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Financial Aid FAQ

Award Letters

  • What is an award letter?

    An award letter is a list of all the aid a student could potentially receive, and provides instructions or links to information that explains what you must do to check eligibility for the individual types of aid. Changes can occur regularly, so students should check their ASIST account often.

  • What do I do with it?

    Students should look at each item listed on the award letter and follow instructions listed to do to secure the funds the student would like to receive.

  • Are the "offers" guaranteed funds?

    None of the amounts are guaranteed. They are calculated based on the information from the FAFSA. If any of the information changes (grade level, Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress, etc.), students should expect a new award letter that reflects changes in eligibility.

    Some items on the award letter require additional action, such as filling out an application for a scholarship.

  • Can I see this information online?

    Yes, log into ASIST to see the current award letter.

Budgets

Disbursements and Refunds

  • Are my "disbursement" and my "refund" the same thing?

    No. A disbursement is once the funds are sent from the lender to Liberty University.  Please see the definitions for disbursement and refund in the Glossary of Terms.  Also, students can review the "How Disbursements Work" webpage for more details. 

    A refund is sent to Higher One if a credit exists after all charges have been paid on the student's account.  Please visit the Student Accounts refund homepage for more information.

  • How do I know when my aid will disburse?

    ASIST will show a projected disbursement date for all federal loans.  These are not guaranteed dates since many accounts are at different stages in the financial aid process.

  • What if I decide I don't want the loans?

    Students can complete a Loan Change Request Form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office if the request is submitted prior to 14 days after the disbursement is on the student's account at Liberty.  After the aid has been on the student's Liberty account or refunded more than 14 days, it is the student's responsibility to return any unwanted loan aid.

FAFSA

  • What is it?

    FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and can be completed easily on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  The application is maintained by the U.S. Department of Education and will evaluate each family's ability to help in paying for educational costs and determine federal aid eligibility.  Students must complete a FAFSA annually prior to being eligible for any federal or institutional aid.

  • How do I apply?

    The fastest and easiest way to apply is online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool online to make filling out the FAFSA easier, faster, and more accurate.  Be sure to have your tax information and PIN number accessible.

  • What is a PIN?

    A PIN is a personal identification number that serves as a legal electronic signature and should only be used by the specific individual. Parents of dependent students will need a PIN number as well to sign the FAFSA electronically.  To secure a PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov.

  • What is involved in the application process?

    Students will sign-in with some personal information, including their PIN, on www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Follow the steps to fill out basic demographic information, and then submit financial information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or from the previous year's taxes and W2s.  Add Liberty's school code (010392).  Once this is completed, submit the form by signing with the PIN.  The FAFSA will be sent to Liberty University automatically.  For more information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, visit this link.

  • Can anyone other than my parents fill out the FAFSA with me?

    No. Grandparents, foster parents and legal guardians are not considered parents on this form unless they have legally adopted the student.

  • Whose information should I use if my parents are divorced?

    The U.S. Department of Education provides information in assisting with special family situations at www.fafsa.ed.gov

  • How long does it take to process?

    The Financial Aid Office processes FAFSAs daily, year-round.  New FAFSAs arrive at Liberty electronically approximately one to two weeks after they have been completed.

  • What is the difference between a dependent student and an independent student?

    The dependent and independent categories are defined by the U.S. Department of Education and influence aid and eligibility amounts.  Check out this helpful link from the U.S. Department of Education. 

  • What is an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) Reject?

    An ISIR Reject is a FAFSA application that the U.S. Department of Education considers incomplete or incorrect. Common reject reasons:

    • Name on the ISIR does not match the social security number (SSN)
    • Missing signature/s (PIN for students and/or parent missing)
    • If the social security number (SSN) is incorrect
  • What is a Comment Code (C-Code)?

    A C-Code reflects there is an issue with a student's FAFSA data. Some C-Codes can be solved by students correcting basic FAFSA questions. Other C-Codes require the student to send documentation to Liberty. Common C-Codes relate to citizenship, Selective Service Registration, aggregate loan issues, etc. The necessary documents requested will display on ASIST.

FERPA

Financial Check-In

  • What is it?

    It is a process during which the student commits to attending Liberty University by entering into a financial agreement.  Visit Student Account's Financial Check-In page for more information. 

  • Why do I need to complete it?

    Committing to coming reserves your spot at Liberty, reserves your spot in the classes you registered for, and, subsequently, lets you submit housing and meal-plan choices for resident students. For Liberty University Online students, completing Financial Check-In by the deadline will ensure you maintain your registered schedule each term.

  • Where do I go to complete it?

    You can select the Financial Check-In link, or log into your ASIST account and select Financial Check-In.

Grants

  • What grants are available?

    The U.S. Department of Education offers various grants to assist students in paying for a post-secondary education. All students must have a complete FAFSA on file to be considered for federal grants and once Liberty receives the FAFSA, eligibility will be assessed.  Liberty University also processes state grants, which are noted below.  Details on each of these can be reviewed here.

    • Federal Pell
    • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
    • Federal TEACH Grant
    • Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG)
    • Liberty Supplemental Grant
    • Liberty Undergraduate Scholars Grant
    • Liberty Graduate Scholars Grant
    • Virginia Two Year College Transfer Grant (CTG)
    • Virginia Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship
  • What are the criteria for the Liberty Supplemental Grant and offered amounts?

    • Students must use their full Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan
    • The award is offered based on a student’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the FAFSA
    • The award remains at the same initial amount each year and is based on the first year’s EFC, regardless of future EFCs
    Award Qualifying EFC Range Dollar Amount per Academic Year
    Supplemental 2 0-1,000 $1,500
    Supplemental 3 1,001-2,500 $1,000
    Supplemental 4 2,501-6,000 $500

Loans

Note: It is in the best interest of every student to borrow as little as absolutely necessary.  All loans must be repaid and generally will have interest as well.  For additional tools for smart borrowing, visit this link.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Scholarships

Verification

  • What is it?

    Verification is a process in which the U.S. Department of Education has each selected student confirm the information submitted on the FAFSA with Liberty University.  Approximately 30-percent of all students who complete the FAFSA are federally selected for Verification. 

  • What do I have to do?

    Students selected for Verification should submit signed copies of each document requested from Financial Aid, including a signed and completed Independent or Dependent Verification Form.  Students can check the status of sent documents in ASIST as well. 

  • What if I don’t want to complete Verification?

    Verification must be completed to receive any federal or institutional aid.  Students not completing Verification are not eligible for federal or institutional aid.

  • What if I did not file taxes?

    Students who did not file taxes must submit a signed statement confirming they did not file.  A signed and completed Independent or Dependent Verification Form is acceptable documentation for non-filers.

  • How can I check the status of my Verification?

    Once all requested documentation is showing as received, the account will be reviewed.  Students should check ASIST and their email account to verify the status of Verification.

Withdrawal/Drop Policy

  • What is a complete withdrawal?

    A complete withdrawal is when a student ceases attendance from all enrolled courses after attending the courses.  

  • What is a partial withdrawal?

    A partial withdrawal is when a student ceases attendance from one or more, but not all, of the courses enrolled during any term after attending the course/s.

  • How can a withdrawal affect my financial aid?

    Courses from which a student ceases attendance or receives a grade of incomplete will not be considered as satisfactorily completed. The courses, which will be considered courses attempted but not completed, may negatively affect eligibility for the next term. Additionally, they will factor into the measurement for the maximum time frame in financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations.

  • What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?

    For Financial Aid purposes, students can only drop a course prior to the course beginning.  Once the course has begun, the change would be considered a withdrawal.

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