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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015 [Archived Catalog] [Archived Catalog]

PDF copy: Financial Aid Information and Policies.pdf

Financial Aid Information and Policies

Robert Ritz, B.S., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Vice President for Financial Aid and State Relations

The Financial Aid Office coordinates and administers the financial aid programs for the University. The Financial Aid Office provides financial assistance to students who have a financial need and who would otherwise be unable to attend Liberty University. The student and the student’s family are primarily 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. The student’s family, as applicable, is expected to make a maximum effort to assist in the payment of the expenses involved.

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 by March 1 of each year in which Federal Financial Aid is desired. Liberty University must be selected as an institution to receive a Student Aid Report. 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 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 the United States Department of Education, information provided by the student on the FAFSA is used to generate a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR indicates the amount of money the student and/or the student’s family is expected to contribute towards the student’s education. This is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and 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 includes the educational expenses of:

  1. Tuition;
  2. Room and board (for students living on and off campus);
  3. Required fees;
  4. Books and supplies;
  5. Transportation; and
  6. 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) are charged on the student’s University bill.

Financial aid recipients are selected on the basis of demonstrated financial need (as stated earlier) and academic achievement. Most financial aid awards are based on full time enrollment, which is a minimum of 12 semester hours for an undergraduate student. Please note that normally 15 hours per semester is required to complete a bachelor’s degree within four years. Each financial aid recipient is issued an Award Notification Letter, which is the University’s official estimate of financial aid. Award Notification Letters are emailed to the student’s Liberty email account. It is the student’s responsibility to review the award letter and notify the Financial Aid Office of any additional aid being received and of any desired reduction or cancellation of the aid offered.  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 financial aid, the student must maintain Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress. Liberty University’s policy for determining satisfactory academic progress is stated below.

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

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

The Financial Aid Office of Liberty University administers student financial aid programs from federal, state, and institutional sources.  The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to evaluate progress for all students, even those who did not receive financial aid in prior terms at Liberty University.

Students must meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to receive federal Title IV and institutional aid. The Virginia Commonwealth programs are administered under the guidelines from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

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 and department/division.

Evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress

The standards against which all students are measured include Qualitative, Quantitative, Maximum Time Frame, and “All Unearned Credits” standards.  The academic record of all students is reviewed when final grading is completed for each term. The review is cumulative and includes all courses taken at the student’s current academic level.  After the evaluation, letters will be sent to all students who have insufficient academic progress and are being placed on Financial Aid Warning or Suspension.

Qualitative Standard
Cumulative GPA is composed of all coursework at the current academic level and is calculated by the Registrar’s Office. Students must meet the minimum cumulative GPA as determined by their classification and program.

Student Classification Required Minimum
Cumulative GPA
for Program
Bachelors Programs  0 - 23.99 hours earned 1.50
Bachelors Programs  24 - 47.99 hours earned 1.65
Bachelors Programs  48 - 71.99 hours earned 1.85

All Diploma and Certificate Programs,

Associates Degree Programs,

Bachelors Programs: 72 plus hours earned

(except BS in Nursing)

B.S. in Nursing 2.50

Additional academic progress criteria may exist for certain financial aid programs.  For example, some private scholarships and Commonwealth of Virginia programs require a higher cumulative grade point average than those listed above.  Once a transfer student has grades for a payment period at Liberty University for coursework taken toward the eligible program, Liberty University will use the cumulative GPA calculated from those grades only. 

Quantitative Standard
In order to meet the quantitative standard students must complete 67% of attempted coursework at the current level.  Withdrawals, incompletes, repeated courses, failure grades, and transfer hours will count as attempted coursework.  Please note: completion rates are not rounded up to meet progress.  If a student has a completion rate of 66.666%, they are not meeting the minimum 67% federal requirement.

Maximum Time Frame
A student may not exceed a maximum number of attempted hours in any program even if aid was not received during that term or prior terms.  Once the student reaches the maximum timeframe allowed the student will be ineligible to receive financial aid.

Academic Program Maximum Number
of Attempted Hours
Bachelors Degree 180
Associates Degree (non-AVMT)
Willmington School of the Bible (Certificate – Th.G.)
Associates Degree
(Aviation Maintenance Technician (AVMT) only)
Certificate Programs (AVMN)
(Aviation Maintenance Technician)
Certificate Programs
(9-12 hours in length)
Certificate Programs
(15-19 hours in length)

All Unearned Credits
Students attempting at least half-time level credits who earn no credits for the term will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not be permitted to receive financial aid in their next term.

Grades that do not count as earned toward completion of the academic program:  Because some grades are NOT counted as earned credits toward the completion of a degree program, they are not counted as successfully completed credits toward the minimum financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards. Examples include, but are not limited to: AU, BU, CR, CU, F, FN, FW, I, IP, M, N, NP, U, W, WF, WP, WU, X, Z.

Break in Enrollment
When a student has a break in enrollment and is readmitted, the SAP status for prior terms will apply. For example, if a student is placed on financial aid suspension at the end of the Spring term, does not return in the Fall term, and is readmitted the next Spring term, the student will continue in a financial aid suspension status for that term.

Federally Defined Leaves of Absence (FLOA)
Liberty University does not grant federally defined Leaves of Absence for Financial Aid purposes.  Instead of utilizing a federally defined Leave of Absence, the University assists students by:

  • Making tutoring available
  • Allowing students to work with faculty to finish incomplete coursework
  • Allowing an official appeal of the Financial Aid Refund calculation based on unusual circumstances
  • Allowing students to “stop-out” for one or more semesters
  • Allowing students to drop courses with a “W” rather than an “F” during specific time-frames
  • Allowing students to submit a Special Considerations Form (even during the period of enrollment) to Reconsider the calculation of need-based financial aid eligibility
  • Allowing students to appeal a determination of insufficient satisfactory academic progress under the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements.

The “Federally Defined Leave of Absence” policy listed above is for student financial aid purposes only and does not address University policy for employees (i.e. FMLA regulations).

Terms/Parts-of-Term/Summer Sessions
A traditional semester is referred to as a standard term (e.g. Fall, Spring, and Summer).  Standard terms, as defined by Liberty University, are comprised of a combination of smaller “sub-terms” (e.g. sub-term B, sub-term C, etc.).  Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements are calculated based on the combined sub-terms as defined by Liberty University.  Intercession credits from classes occurring during approximately the final two weeks of December and/or the first two weeks of January will be added to the Spring Term.  Any other intensive courses will fall within a standard term (and be attributed to only that specific standard term).  Summer sub-terms, for the purpose of credit hour load and measurement of progress, are combined together into the Summer term.  The Summer term is considered a “trailer” at Liberty University.  This means that aid processed for the Summer term will be based on the FAFSA from the prior year. 

Delay or Changes with Future Aid
In some cases, the grades are submitted on dates close to or during the subsequent term. This will delay the SAP review process and may affect aid in subsequent terms for some students.  Students who are affected will see their financial aid satisfactory academic progress as “Waiting” status in ASIST until grades are submitted and SAP is reviewed.  

Withdrawals and Incompletes
Courses from which a student withdraws 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 and will factor into the measurement for the maximum time frame.

Repeated Courses
Repeated courses are considered in the maximum time frame requirement. The course/s will be considered as attempted each time the course is taken.  Repeating the same course during the same term is not allowed as this would inflate the student’s enrollment level requiring the elimination of related financial aid.  Additionally, a course that is repeated during the same term would cause an incorrect calculation of the completion rate (Quantitative Standard) listed above. In most cases, enrollment in a course that is repeated more than once cannot be counted toward enrollment for future financial aid eligibility.

Transfer Courses
Transfer courses are not considered in determining eligibility under the qualitative measure but are considered in the quantitative and maximum time frame measurements.  Transfer students are awarded as first-year students without regard to grade or warning status at the prior post-secondary institution. The Financial Aid SAP requirements would then be used to measure the transfer student’s continued status. Transfer credits must be evaluated and a grade-level established, and any Unusual Enrollment Holds (UEH) designations must be cleared before any educational loans are processed.

Consortium Agreements
The number of credits earned under an approved consortium agreement is integrated into the student’s record upon completion of the course. Note: Courses must first be approved for transfer by the Liberty University Registrar’s Office. The Consortium Agreement is also subject to approval by both the home and host institution’s authorized financial aid staff.  Failure to complete the course/s could negatively reflect in the SAP evaluation.  Financial Aid staff from the home school will request information from the host school during the enrolled term to confirm continued enrollment and (at the end of the term) satisfactory academic progress.  Failure to complete the course/s or completing a course/s in a manner that does not comply with University’s transfer standards will result in financial aid suspension and future requests for a consortium agreement will not be considered.  If a Financial Aid SAP appeal is approved, unearned hours under the consortium agreement will not be calculated when future progress reviews occur.

Remedial/Developmental Course Work
Financial aid is not available for non-credit remedial courses. Remedial/Developmental courses carrying regular college credit are considered in determining the qualitative, quantitative and maximum time frame requirements for SAP.  These courses are counted in enrollment for financial aid eligibility since they meet the following federally defined requirements:

  1. They are not a prerequisite that would hinder admission into an eligible degree program at Liberty University.
  2. They are less than one year in length.
  3. They offer instruction above the 5th Grade Elementary level.
  4. They are not used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

ESL Courses
Financial aid, including Dependent Grant in Aid (DGIA) and Continuing Education (CE) benefits, is not available for students enrolled in the ESL/ELIL program.   ESL courses taken as part of an undergraduate program are non credit courses.  ESL/ELIL courses are not included in the calculation of satisfactory academic progress.

Special Student Status
Special Students are not eligible for federal and state aid.  Some Special Students qualify for certain institutional aid programs.  For this reason, the Quantitative Standard Rule, Maximum Timeframe Rule and All Unearned Credits Rule of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy apply to Special Students.  The minimum cumulative grade point average requirement for Special Students is as follows:  2.00 is required for Institute, Graduate, Doctoral and Law; 1.5 is required for Undergraduate Special Students.

Change in Major / Additional Degrees
When a student changes their major or seeks an additional degree, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Office to have courses attempted and earned that do not count toward the student’s new major or degree excluded from the Maximum Time Frame calculation of a student’s SAP standing.

Changed Grades
If a grade is changed, the student is required to notify the Financial Aid Office immediately. The Financial Aid Office will then initiate a review of the effect of the grade change on academic progress within 30 days of notification. A grade change late in or after the term in question, or failure to notify the Financial Aid Office may result in the loss of financial aid eligibility because regulations may limit the time within which aid may be re-awarded or disbursed. 

The Liberty School of Law adheres to a schedule which allows for grades to be submitted after the end of the term. Because of this, Liberty School of Law students evaluated after grade submissions may have their aid eligibility recalculated – and may need to adjust their payment arrangements through Financial Check-In later than non-law students.

Academic Amnesty Program
Federal regulations require that the student’s complete academic history be included in the evaluation of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Therefore, the Academic Amnesty Program at Liberty University cannot alter the academic history reviewed for Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students who fail to meet the qualitative and/or quantitative standards at the end of a term (based upon the student’s enrollment) will be placed on financial aid “warning” status and will remain eligible for financial aid while on a warning status.  Students on financial aid warning status must meet the qualitative and quantitative requirements by the next term’s measurement of progress. 

Students not meeting the requirements at the next term’s measurement of progress will be placed on financial aid suspension and considered ineligible for future financial aid until the deficiencies are resolved.

Re-establishing Eligibility
Students may re-establish eligibility for financial aid by taking appropriate action to meet the minimum academic standards. If the student cannot meet the academic standards, re-establishing eligibility usually requires the submission of a Satisfactory Academic Progress Form with supporting documentation.  Readmission to Liberty University after Academic suspension or approval of an Academic suspension appeal does not automatically reinstate financial aid eligibility after a Financial Aid suspension.

Exemption of Certain Institutional Funds
Some specific institutionally funded sources of financial aid are excluded from the minimum requirements under the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.  These funds include:

  • The Liberty University Online Program Alumni Scholarship
  • The Liberty University Online Military Tech Fee Waiver
  • The Founder’s Memorial Scholarship Programs (including associated funds formerly known as “Jerry Falwell Ministries - JFM” or “Jerry Falwell Scholarship - JFS”).
  • Discounts that are not listed as an aid fund, but as a resource.
  • Liberty University employees who are not enrolled in a degree program –and- not receiving any other type of financial aid covered under this policy, are exempt from the 150% rule requirement. 

    Please Note: The Dependent Grant in Aid (DGIA) program does require the student to be enrolled in a degree program and therefore DGIA recipients are subject to the 150% rule and other requirements within this policy.
  • The Liberty University VTAG Institutional Fund
  • The WWMC Radio Scholarship Fund
  • The Liberty University Online Promotional Fresh Start Award
  • The Liberty University Endurance Program
  • The Liberty University Online Promotional Tech Fee Waiver
  • The Liberty University Online Promotional Book Dollar Award

A student who is placed on financial aid suspension may appeal this decision. To appeal the financial aid suspension, a student must submit to the Financial Aid Office Appeals Committee a signed and dated Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and any supporting documentation as described on the appeal form. If documentation is requested, it is typically provided from an objective third-party.

Examples of objective 3rd party officials that often can provide acceptable documentation

Doctor, lawyer, pastor, religious leader, social worker, teacher, guidance counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, judge, parole officer, court officials, law enforcement, employer, funeral director, human resources director, military clerk, nurse, physician’s assistant, medical secretary, medical technician*

*Family members of the student, friends, and Liberty University employees are not considered an acceptable third party.

Examples of typically acceptable official documentation

Signed letter on letterhead from official 3rd party individual, medical bill, medical chart, x-ray, discharge paperwork, pay stub, death certificate, obituary, funeral program, newspaper article, certificate of separation, divorce decree, insurance statement, moving documents, lease agreement, legal documents, military orders, summons, arrest warrant, police report, court documents**

**Official documentation is required to be dated and, as applicable, include a date of service or date related to the reason for the appeal.  If a letter is being submitted, it must include a wet signature (electronic, stamped, and photocopied signatures will not be accepted).  A character reference not addressing the appeal circumstances is not considered acceptable documentation.

After the committee reviews the submitted appeal, the student will be notified of the decision in writing. All financial aid awards remain cancelled until the student follows these appeal procedures and receives a written notification of reinstatement.  If a reinstatement is approved, the reinstatement will last from the date of the appeal approval until the next term measurement event.

Reinstatement of aid eligibility is not retroactive and will only affect current or future enrollment periods.  In the cases of those students receiving financial aid in the form of subsidized employment, the student’s worksite supervisor/s will be notified of the reinstatement.

Students on financial aid warning status are not required to submit a letter of appeal since their financial aid eligibility will continue during the warning status.

Students who submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office very late in a term or after the term has ended may lose financial aid eligibility because regulations may limit the time within which aid may be re-awarded and/or disbursed.

During the period of an approved appeal, students must satisfactorily fulfill the requirements in the Financial Aid academic plan.  This academic plan requires every student to have a cumulative completion rate of 75% and a GPA requirement reflecting a quarter point (.25) average above for that regular program for the term of the approved appeal.  This plan supports the progression towards resolving overall Satisfactory Academic Progress deficiencies.  If the student fails to meet this standard, they will be placed back on suspension and will lose financial aid eligibility.

Student Should Monitor Progress
Students are responsible to review their grades (when midterm and end-of-term grades are available) and compare their progress to the standards set forth in the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Policy to ensure that they are aware of their standing.  As they review their academic information, students are encouraged to proactively seek assistance like pursuing academic advising, arranging tutoring, or regularly discussing their academic work with their instructor/s.

Please Note:  Since a financial aid suspension that is caused from one term’s grades could immediately affect the next term’s aid, even after the student begins attendance of that term, all students are encouraged to monitor their own progress very closely.   

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 which are available 24 hours a day at http://www.liberty.edu/financeadmin/financialaid/index.cfm?PID=21792.

Examples of Important Consumer Information

  • Campus Crime Reporting and Statistics including:
    • Emergency Notification Procedures
    • Fire Safety Reporting
    • Hate Crimes Reporting
    • Missing Student Reporting Procedures
  • Completion and Persistence Rates Information
  • Constitution and Citizenship Day Information
  • Drug Abuse and Prevention Program Information
  • Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act Information
  • Peer-2-Peer File Sharing Policy
  • “Red-Flag” Rule (Identity Theft) Information
  • Returning Service Members Policy
  • Textbook Price and Cost Calculator Information
  • Voter Registration Information

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Every student has the right to know:

  • The financial aid that is available (including information on all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs);
  • The deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial aid programs;
  • The cost of attendance, and the policies regarding refunds to students who drop out of school;
  • The criteria used to select financial aid recipients;
  • How financial need is determined (including the consideration of costs for tuition, room and board, fees, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses);
  • The resources (such as parental contribution, assets, other financial aid, etc.) that are considered in the calculation of need;
  • Details regarding various programs in the financial aid award package. (the student may request reconsideration of the award which was offered should he/she believe he/she was treated unfairly);
  • The portion of the financial aid received which must be repaid, and the portion which is grant aid;
  • The interest rate, total amount to be repaid, when repayments must begin, and the length of time allowed to repay loan funds;
  • Terms and conditions of any employment that is a part of the financial aid package;
  • How the University distributes financial aid among students;
  • How and when financial aid is disbursed;
  • The University’s refund policy and order of financial aid refund distribution;
  • How the school determines whether a student is making satisfactory progress, the consequences of not meeting those standards, and how to reestablish satisfactory academic progress;
  • The academic programs offered by the University;
  • The office designated for providing financial aid  information and for administering financial aid programs or general institutional issues;
  • University retention and completion rates;
  • Information regarding accreditation and licensing organizations;
  • Special facilities and services available to disabled students;
  • About University facilities;
  • About University faculty and other instructional personnel;
  • About campus security from an annual campus security report also upon request from the University’s Police Department;
  • Actions taken by the University for any violation (and to prevent violation) of the provision of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988;
  • Data for the general student body, and data related to the awarding of athletically related student aid;
  • Equity in athletics;
  • Program participation agreement (PPA) requirements; and
  • Students’ rights and responsibilities as financial aid recipients.

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Complete all applications for student financial aid carefully and accurately, and to submit these applications to the appropriate agency or office prior to the deadline. Errors may delay or eliminate the receipt of financial aid. Intentional misreporting of information on the application for aid forms is a violation of law and considered a criminal offense subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal code;
  • Return and submit all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or information requested by the Financial Aid Office or other agency in a timely manner;
  • Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms that are submitted;
  • Accept responsibility for all agreements signed;
  • Keep the Financial Aid Office and the lender informed of any changes in address, name, marital status, financial situation, or any change in enrollment or student status;
  • Report to the Financial Aid Office any additional assistance from non-University sources such as scholarships, loans, fellowships, and educational benefits;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress;
  • Read Liberty University email and ASIST messages for communication from the Financial Aid Office;
  • Complete exit counseling upon graduation, withdrawing, or whenever a break in enrollment occurs and when dropping below half-time;
  • Re-apply for financial aid each academic year; and
  • Complete the online entrance counseling and Master Promissory Note when receiving a Federal Direct Loan for the first time at Liberty University.

If the student borrower disputes the terms of the loan in writing and the institution does not resolve the dispute, the student may contact the Student Loan Ombudsman’s Office. The United States Department of Education’s Ombudsman Office can propose solutions that may help you and other parties come to a final agreement. Before you call, make sure you have good records of people you have talked to and what they have said. Remember, too, that an ombudsman cannot reverse a decision or take sides.

Reach the Ombudsman at: 1-877-557-2575 or www.ombudsman.ed.gov or www.sfahelp.ed.gov; or Office of the Ombudsman; U.S. Department of Education; Office of Student Financial Assistance Programs; ROB-3, Room 3012; 7th & D Streets, SW; Washington, DC 20202-5144.

Federal Title IV Student Aid Programs

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 Pell Grant awards range from $574 to $5,730 for 2014-15 and vary from year-to-year.  These funds are “gift aid” and do not have to be repaid by the student. Award amounts are based on cost of attendance, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and need analysis information provided on the Student Aid Report (SAR).

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is available for undergraduate students with an Expected Family Contribution of zero. In 2012-13, the maximum award amount is $1,000 per academic year for a full time student. This also varies from year to year.

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 Federal TEACH Grant makes up to $4,000/year available for full-time students on both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Amounts are prorated for lower enrollment levels.  The maximum aggregate amount an undergraduate student can receive is $16,000.  The maximum a graduate student can receive is $8,000.  These funds can only be used for the student’s first bachelors or first graduate degree.  This program is not available for students in doctoral programs.

Service Agreement
In exchange for receiving a Federal TEACH Grant, students must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a Federal TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a Federal TEACH Grant. 

Important: If the student fails to complete this service obligation, the United States Department of Education will convert all Federal TEACH Grants funds that the student received to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The student must then repay this loan to the United States Department of Education. The student will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) disbursed.

Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a postsecondary educational institution that has chosen to participate in the Federal TEACH Grant Program.
  • Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework.
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25).
  • Sign a Federal TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve
  • High Needs Fields: Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Reading Specialist, Science, Special Education

Eligible Degree Programs at Liberty University
For a list of eligible degree programs, please visit this link: http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=18416.

Federal Direct Student Loans are low interest loans available to students who are enrolled at least half-time. Students demonstrating sufficient need (as reflected on their Student Aid Report, which is sent to the University by the United States Department of Education) may be eligible for subsidized funds, in which the government pays interest accrued while they are in school and during the grace period. Students who do not have sufficient demonstrated need may be eligible for unsubsidized funds, in which the student pays the interest. Students have the option of capitalizing the interest (adding it to the principle) while attending school. Repayment begins six (6) months after students graduate, withdraw, break enrollment, or drop below half-time status.




Dependent Freshman 3,500 2,000
Dependent Sophomore 4,500 2,000
Dependent Junior / Senior 5,500 2,000
Independent Freshmen 3,500 6,000
Independent Sophomore 4,500 6,000
Independent Junior / Senior 5,500 7,000
Graduate Student 0 20,500

Dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied eligibility for the Federal Parent PLUS Loan have higher additional Unsubsidized Loan amounts.  Freshmen and sophomore students may borrow a maximum of $6,000 unsubsidized loan funds in addition to their “Base Loan” amount listed above.  Junior and senior students may borrow a maximum of $7,000 unsubsidized loan funds in addition to their “Base Loan” amount listed above.


  • Undergraduate Dependent Students: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
  • Undergraduate Independent Students: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)
  • Graduate Students: $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of which can be subsidized).

Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are low interest loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time. Credit-worthy parents may borrow up to the full cost of attendance minus all other aid. The borrower is responsible for all interest accrued from the date of each disbursement. Repayment on the full loan amount begins approximately 60 days after the loan is disbursed. To apply for a PLUS loan, contact the Financial Aid Office for further details.

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.  Federal Work Study is awarded to eligible students with remaining federally defined unmet need.  Awards are made until projected program funds are depleted.

Virginia Student Aid Programs

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.  The maximum undergraduate amount is estimated at $3,100 for 2013-14. The graduate (M.S.N. degree) amount is estimated at $1,150 for 2013-14.

Full-time students enrolled in an approved program of study, who have been Virginia domiciliary residents for at least 12 consecutive months by the beginning of the fall term for the current academic year, may be eligible for an award. A student who is in Virginia solely to attend college is not considered to be a domiciled resident. Applicants must also be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. The Tuition Assistance Grant award is determined by the Virginia Commonwealth and may be received for no more than eight (8) semesters as an undergraduate and six (6) semesters as a graduate student. Students moving from undergraduate to graduate must complete a new VTAG application.

Students pursuing a degree in religious training or theological education may not receive VTAG. Students pursuing the Worship and Music Studies or the Pastoral Leadership and Biblical Exposition majors are not eligible for VTAG.

Beginning in 2009-10, eligible graduate programs are limited to those in a health-related professional program. At Liberty University, the Masters of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) and the Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) with concentrations in Nutrition and Promotion are the graduate programs eligible for VTAG.

Up to $1,000 can be awarded to students who received an Associate’s degree at a Virginia two-year public institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale who are enrolled at a participating four-year institution.  The undergraduate, first-time, in-state student must be enrolled in an eligible degree program and have federally defined financial need with a federal expected family contribution of $8,000 or less.

State and federal education benefits may be available to assist eligible students with varying degrees of physical disability (paralysis, sight, hearing, etc.). Eligibility requirements differ from agency to agency. For more information, contact the appropriate agency or the Financial Aid Office.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Assistance

Students may receive benefits under one of the following programs:

  • Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program;
  • Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP);
  • Active Duty Educational Assistance Program;
  • GI Bill;
  • Vocational Rehabilitation; and
  • Dependent’s Educational Assistance (Chapter 35).

       For further information, contact the nearest VA regional office or the Military Affairs Office at Liberty University.

Certification to the VA will be submitted on a VA 22-1999 after the drop period for the sub-term in which the student is enrolled. All discounts and scholarships applied to the student’s account will be subtracted from the tuition and fees submitted to the VA.  Any changes during the semester (hours and tuition) will be reported to the VA for adjustment.

The VA will send payment directly to the student in lump sum or a monthly check. If payment has not been received within a reasonable amount of time after certification, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the VA directly to determine the cause. Questions concerning the amount of payment should also be directed to the VA. The VA may be contacted by phone at 888-442-4551 (888-GI BILL1) or by email at buffrpo@vba.va.gov. The website for the Department of Veterans Affairs is http://www.gibill.va.gov.

Students who have previously used their VA educational benefits should complete a VA 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form) and submit it to Liberty’s Military Affairs Office. Students who have never used VA educational benefits should complete a VA 22-1990 (Application for Education Benefits form). Both forms may be obtained from any local VA office, printed from the VA website, or they can be mailed from the University upon request.

Reservists under Chapter 1606 (New GI Bill for Selected Reservists) should obtain an approved DD 2384 and submit it to Liberty with the VA 22-1990. The DD 2384 may be obtained from the unit commander or the unit education counselor. Active duty personnel may obtain these forms from the Education Services Officer on base.

A certificate of eligibility from the VA will be mailed to the student approximately 6–8 weeks after the application has been processed. The student should then forward copies of the certificates to Liberty’s Military Affairs Office. The VA will notify the student in writing if the student is not eligible for benefits.

Tuition Assistance Program Eligibility for Active Duty Military, National Guard, and Reservists

Active duty military and reservists interested in obtaining Tuition Assistance must check with their Education Services Officer to determine whether they are eligible. Students are encouraged to visit their Education Office at least 30 days prior to their anticipated enrollment date.

Students requesting Up-Front Tuition Assistance (TA) must request an application from their base Education Office. If the application is approved, the student must submit a copy of the authorized TA form (and all other forms required by the base) to the academic advisor for registration.  Students are encouraged to keep copies of all forms for their records.

Students who are eligible for Tuition Assistance are required to pay the portion of their tuition and fees that are not covered by TA prior to registration. An invoice for the amount approved on the TA form will be sent to the student’s Education Office after the activation of the term. The Education Office should send payment directly to the University.

A grade report will be submitted to the base Education Office after the student completes the course(s). Students consent to the release of their grade(s) by signing the Tuition Assistance form.

Liberty University Scholarships

All recipients of Liberty University institutional scholarships, institutional aid, or any type of federal aid must complete and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the United States Department of Education and complete verification, if selected.  Virginia residents must also apply for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (VTAG) through the Financial Aid Office. Annual application is not required. In addition, each Liberty University Scholarship recipient must accept all federal and state grants for which they are eligible as a condition of awarding the Liberty University scholarships. All scholarships are awarded for a period of one year, unless otherwise noted.

A scholarship recipient must complete and properly file all forms necessary in applying for a federal and/or state grant; and complete verification if selected.

Federal aid (Pell, SEOG, Federal Direct Stafford Loans or Plus Loans) and institutional scholarships cannot be counted toward Financial Check-In until the FAFSA is received by the University and verification is completed when required.

The General Scholarship Rule (GSR)
A student’s combined federal grants, state grants, and Liberty aid are not permitted to go above the combined cost of actual tuition and room and board charges based on the lowest rate charged by the University.  Students who are not charged for housing cannot exceed the cost of actual tuition only for federal grants, state grants, and Liberty aid.  If the combined aid exceeds the total cost of tuition and room and board as specified, Liberty aid will be reduced to resolve the excess aid.  The Federal Pell Grant is not included as a factor in the GSR for resident students.

Liberty University Continuing Education and Dependent Grant in Aid educational benefits are not eligible for use in the online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program, COM Doctor of Osteopathy, School of Law Juris Doctor, undergraduate or graduate certificate programs, or the online Graduate of Theology (ThG) program.

For recipients of institutional aid (and discounts) such as Continuing Education and Dependent Grant-In-Aid, and others including Resident FCA/LCA/Temple/TCS, who qualify for federal or state grants, the tuition scholarship will be reduced by these federal and state grant amounts.

Liberty University scholarships are not transferable. Any unused portion cannot transfer to the next semester or to another person. Liberty University scholarships will not cover any intensives or summer/winter internships.

Most admissions scholarships are awarded for, and are not to exceed, 8 semesters, as long as the student meets the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) criteria and all the other rules according to the University Catalog and The Liberty Way.

Liberty University scholarships will be cancelled if the student is not enrolled in 12 undergraduate hours or more for each semester. Scholarships apply to the undergraduate program only.

A scholarship recipient must meet the academic standards of Liberty University as outlined in this catalog. Any scholarship may be revoked or reduced at any time for dismissal from the University because of failure to meet academic standards, failure to abide by the rules, regulations, and policies of the University, voluntary or administrative withdrawal, or misrepresentation of information on an application or other documents presented to the University.

For details regarding the scholarship guidelines, please check the Financial Aid website http://www.liberty.edu/financialaid.

Awards that cover the majority of direct costs (i.e., DGIA, Continuing Education, Private School Affiliation Scholarships, etc.) do not allow for stacking with other Liberty aid sources such as the Liberty Champion or New Student Book Dollars.

Corporate Tuition Assistance

The student must contact his Personnel Office for information concerning continuing education benefits.

All Tuition Assistance application forms must be obtained from the student’s employer. The approval document should include the amount of tuition approved for payment, the address for invoicing, and an authorized signature. The form must be sent to the Financial Aid Office.

The Financial Aid Office will invoice the employer for tuition payments upon receipt of an original approval certificate or letter. Corporate Tuition Assistance must be paid upon receipt of billing.

Students who receive tuition benefits after they have completed their courses should request a receipt from the Student Accounts Office at the end of the semester.

Admissions Scholarships

Academic Achievement
Scholarships are based on GPA and SAT or ACT scores. For further information, please contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-543-5317 (option #2).


Athletic grant-in-aid is available in all intercollegiate sports programs for qualified athletes. Inquiries should be addressed to the Head Coach of the specific sport of interest.

After one semester of attendance at Liberty, students who meet specific requirements may be eligible for endowment scholarships. For more information, e-mail financial aid at financialaid@liberty.edu. Endowment applications must be submitted by the published deadline.

Honors Program
Academic Scholarships are available to students who apply to and are accepted into the Honors Program. For high school students, applying for admission to the program the requirements are test scores on the SAT of 1270 or a score on the ACT of 29. Transfer or Liberty University students continuing in the program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50. For more information, contact the Honors Program Office.

These scholarships require membership in either an instrumental (marching band or pep band) or a vocal group.  For more information, contact the Chair of the Department of Music.

National Merit
Scholarships are awarded to students who have been designated National Merit Finalists, Semi-Finalists, or Commended students and who participate in the Honors Program. For more information, contact the Resident Admissions Office.

Outside Scholarships
Outside scholarships are scholarships that students will use as additional funding. Scholarships may be awarded from foundations, churches, retail businesses, etc. Outside scholarship awards combined with other financial aid cannot exceed the student’s unmet need.

The Financial Aid Office requires written confirmation from the scholarship donor. Notification of the outside scholarship award should be sent as early as possible in order for the student to include the scholarship during Financial Check-In.


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/ financeadmin/financialaid/index.cfm?PID=19260.

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 Financial Aid Scholarship Appeals Committee reviews the submitted appeal and supporting documentation.  Within 30 days, the students will be notified of the decision in writing. 

Appeals may be submitted to:

Financial Aid Scholarship Appeals Committee
Liberty University Financial Aid Office
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA  24515
Fax: (434) 582-2053

The Resident and Liberty University Online Student Advocate Offices assist students who have gone through all the customary operating procedures but have not been able to resolve particular challenges related to financial aid.  The primary function of these offices is to answer students' questions and resolve problems.

For Liberty University Online students, appeals and General Complaint forms may be submitted to:

Online Advocate Office
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA  24515
Fax: (800) 628-7977

For Resident students, appeals may be submitted to:

Resident Advocate Office
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA  24515

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.  If the appeal is denied, the State Grants Coordinator will notify the student within 30 days.

State Grant Appeals to the State Grants Coordinator may be submitted to:

State Grants Coordinator, Appeal
Liberty University Financial Aid Office
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA  24515
Fax: (434) 582-2053

If the student disputes the decision made by the State Grants Coordinator, the student may appeal t the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).  The student must submit a copy of the appeal and supporting documentation.

State Grant Appeals to the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) may be submitted to:

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Office of Student Financial Aid
2011-12 TAGP Appeals Committee
James Monroe Building
101 N 14th St.
Richmond, VA  23219

The state office will then request any additional information that is needed.  The office will also contact the school and request any documentation the school may have received and an explanation of the denial.  They will ask for the school to fax the following:

  1. Copy of the VTAG application
  2. Date student's application was received
  3. Date the student started school
  4. Date the student moved to Virginia
  5. Dates of enrollment and number of attempted hours for each semester
  6. Copy of denial letter
  7. Any other documentation that pertains to decision

The student may also submit a second appeal if they are denied by the first SCHEV Council at the state level.  The state may also ask student for copy of:

  1. Letter explaining case for approval
  2. Driver’s license, car registration, voter registration
  3. Letter from employer, missionary agency, social workers, school officials, etc.
  4. Copy of Virginia resident income taxes for parents, spouse, or student
  5. Copy of federal taxes
  6. Legal guardian documents
  7. Ward of court documents
  8. Custody documents
  9. Copy of DD-214, LES, or Home of Record
  10. Any other supporting documentation

Students who dispute how a federal student loan was processed or a decision regarding eligibility may contact the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman. The FSA Ombudsman resolves disputes from a neutral, independent viewpoint. The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman will informally conduct impartial fact-finding about student complaints. The Ombudsman will recommend solutions, but does not have the authority to reverse decisions. The Ombudsman will also work to bring about changes that will help prevent future problems for other student loan borrowers. This free service is provided by the United States Department of Education.

The Ombudsman will research the problem and determine whether the student has been treated fairly. If the student loan complaint is justified, the Ombudsman will work with the student and the office, agency, or company involved in the problem. On the student’s behalf, the Ombudsman will contact other offices within the United States Department of Education, his or her private lender, his or her loan guaranty agency, and the servicing agency or firm collecting the loan.

If the student’s complaint is not justified, the Ombudsman will take the time to explain how the United States Department of Education reached this conclusion.  The Ombudsman may be contacted as follows:

U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman
830 First St., NE, Fourth Floor
Washington, DC  20202-5144
Phone: (877) 557-2575
Fax: (202) 275-0549

Anyone suspecting fraud, waste or abuse involving U.S. Department of Education funds or programs should contact the Inspector General's Office by:

  1. Submitting your online compliant information at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html
  2. Calling the OIG Hotline's toll free number 1-800-MIS-USED. Hotline Operators take calls during the hours of Monday and Wednesday 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM, Eastern Time; Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM, Eastern Time except for holidays
  3. Downloading a hardcopy of the special complaint form, complete, and mail to:

Inspector General's Hotline
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue,S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1500

Your report may be made anonymously or in confidence. To report suspected fraud, waste or abuse involving other Inspector General agencies, click this link for a directory: http://www.ignet.gov/igs/homepage1.html

If a student-athlete wishes to appeal a scholarship decision and remain enrolled at Liberty, he or she has the right to a hearing by a body outside of athletics in accordance with NCAA Bylaw  Upon written notification of the intent to remove the scholarship, the student-athlete must request a hearing in writing to the Athletics Financial Aid Liaison within 14 calendar days of receiving the notification.

Liberty University
Financial Aid Office
Athletics Financial Aid Liaison – Appeal
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515

If a hearing is requested, the Athletics Financial Aid Liaison will organize a hearing at the earliest availability of the appellate committee.  The committee shall consist of the following: Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, University Registrar, Faculty Athletics’ Representative, Vice President for Financial Aid, and Assistant Director of Financial Aid – Student Services.  If a committee member is unavailable to attend, a replacement will be selected by the Faculty Athletics Representative.

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 employee must submit an explanation of mitigating circumstances and additional pertinent documentation. Additionally, to appeal the denial of CE benefits due to simultaneous enrollment, the employee must submit the CE Application Form with an explanation of mitigating circumstances and additional pertinent documentation to:

Liberty University
Office of Human Resources
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515

In accordance with requirements issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Liberty University is “providing its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its state approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint.”  This information is now part of the standard Consumer Information and annual disclosure procedure of Liberty University.  It is subject to revision. [34 CFR 668.43(a)(12)(iv)(b), p.66,954, vol. 75, no. 209, 10/29/10 ]

As required by regulations, the full URL is available here: /media/1260/State_Complaint_Sites-Updated_05242013.pdf

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

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