Rights and Responsibilities

Information about a student’s rights and responsibilities regarding financial aid eligibility may be found in the Financial Aid Consumer Information Policy, which is published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/82.


Federal Title IV Student Aid Programs

ELIGIBILITY FOR FEDERAL AID
To receive federal aid, a student must:

  • Be a United States Citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans);
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate;
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program;
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant;
  • Have a valid Social Security Number;
  • Register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic FAFSASM 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;
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

FEDERAL TEACH GRANT SUMMARY
The Federal TEACH grant program is the first federal grant program that requires a service agreement and has the potential of converting to a loan.

The full policy and statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/88.

FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS
Federal Student Loans are low interest loans available to students who are enrolled at least halftime. Graduate students may be eligible for unsubsidized funds in which the student pays the interest. The student has the option to capitalize the interest (add it to the principal) while in school. Repayment begins six (6) months after students graduate, withdraw, break enrollment, or drop below half-time status. Additional information regarding the Federal Direct Student loans can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=20361 and http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=21466.

FEDERAL GRADUATE PLUS LOAN
A federal loan program, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is a lower interest, federally backed student loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Government. The Federal Grad PLUS Loan is a credit based loan, unlike the Federal Direct Student Loans and requires a student to be enrolled at least half-time.  Additionally, the Grad PLUS can cover educational expenses up to the cost of attendance, less other financial aid.  Additional information regarding the Federal Direct PLUS loans can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=20361 and http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=21466.

FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS)
The Federal Work Study program provides employment opportunities for students who have a demonstrated financial need based on the FAFSA. Students are paid on an hourly basis; pay will be at least the current federal minimum wage. The total amount of aid a student receives from both federal and non-federal sources cannot exceed financial need. The $4,000 Federal Work Study cannot be applied toward initial Financial Check-In. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/106.


Virginia Student Aid Programs

TUITION ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (VTAG)
Established in 1972, the Tuition Assistance Grant Program (VTAG) is designed to assist Virginia residents who attend accredited private, non-profit colleges and universities in Virginia for other than religious training or theological education. The VTAG is authorized in Chapter 4.1 Section 23-38.11 through 18 of the Code of Virginia as the Tuition Assistance Grant Act.

Applications must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office before the published annual deadline in order to be considered for the maximum award amount.  For the 2016-17 academic year, the maximum VTAG award amount is $3,200 for eligible undergraduate students and $1,600 for eligible graduate students. Additional information about VTAG can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=22326.

The General Scholarship Rule (GSR)
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/319.

For additional information about Liberty University institutional scholarships, please visit http://www.liberty.edu/financeadmin/financialaid/index.cfm?PID=298.

Appeal and Complaint Policies

Policies and processes for residential and online students who wish to file a complaint or appeal their financial aid awards are published online at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19260.

INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIP APPEAL PROCESS
A student may appeal the decision to cancel eligibility for a scholarship by sending a detailed, signed letter stating any mitigating circumstances to be considered.  The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/90.

FINANCIAL AID GENERAL APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/89.

VIRGINIA STATE GRANT APPEAL PROCESS
A formal appeal concerning the decision to deny approval for state grant eligibility may be filed by contacting the State Grants Coordinator in the Liberty University Financial Aid Office. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/109.  

FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN APPEAL PROCESS
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/351.

SUBMITTING COMPLAINTS OF FRAUD, WASTE, AND ABUSE TO THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Anyone suspecting fraud, waste or abuse involving United States Department of Education funds or programs should contact the Inspector General's Office. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/93.

ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP APPEAL
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/84.

CONTINUING EDUCATION (CE) APPEAL
Employees who are not eligible to receive a portion of their CE benefits (due to simultaneous coursework crossing the enrollment beginning or ending dates of a sub-term or due to the desire to take additional coursework that exceeds the 18 credit hour maximum per academic year requirement) may appeal the denial of their eligibility. The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/86.

STATE CONSUMER COMPLAINT CONTACT INFORMATION
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/92.

STUDENT COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCESS
The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory online at https://www.liberty.edu/administration/institutionaleffectiveness/index.cfm?PID=30130#/policy/352.



Highlighted text indicates a change from the official version of the catalog.