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Financial Aid Eligibility

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect financial aid eligibility.

 Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

When you file the FAFSA, the Department of Education uses the information submitted to generate what’s called the “Expected Family Contribution,” or EFC. The EFC takes into consideration household size, number of people in college, income, and a variety of other factors. (If you are facing extenuating circumstances, please consider submitting a Professional Judgment form to our office).

In addition to your EFC, the Financial Aid office will use your "Cost of Attendance," or COA to determine your financial aid package. The COA is a budgeted amount that includes tuition, estimated fees, and estimated costs for books, transportation, and living expenses.  We’ll take your COA minus your EFC to get your financial need for assistance.

Some programs are need-based, meaning you will have to demonstrate financial need as calculated above to receive them. Other programs are merit-based, meaning demonstrated need is not a requirement—but they generally stipulate a certain GPA, community service requirement, etc. Your financial aid package could contain a variety of scholarships, grants, work study, or loans, depending on your need and merit-based awards.

Even if your financial need is low, you can still qualify for some programs—so file your FAFSA today!

Enrollment Status Requirements

Current regulations do not permit unclassified (non-degree seeking) students to receive any type of federal aid. Many aid programs, including institutional scholarships and the Access MO grant, are limited to full-time students (12-18 credit hours per semester).

However, three-quarter time (9-11 credit hours) and half-time (6-8 credit hours) degree-seeking students may qualify for aid through the Pell Grant program, Direct Stafford Loan program and/or the Parent PLUS Loan for Undergraduate Students.

A student enrolled in a teacher certification program is considered the same as a fifth-year undergraduate student, but can only receive aid through the Direct Stafford Loan program. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In order to maintain financial aid eligibility, student's must also maintain all three of the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (S.A.P.) standards:

Make The Grade:  The Federal government expects you to earn good grades if you expect to receive financial assistance.  At Fontbonne, undergraduate students must maintain an overall cumulative program GPA of 2.0 or better; graduate students must maintain an overall cumulative program GPA of 2.75 or better.

Finish What You Start:  The Federal government isn't going to pay for classes you don't attend or withdraw from. In order to maintain aid eligibility students must complete at least 67% (or two-thirds) of their attempted coursework. Sounds easy? Think about it this way: you register for 12 hours in the Fall but withdraw from 6 hours due to your busy schedule. You have just lowered your completion rate to 50% which is below the required 67% needed to keep your aid eligibility - NOT GOOD!!!

The Van Wilder Effect:  Contrary to the popular movie, postponing your degree completion is not all it's cracked up to be - and the Federal government is making sure students know it. In order to maintain aid eligibility a student must demonstrate that they will be able to complete their degree without attempting more than 150% the number of credits needed for their degree. In plain English: your degree requires 120 credits, you must be able to graduate without attempting more than 180 credits (120 x 150% = 180).

Your academic progress is monitored once a year, following the end of the Spring semester grades posting. If your GPA, Completion, and/or Duration are flagged for not meeting the requirements, you are notified immediately.  But not all hope is lost.  Students who fail to meet S.A.P. are able to submit a one-time appeal in order to be placed on probation and have their aid conditionally reinstated.  Appeals are not guaranteed approvals.  The SAP Appeals Committee must review each appeal independently and make their determination based on each individual student's particular circumstances.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information regarding S.A.P.