Graduate Catalog 2017-2018

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, scholarships, employment, loans, and external aid sources. Grants and scholarships are “gift aid” and do not need to be repaid. Employment offered as a type of financial aid is paid at a pre-determined rate for work actually performed. Loans must be repaid to the lender based on the terms of the signed master promissory note and agreed repayment plan, typically after the student leaves school. The Financial Aid Office processes several different forms of external aid for both Online and Residential students.  The Financial Aid Office does not approve or deny any form of external aid, but will process what has already been approved by a donor or funding entity.

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 U.S. Department of Education (ED) by the priority deadline date of January 15th 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. Applicants should use their I.R.S Tax Return or Tax Return Transcript to input the requested income information. If needed, a copy of the Tax Return Transcript can be obtained by going to www.irs.gov and selecting “Get a Tax Transcript” under Tools.  Lastly, select “Get Transcript Online.”
    For new students entering in the Spring semester, the priority deadline 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, academic achievement, and other merits. Most financial aid awards are based on full time enrollment, which is a minimum of 12 credit hours for an undergraduate student per semester. 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 student 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/financeadmin/financialaid/index.cfm?PID=294.


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/381.


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. Dropping a course which reduces the number of sub-terms for which a student is enrolled will result in a recalculation of all components that make up the cost of attendance. Lastly, if a student registers full-time and subsequently withdraws from one or more courses which results in his or her remaining enrollment changing from full-time to part-time, the student will be charged the part-time tuition rate for the remaining courses in that semester. If the new tuition rate results in a balance, the student is responsible for paying this balance.

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/383.


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

Disbursing aid is 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.

Award Terms and Conditions

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/377.

Enrollment Levels and Types

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/104.


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 an unsubsidized loan with compounded interest from the original awarding date. 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 loan funds in which the student pays the interest. The student has the option to capitalize the interest (add it to the principle) while in school or making payments on the interest while in school. Repayment begins six (6) months after students graduate, withdraw, break enrollment, or drop below half-time status. We encourage all borrowers to only borrow what is needed to cover educational expenses. Additional information regarding the Federal Direct Student loans can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=20361 and https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=23344#studentloans.

FEDERAL GRADUATE PLUS LOAN
A federal loan program, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan is a federally backed student loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education. The Federal Graduate 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 Graduate PLUS Loan can cover educational expenses up to the cost of attendance, less other financial aid. We encourage all borrowers to only borrow what is needed to cover educational expenses. Additional information regarding the Federal Direct PLUS loans can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=20361 and https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=23344#studentloans.

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 funds 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

VIRGINIA TUITION ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (VTAG)
Established in 1972, the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (VTAG) is designed to assist Virginia residents who attend accredited private, non-profit colleges and universities in Virginia excluding 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 2017-18 academic year, the maximum VTAG award amount is $3,300 (projected) for eligible undergraduate students and $1,650 (projected) for eligible graduate students. Additional information about VTAG can be found at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=22326.


Liberty University Scholarships

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/380.

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

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.


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 https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=18417.

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/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 an unusual credit hour count, such as 5 hours, may appeal the denial of their eligibility for the first three credit hours of the five hour course, if eligible, and pay for the remaining two out-of-pocket.  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.

UNDERGRADUATE RESIDENT COMPLAINT REPORTING
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/94.

ONLINE STUDENT COMPLAINT REPORTING
Online students may submit a complaint by completing the form available at this link: https://www.liberty.edu/beacon.



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