Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 [Archived Catalog] [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 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 (ED) 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 ED, 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 living in campus housing) 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 120 credit hour 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 awarded automatically 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 Service Center at Green Hall or 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.

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

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 PELL GRANT
Federal Pell Grant awards range from $590 to $5,815 for 2016-17 and vary from year-to-year. 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). Additional information may be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=299.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is available for undergraduate students with an Expected Family Contribution of zero. In 2016-17, the maximum award amount is $1,000 per academic year for a full time student and can vary year to year. Additional information may be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=299.

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 DIRECT STUDENT LOANS
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. 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 DIRECT PARENT LOANS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS (PLUS)
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.

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

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.

VIRGINIA TWO-YEAR COLLEGE TRANSFER GRANT (CTG) AND CTG PLUS PROGRAMS
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.  Additional information regarding CTG can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=299.

REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
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.


Liberty University Scholarships

GENERAL SCHOLARSHIP REGULATIONS
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 for VTAG. 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. Most resident scholarships are for prospective, full-time undergraduate students unless stated. For details regarding institutional scholarships and eligibility guidelines, please go to http://www.liberty.edu/financialaid.

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.

Outside Scholarships
Outside scholarships are scholarships that students will use as additional funding. Scholarships may be awarded from foundations, churches, retail businesses, etc. Additional information about outside scholarships can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/financeadmin/financialaid/index.cfm?PID=18417.

Endowment
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.


Standard Corporate Tuition Assistance

Standard Corporate Tuition Assistance is when an employer pays Liberty University directly for classes during the semester. The student must contact his Human Resources department for information concerning continuing education benefits. Details about eligibility requirement and processing Standard Corporate Tuition Assistance can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/financeadmin/financialaid/index.cfm?PID=18417#STA.

REIMBURSEMENTS
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.


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.

INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIP 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/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 U.S. 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.

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.

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.



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