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Student Financial Aid > Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions Click on the grey bar to reveal the answer to the Frequently Asked Questions.

What is my cost of attendance at Athens State University for Financial Aid Purposes?

Financial Aid processes aid based on an estimate of the total costs a student might incur to attend full time (24 hours a year) at Athens State University. This estimate is NOT what the student will pay out of pocket, but simply a budgeting tool for student financial planning.

2010-11
Academic Year Projected Cost of Attendance
Athens State University

Independent Dependent
Tuition and Fees $4,240.00 $4,240.00
Room and Board 4800.00 3000.00
Books and Supplies 1000.00 1000.00
Transportation and Personal Exp 3600.00 3600.00
Loan Fees 102.00 54.00
Total InState $13,742.00 $11,894.00
Additional Out of State 3288.00 3288.00
Total Out of State $17,030.00 $15,182.00

What types of aid are available?

Several types of aid generally offered to students are described below:
Pell Grants
Pell Grants are Federal funds that do not have to be repaid. The amount will vary each term with your enrollment status (full time, three-quarter time, half time or less than half time). Your award letter indicates the amount as a full time student. Any Pell funds not used in Fall and Spring terms will be carried over into the Summer term.

National SMART Grant Program
An eligible student may receive a National SMART Grant of $4,000 for each of the third and fourth academic years of study. To be eligible for each academic year, a student must:
  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be a Federal Pell Grant recipient
  • Be enrolled full-time in a degree program
  • Be enrolled in a four-year degree-granting institution
  • Have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale; and Major in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, General Science Instrumentation, Mathematics or Physics
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
(FSEOG) is awarded to undergraduates with exceptional financial need--that is, students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFCs) -- and gives priority to students who receive Federal Pell Grants . An SEOG doesn't have to be paid back. The funds are awarded on a first come, first serve basis and are paid out in Fall and Spring Semesters

Alabama Assistance Grants
Alabama Assistance Grants are State Funds with guidelines similar to SEOG. These are awarded on a first come, first serve basis to students with the highest need and are paid out in Fall and Spring Semesters.

Federal Work Study
The Federal Work Study program has limited opportunities for students to earn funds for their education. We have campus positions and tutoring at local elementary schools. Interested students must submit a resume to the Financial Aid Office for circulation to offices with openings. The offices with openings may, at their discretion, interview several candidates. Hiring is competitive. Other opportunities for work are available through the Career-Placement Office located in Sandridge Student Center. The Career-Placement Office has listings for Full and Part time positions as well as resume, interview and job search assistance.

Subsidized Loans and Unsubsidized Loans are the US Department of Education's major form of self-help aid. Direct Loans are available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Under the Direct Loan Program, the funds for your loan are lent to you directly by the U.S. government. You can receive a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period. The student must maintain 6 hours of enrollment to be eligible for loans. The Student must repay these funds.
  • A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during these periods.
  • An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need but cannot exceed the student's budget or the regulatory ceiling per year. You'll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized --that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.
Parent PlUS Loans are loans available to parents to fund their child's education at Athens State University. Parents can borrow a PLUS Loan to help pay educational expenses for their dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time in an eligible program at an eligible school. PLUS Loans are available through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. PLUS loans require an acceptable credit history. Parents may borrow up to the cost of education less other financial aid offered to the student. Repayment for PLUS loans begins 60 days after the last disbursement.

What Additional steps should I complete to Receive a Student Loan?

Complete a Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling session on the Internet at http://www.studentloans.gov

Complete a Master Promissory Note @ http://www.studentloans.gov

How do I view and accept financial aid awards on the web?

ACCESS YOUR AWARD INFORMATION AT WWW.ATHENS.EDU
  • Go to Athens State Online
  • And Login using your Athens State ID and pin
  • Select Student Services and Financial Aid
  • Read and Accept the FA Terms and Conditions
  • Select My Account and Award Information
  • Choose the appropriate award year
  • Select Accept Ward Offer by Aid Year

    Please note: Only initial awards can be accepted on the web Adjustments to previously accepted/declined awards and term changes must be made in person or in writing to the Office of Student Financial Services

How do I get my aid to pay my tuition and fees each term?

  • Register for classes. Be sure to take advantage of our online registration process.
  • Have your financial aid complete and awards accepted prior to the payment date for your registration.
  • Your tuition and fees will be deducted from your aid. Any balance will be mailed to your address on file with Admissions Office, in the third week of classes each term.
  • Additional check runs during the semester are set by the Business Office.

When will I get my check?

Balance checks will be mailed to the address you have on file with the Admissions Office. Checks are generally cut at the end of the third week each term. Additional check runs during the semester are set by the Business Office. No checks are mailed to students that have not attended class or completed an assignment for each registered course--- classroom based, blended and Distance Learning methods are included. Attendance is confirmed with instructors each term.

How do I keep my aid?

Comply with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • Successfully complete 67% of all coursework attempted. All W's, I's, F's and audited coursework count as unsuccessful completions. When unsuccessful completions exceed 33%, Financial Aid will be suspended until the student's completion ratio is again at least 67%.
  • Complete your degree requirements within 150% of the usual timeframe. Degrees at Athens State University require no more than 128 semester hours of credit. Aid eligibility expires after 192 semester hours attempted. All transfer work and courses attempted at Athens State University are counted in this calculation.
Apply for aid each year as soon as you complete your Federal Tax Return

Meet all federal Eligibility Standards
  • Have a high school diploma.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • Sign a statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
  • Use Federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money back on a federal student grant, and
  • Register with the Selective Service.

What happens if I drop classes or withdraw from school?

Change in enrollment status prior to term
If the federal financial aid student withdraws from some classes prior to the first day of class, the student is subject to a 100% refund to be returned to Financial Aid Sources. Financial aid is credited with all funds paid from a financial aid source and the federal financial aid student has no drops or unsatisfactory progress for the term.

Change in enrollment status during the first three weeks of the term
If a federal financial aid student registers for courses, pays and begins attending all classes, then has some circumstance that causes them to drop some of their classes, the federal financial aid student will be subject to the satisfactory progress standards outlined in the section HOW TO KEEP YOUR AID and the State Refund Policy.

Change in enrollment status during the fourth week through the ninth week of the term
If the federal financial aid student withdraws from some of their classes during the fourth through the ninth week of classes, the federal financial aid student will be subject to the satisfactory progress standards outlined in the section HOW TO KEEP YOUR AID.

Withdrawal from all classes prior to term
If the federal financial aid student withdraws from all classes prior to the first day of class, the student is subject to a 100% refund. Financial aid is credited with all funds paid from a financial aid source and the federal financial aid student has no drops or unsatisfactory progress for the term.

Withdrawal from all classes during the first three weeks of the term
If the federal financial aid student withdraws from all classes during the first three weeks of the term, the federal financial aid student is first subject to the Federal Refund Policy and then the State Refund Policy.

Withdrawal from all classes during the fourth week through the ninth week of the term
If the federal financial aid student withdraws from all classes during the fourth through the ninth week of classes the federal financial aid student is subject to the Federal Refund Policy.

How do I handle scholarships, employer education plans, and waivers etc?

  • Academic Scholarship
  • Employer Sponsorship Assistance programs
  • GI Dependents Awards
  • Job Training Partnership Act
  • Miltary Tuition Assistance
  • Outside Scholarship Awards
  • PACT -- Prepaid Affordable College Tuition
  • Workforce Investment Act
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Are all handled by the Business Office and are considered Outside Resources. Be sure to have your documentation submitted to them prior to the tuition due date each semester for proper credit to be applied to your account. REMEMBER tuition payment is always the student's responsibility.

Where do I get tuition and fee information for filing my tax return?

The Business Office will mail a 1098T to each eligible student by the Federal deadline, generally the end of January. The 1098T is not required to list an amount. The student is responsible for documenting tuition and fees paid. For assistance with 1098 T information please refer to our link under Tax Credit Information or contact the Business Office at 256-233-8100.

My Application was selected in a process called verification. What does that mean?

Verification Process at Athens State UniversityApplications are selected for verification either by the Federal Central Processing System or by the school. Some applications are randomly selected by the central processing system, others are selected if there is a reason to believe data items are incorrect or discrepant. Each school must have a system to identify conflicting or discrepant information-regardless of the source and regardless of whether the student is selected for verification by the central processing system. Athens State University is required to resolve all such conflicting or discrepant information prior to disbursing aid to a student. Each student selected for verification must submit a completed verification worksheet, either for a dependent student or independent student as appropriate. The student must also submit federal tax returns and supporting w-2s and/or 1099s. Additional information may be required to complete the verification process for some students. The student can view document requirements by visiting our website at www.athens.edu .
  • Go to Athens State Online and login using your Athens State ID and pin
  • Select Student Services and Financial Aid
  • Read and Accept the FA Terms and Conditions
  • Select My Eligibility
  • Select Student Requirements
  • Choose the appropriate award year
  • View unsatisfied requirements
Verification Worksheets are available at../financial/forms.php

What are my rights and responsibilities as a student receiving financial assistance?

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
It is the responsibility of the student to:

  1. Review and consider all information about a school's program BEFORE enrolling.
  2. Pay special attention to the application for student financial aid, complete it accurately, and submit it on time to the right place. Errors can delay or prevent receiving aid.
  3. Know all the deadlines for applying or reapplying for aid and meet them.
  4. Provide all documentation, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Student Financial Aid or the agency to which the application was submitted.
  5. Notify the university of any information that has changed since application was made for financial aid.
  6. Read, understand and keep copies of all forms requiring signature.
  7. Repay any student loans he/she has. When a student signs a promissory note, he/she is agreeing to repay the loan.
  8. Attend an entrance and exit interview at the university if you have a Federal Direct Student Loan.
  9. Notify the university of any change in name, address, or attendance status. If a student has a loan, the student must also notify the lender of any changes.
  10. Satisfactorily perform the work agreed upon, if employed for a federal work-study job.
  11. Understand the university's refund policy as outlined in this publication.

STUDENT RIGHTS
The student has the right to ask a university:

  1. The names of the university's accrediting and licensing organizations.
  2. A copy of the documents describing the institution's accreditation or licensing.
  3. About its programs, its instructional, laboratory, and other physical facilities, and its faculty.
  4. What the cost of attending is, and what its policy is on refunds to students who drop out.
  5. What financial assistance is available, including information on all Federal, state, local, private and institutional financial aid programs.
  6. Who its financial aid personnel are, where they're located, and how to contact them for information.
  7. What the procedures and deadlines are for submitting applications for each available financial aid program.
  8. How it selects financial aid recipients.
  9. How it determines financial need, including cost of education and resources available.
  10. How much of one's need, as determined by the university, had been met.
  11. How and when one receives financial aid.
  12. To explain each type and amount of assistance in the financial aid package.
  13. What the interest rate is on any student loan, the total amount to be repaid, when length of time for repayment and when
  14. Repayment must start, and what cancellation or deferment provisions apply.
  15. If offered a federal work-study job - what kind of job it is, what hours are to be worked, what the duties will be, what the rate of pay will be, and how and when wages will be paid.
  16. To reconsider an aid package, if the student believes a mistake has been made, or if enrollment or financial circumstances have changed.
  17. How the university determines whether a student is making satisfactory progress, and outcomes of unsatisfactory progress.
  18. What special facilities and services are available to persons with disabilities.

How do I get books for class?

For information for ordering books click here.



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