Liberty University Online Programs Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Liberty University’s tuition for all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs has not increased in three years and counting. We are proud to help you gain a wealth of knowledge for a fraction of the cost. You’ll pay less but get so much more. If you have any questions regarding Financial Aid, please explore the information below.
Please note: You must apply for a program before Liberty can fully process financial aid:
Frequently asked questions:
What is an award letter?
An award letter is a list of all the aid a student could potentially receive and provides instructions or links to information that explains what you must do to check eligibility for the individual types of aid. Changes can occur regularly, so students should check their ASIST account often.
What do I do with it?
Students should look at each item listed on the award letter and follow the listed instructions to secure the funds the student would like to receive.
Are the “offers” guaranteed funds?
None of the amounts are guaranteed. They are calculated based on the information from the FAFSA. If any of the information changes (grade level, Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress, etc.), students should expect a new award letter that reflects changes in eligibility. Some items on the award letter require additional action, such as filling out an application for a scholarship.
Can I see this information online?
Yes, log into ASIST, choose the Financial Aid tab, select Award for Aid Year, and choose the applicable aid year to see the current award letter.
What is a budget?
A budget is established to help determine the maximum amount of aid necessary to fund educational expenses. Calculations include, but are not limited to accounting for residence, degree programs, enrollment levels and other criteria.
How does a budget determine my financial aid eligibility?
A budget designates the maximum amount of aid that can be received from all potential sources (scholarships, grants, loans, etc).
How can my enrollment affect my budget?
Proration of costs based on enrollment changes when students move from at least half-time to less than half-time and vice-versa. This change will adjust the cost of enrollment and therefore directly affects the budget.
Why was my budget different last year, if nothing changed?
Budgets are adjusted annually to reflect cost-of-living increases, tuition, room, and board, etc.
If I need more aid can I change my budget?
No. Once your enrollment level reaches full-time in your program of study, you automatically have the maximum budget possible for your degree.
Disbursements and Refunds
Are my “disbursement” and my “refund” the same thing?
No. A disbursement is a process by which the funds are sent from the lender to Liberty University. Please see the definitions for disbursement and refund in the Glossary of Terms. Also, students can review the “How Disbursements Work” webpage for more details. A refund is sent to BankMobile if a credit exists after all charges have been paid on the student’s account. Please visit the Student Accounts refund homepage for more information.
How do I know when my aid will disburse?
The first disbursement for each sub-term is made 21 days after a student is actively attending half-time or 6 credit hours. For more information, please visit our “How Disbursements Work” webpage.
What if I decide I don’t want the loans?
Borrowers who have not received a refund from a loan credit balance and wish to reduce or cancel the loan disbursement or a future loan prior to disbursement should complete the electronic Federal Student Loan Change Form available in ASIST under “Financial Aid Forms.”
What is it?
FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and can be completed easily on the web at https://fafsa.ed.gov. The application is maintained by the U.S. Department of Education and will evaluate a family’s ability to help in paying for educational costs and determine federal aid eligibility. Students must complete a FAFSA annually prior to being eligible for any federal or institutional aid. Check out our FAFSA informational video.
How do I apply?
The fastest and easiest way to apply is online at https://fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to have the requested tax information nearby and your FSA ID username and password.
What is involved in the application process?
Students will sign-in with their FSA ID username and password on https://fafsa.ed.gov. Follow the steps to fill out basic demographic information, and submit the requested financial information. Don’t forget to add Liberty’s school code (010392). Once this is completed, submit the form by signing with the FSA ID. The FAFSA will be sent to Liberty University automatically.
Can anyone other than my parents fill out the FAFSA with me?
No. Grandparents, foster parents and legal guardians are not considered parents on this form unless they have legally adopted the student.
Whose information should I use if my parents are divorced?
The U.S. Department of Education provides information in assisting with special family situations at https://fafsa.ed.gov.
How long does it take to process?
The Financial Aid Office processes FAFSAs daily, year-round. New FAFSAs arrive at Liberty electronically approximately one to two weeks after they have been completed.
What is the difference between a dependent student and an independent student?
The dependent and independent categories are defined by the U.S. Department of Education and influence aid and eligibility amounts. For further information, check out this helpful link from the U.S. Department of Education.
What is an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) Reject?
An ISIR Reject is a FAFSA application that the U.S. Department of Education considers incomplete or incorrect. Common reject reasons:
- Name on the ISIR does not match the social security number (SSN)
- Missing signature/s (FSA ID for students and/or parent missing)
- If the social security number (SSN) is incorrect
What is a Comment Code (C-Code)?
A C-Code reflects there is an issue with a student’s FAFSA data. Some C-Codes can be solved by students correcting basic FAFSA questions. Other C-Codes require the student to send documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Common C-Codes relate to citizenship, Selective Service registration, aggregate loan issues, etc. The necessary documents requested will display on ASIST under, “Requirements, Holds, and Academic Progress.”
What is it?
The FSA ID is a username and password that has replaced the Federal Student PIN previously used to access federal student aid online sites.
Why do I need one?
Students and parents will need an FSA ID to be able to login, complete or make corrections, and sign a FAFSA. Along with https://fafsa.ed.gov, the FSA ID is also needed to access other federal student aid online sites including, nslds.ed.gov, and https://studentloans.gov. Students and parents should not share or provide their FSA ID login information to one another.
How do I apply?
You may create your FSA ID online. You will be prompted to create a login username and password and provide some basic personal information in order to keep the account secure.
What do I do if I am having issues with my FSA ID?
What is it?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was created to ensure the privacy of student records. FERPA governs the access and release of education records maintained by an educational institution. Please visit the Registrar’s Office FERPA page for additional information.
Financial Aid Academic Progress (SAP)
What is it?
SAP stands for Satisfactory Academic Progress. It is the evaluation Liberty’s Financial Aid Office runs at the end of every term to ensure students are maintaining financial aid satisfactory academic progress and determine federal/institutional aid eligibility.
What happens if I’m on SAP suspension?
How can I get off suspension?
Once I have submitted my appeal, how long does it take to review?
How will I know if my appeal was granted?
What is the difference between Financial Aid Academic Suspension and Institutional Academic Suspension?
How can I get my financial aid reinstated after my appeal has been granted?
What is it?
It is a process during which the student commits to attending Liberty University by entering into a financial agreement. Visit Student Account’s Financial Check-In page for more information. You can also view our Resident and Online student FCI tutorial videos.
Why do I need to complete it?
Committing to attend through the Financial Check-In process reserves your spot at Liberty, reserves your spot in the classes you registered for, and, subsequently, lets you submit housing and meal-plan choices for Resident students. For Liberty University Online students, completing Financial Check-In by the deadline will ensure you maintain your registered schedule each term.
Where do I go to complete it?
Please Note: It is in the best interest of every student to borrow as little as absolutely necessary. All loans must be repaid and generally will have interest as well. For additional tools for smart borrowing, visit this link and view this helpful video.
What is my eligibility for loans?
Federal loan eligibility is determined by a number of factors including, but not limited to the FAFSA, cost of attendance, and previous borrowing history. Estimated loan amounts are listed on the award letter and in ASIST under, “Award for Aid Year.”
How do I apply for loans?
Students must have a complete FAFSA on file to have federal loan eligibility reviewed. Visit our loans homepage for the steps to complete the entrance counseling and master promissory note for federal loans. Private loan options can be reviewed on ELM Select, click here.
What can affect my eligibility?
Please visit this link for a comprehensive list of factors that can affect loan and other financial aid eligibility.
How do I know when I must repay my loans?
Loan applications will include a loan disclosure statement with repayment information. Every student should read the entire disclosure prior to finishing the loan application because it may include repayment rates, terms, and conditions. Borrowers should contact their lender for additional information on loan repayment.
I was automatically packaged for Fall/Spring/Summer, how can I change my loans to Fall/Spring only?
Students planning to attend Fall/Spring only should submit a Loan Change Request Form to have all aid adjusted. The completed and signed form can be emailed, faxed, mailed, or brought to the Financial Aid Office in person.
NOTE: Reducing terms to Fall/Spring only does NOT necessarily increase loan amounts/eligibility.
How can I see the Federal Student loans that I have already taken out?
This information is tracked by the National Student Loan Data System.
What grants are available?
The U.S. Department of Education offers various grants to assist students in paying for a post-secondary education. All students must have a complete FAFSA on file to be considered for federal grants, and once Liberty receives the FAFSA, eligibility will be assessed. Liberty University also processes state grants, which are noted below. Details on each of these can be reviewed here, along with a helpful video.
- Federal Pell
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal TEACH Grant
- Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG)
- Liberty Supplemental Grant
- Liberty Undergraduate Scholars Grant
- Virginia Two Year College Transfer Grant (CTG)
- Virginia Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship
What are the criteria for the Liberty Supplemental Grant and offered amounts?
- Students must use their full Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan
- The award is offered based on a student’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the FAFSA
- The award remains at the same initial amount each year and is based on the first year’s EFC, regardless of future EFCs
Award: Supplemental 2
Qualifying EFC Range: 0-1,000
Dollar Amount per Academic Year: $1,500
Award: Supplemental 3
Qualifying EFC Range: 1,001-2,500
Dollar Amount per Academic Year: $1,000
Award: Supplemental 4
Qualifying EFC Range: 2,501-6,000
Dollar Amount per Academic Year: $500
What scholarship are available through Liberty University?
For a list of scholarships, click here.
How do I find outside scholarships?
Students should utilize search engines like Google to find outside scholarships. Every student and parent should be very careful to avoid scholarships scams. Students with outside scholarships must notify the Financial Aid Office.
What is it?
Verification is a process in which the U.S. Department of Education has each selected student confirm the information submitted on the FAFSA with Liberty University. Check out our informational video about the verification process at Liberty University.
What do I have to do?
Students selected for Verification should submit signed copies of each document requested from the Financial Aid Office, including a signed and completed Independent or Dependent Verification Form. Students can check the status of sent documents in ASIST as well under, “Requirements, Holds, and Academic Progress.”
What if I don’t want to complete Verification?
Verification must be completed to receive any federal or institutional aid. Students who choose to not complete Verification are not eligible for federal or institutional aid.
What if I did not file taxes?
FAFSA Verification: Students who did not file taxes must submit a confirmation of non-filing from the IRS unless they are a dependent student. Acceptable documentation can be obtained online using the IRS Get Transcript service or by completing IRS Form 4506-T Request for Transcript of Tax Return, checking box 7, and mailing to the IRS. If these items cannot be obtained, any document from the IRS confirming non-filing is acceptable.
How can I check the status of my Verification?
Once all requested documentation is showing as received, the account will be reviewed. Students should check ASIST and their email account to verify the status of Verification.
Withdrawal / Drop Policy
What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?
For Financial Aid purposes, students can only drop a course prior to the course beginning. Once the course has begun, the change would be considered a withdrawal.
What is a complete withdrawal?
A complete withdrawal is when a student ceases attendance from all enrolled courses after attending the courses.
What is a partial withdrawal?
A partial withdrawal is when a student ceases attendance from one or more, but not all, of the courses enrolled during any term after attending the course(s).
How can a withdrawal affect my financial aid?
Courses from which a student ceases attendance or receives a grade of incomplete will not be considered as satisfactorily completed. The courses, which will be considered courses attempted but not completed, may negatively affect eligibility for the next term. Additionally, they will factor into the measurement for the maximum time frame in financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations.
What does it mean?
Students that are considered eligible for federal work study have an opportunity to work in this program while in school. For additional details, visit the Federal Work Study homepage.
What do I do, now that I’ve been approved?
If an approved student is interested in federal work study, they must submit an application with Human Resources. Students can view a list of available positions at www.liberty.edu/hr. If a hiring supervisor hires the student, the Financial Aid Office will process the request and aid will pay as it is earned.
I said “yes” to work study on my FAFSA, but it’s not part of my financial aid award. Why not?
Students who indicated interest in federal work study on the FAFSA, but do not see it on the award letter are either ineligible or the limited funding from the U.S. Department of Education has been exhausted for the year.
How is eligibility for work study determined?
Information from the FAFSA determines eligibility for federal work study. Students must indicate they are interested in federal work study on the FAFSA.