Financial Aid FAQ
Fact sheets for common financial aid situations:
- Undergraduate Students
- Transient Students
- Summer Students (undergraduate students)
- Adult & Continuing Education Students
- 3/2 Program (Dual Degree) Students
- Study Abroad
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is this my final financial aid award?
The financial aid award you receive from the Financial Aid Office is based on the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is a final award unless new or additional information is provided to the FAO.
What is verification and why was I chosen?
Verification is a process in which the FAO must confirm that all information on the FAFSA is accurate and complete. Much like an IRS audit, most applications are randomly selected. A few are selected because it appears there may be an error. Each year, at least 30 percent of all applicants are flagged for verification. Read more details.
Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?
Yes. The process is easier after the first year because you will use a renewal application which already has much of the data from the previous year.
If I lose a BW merit scholarship one year, can I get it back if my grades improve?
No. You have one year to maintain the required grade point average. If you do not do so, the scholarship is lost and not renewed.
Do I lose any gift money if my grades are not good?
You may lose a portion of BW gift aid if you are placed on Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, Warning Probation, offered Assist Program or permitted to continue by the Board of Appeals. Once the grant has been reduced, it will not be increased to the original amount.
Do I receive the same aid package every year?
Not necessarily. You must apply for aid using the FAFSA every year. Your eligibility for aid is determined by the information on your FAFSA.
Why did I lose my Pell Grant?
Pell Grants are changed or lost if family income or other variables that are part of the formula change resulting in a higher expected family contribution, as determined by the federal processor.
Are my scholarships renewable?
Scholarships are renewable if you maintain the required grade point average detailed in your scholarship award letter.
What happens to my gift assistance if I receive an outside scholarship?
While the FAO tries to completely meet your financial need, it is not always possible. If your need has not been completely met by your aid award package, the outside scholarship can fill in the gap between your need and your financial aid. If your need has been completely met, then the outside scholarship reduces the self-help portion of your financial aid award, which includes work study and loans.
How do I get a work-study job on campus?
It is your responsibility to find campus employment. Check with the Student Employment Center for job listings or directly contact a department of interest to you.
What paperwork do I need to complete in order to begin work on campus?
You need to have the following papers on file with the Student Employment Center:
- I-9 form
- Ohio School Tax District Form
Can I work on campus if I do not have work-study in my financial aid award?
As a general rule, students without work-study as part of a financial aid award, may work on campus beginning the fourth week of the fall semester if the department with a job opening has non work-study funds available for student employment.
How do student workers get paid?
Students are paid every two weeks. You may sign a waiver that allows your check to be directly credited to your student billing account with the Bursar's Office or you may have the check deposited to your personal savings or checking account.
What if I don't earn all of my work-study award?
Work-study money is not spending money. It is a part of your financial aid package. Therefore, any money not earned becomes a part of your family's responsibility.
Do I have to apply for student loans?
You will be sent loan information with specific details on applying for student loans. Your financial aid award letter simply provides you with information on loan eligibility. If you wish to receive student loan funds, you must complete a loan application.
When do I have to pay back my student loans?
Repayment on Federal Direct Loans begins six months after graduating or leaving school. Repayment on Perkins Loans begins nine months after graduating or leaving school. Repayment terms of other educational loans may vary.
What is the difference between a Direct Subsidized Loan and a Direct Unsubsidized Loan?
A subsidized loan is need-based and is interest free while you are in college. An unsubsidized loan is not need-based and is not interest free. You either pay the interest while you are in college or defer it but have the interest accrue.
What is an entrance interview?
The U.S. Department of Education requires universities to notify any student who takes out a student loan that it is not free money. It is a loan that requires repayment at a future date. The entrance interview makes sure the student is aware of his or her rights and responsibilities when borrowing a student loan.
Do my parents have to apply for a PLUS Loan, and if so, how?
Parents may choose to pay costs not covered by financial aid by borrowing under the PLUS Program, but they are not required to do so. For more information, visit Applying for a PLUS Loan.
What happens to my financial aid if I change my campus residency status?
The financial aid award you receive is based on charges incurred as a resident or a commuter. If you change your residency status, your financial aid award will also change. If you have an award as a resident, then become a commuter, you will very likely receive a reduced amount of gift aid. This is because part of your living expenses on campus are covered by BW gift assistance.
Where do I sign for a Perkins loan?
You will receive an email with information on signing for a Perkins Loan. If you have any questions, contact Marcia Shaffer at (440) 826-2218 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Perkins Loan Office is in Bonds Hall to the right of the Cashier's Office.
How do I know how much I owe?
The cost to your family may be calculated by subtracting gift aid and self-help from actual billed charges. If you do not use your loan eligibility and/or you do not apply work-study earnings to those charges, then you must add those to your family contribution.
What is the federal code?
Every college and university that receives federal money is identified by a code number. The federal code number for Baldwin Wallace University is 003014.
What can I do if I don't have enough money to pay my bill or if my parents won't help me?
Schedule an appointment with the FAO. It is important to resolve any financial problems before the academic year begins.
What happens if family circumstances change after I file the FAFSA?
Changes in family circumstances can change your eligibility for aid. Review the information regarding Special Circumstance Review/Procedure.
Am I considered independent for financial aid purposes if my parents do not claim me on their tax return?
Not being claimed on a parent tax return does not make you an independent student. To be considered independent for financial aid purposes, you must be able to answer "Yes" to at least one question on the FAFSA that pertains to independent status.
How is financial aid and tuition affected by the add/drop period?
At the start of an academic term, BW allows students to add or drop classes as they work out their enrollment schedule for the term. During the few days of adjustment, not much happens with respect to a student’s tuition charge and/or financial aid eligibility until the add/drop time has passed.
At that point, a student’s tuition is set for the term as long as no other changes take place. The same thing is true with respect to a student’s eligibility for financial assistance. Usually, the initial financial aid award is based on the student’s intended enrollment plans filed with the FAO. As long as the number of credits being taken conforms to the enrollment plan, the financial aid award eligibility doesn’t have to be changed. However, if a student indicates he/she is enrolling full time and he/she is not full time at the end of the add/drop period, an adjustment in financial aid eligibility will occur.
What happens if I drop a course?
Once the term’s add/drop period has passed, the tuition charge and aid eligibility are set. Further adjustments in the tuition charge and financial aid eligibility may occur if a student decreases or increases the number of course credits for which they are enrolled (e.g., going from part-time to full-time status). While the add/drop period allows a few days for adjustments to be finalized, once the add/drop period has passed, adjustments in the tuition charge and financial aid eligibility will occur as credits are either added (part-time to full-time) or dropped (full-time to part-time). In addition, if a student drops courses that take them from three-quarter time to half-time, or less than half time, further adjustments in both tuition and financial aid eligibility will result.
What happens if I drop all my courses?
When students drop all their courses for the academic term, their financial aid is subject to federal refund calculations. This process is formula driven and is unique to each case. As a general rule, the amount of refund applied to student charges equals the amount of reduction in aid, with all federal aid being reduced first. A student may be required to return already issued federal money to the University. If dropping all course work is necessary, the earlier a student does so, the more beneficial it will be to the student.
If I drop classes, what happens to my financial aid?
Your tuition charge and financial aid eligibility are based on the actual number of credits you are registered for as of the last day to add a class/the end of the first week of classes.
If you make a change in the number of credits in which you are enrolled during the first ten weeks of classes, your tuition could change and your financial aid could also change. For example, if you change semester enrollment from full time (12 to 18 credits) to part time (less than 12 credits) with 10 credits, your semester tuition charge will change from $14,954 (Liberal Arts tuition) to either $9,290 or $6,610 depending on whether your course credits are a part of the day or evening/weekend divisions respectively. Your financial aid eligibility will also be adjusted, usually gift aid, as most gift aid requires full-time enrollment status. (Figures for 2015-16 are reflected above.)
If you change the number of credits in which you are enrolled after the first ten weeks of classes (2/3 into the semester), an adjustment in your tuition and perhaps your financial aid eligibility will occur. The Financial Obligations and Billing Policy outlines the University refund policy.
If you are a full-time student and drop a class, but your enrollment remains between 12 and 18 credits, there is no change in your tuition or financial aid eligibility as your enrollment is still considered full time and the tuition remains unchanged. If dropping a course results in you being less than full time, your tuition will be adjusted based upon the percentage of the term that has elapsed before the drop. Your financial aid eligibility will also be adjusted.
If you withdraw from all of your classes after the end of week one but before 60 percent of the semester/term has elapsed, an adjustment in your tuition and financial aid eligibility will be based upon the percentage of time that you were not enrolled for the same number of credits from the total credits from which you started the term.
Your BW financial aid (grants and scholarships) will also be based on the University refund policy. For federal and state assistance (grants and loans) the adjustment in aid is based on the Federal Refund Schedule (FRS), where the percentage of time that you are not enrolled during the length of the semester/term also represents the amount of federal and state financial assistance that must be reduced.
Normally a semester consists of about 110 days, of which financial aid may be required to be returned if the student withdraws from credits enrolled during the first 60 percent of the length of the semester. For a 110-day semester, this would be through the first 66 days. For each day the student is enrolled, the student basically earns a percentage of the federal and state assistance he or she has received. By the time 60 percent of the semester/term has elapsed, the student is now considered to be able to keep whatever amount of federal/state assistance that has been credited and no adjustment is necessary if a student withdraws.
Here's an example:
John Reynolds is a full-time, resident student in the Liberal Arts program. He decides to drop all of his courses on the 35th day of the semester. He has completed 33 percent of the length of the 105 day semester. As a result, 67 percent of his financial aid eligibility is subject to possible change. His tuition adjustment, however, is based upon the University refund policy, which indicates that the 35th day of the semester falls within the 25 percent refund period. His room charge does not change, as he has occupied the room space from the start of the semester. His board (Jacket Express) charges are adjusted to reflect what he actually used up to and including his last day on campus. John's tuition is changed by 25 percent, the percentage of the semester/term in which he was no longer enrolled. This is an adjustment of $3,738.50, reducing his tuition from $14,924 to $11,215.50. His room charge remains unchanged at $2,417 and he has used 50 percent of his Jacket Express (leaving 50 percent, or $1262.50). He will receive the remaining 50 percent of his unused Jacket Express as a credit to his student billing account. His charges are tuition ($11,215.50) and room ($2,417) and Jacket Express ($1,262.50) for a total of $14,895. (Figures for 2015-16 are reflected above.)
With regard to financial aid eligibility, here is what John was receiving at the start of the semester, before he withdrew from his courses:
- BW Scholarship: $6,000
- BW Grant : $4,000
- State Grant: $1,284
- Pell Grant : $1,800
- Direct Loan: $1,741 (amount of loan actually received by the student)
- Work-Study: $1,200 (earned $300 during the first 35 days of the semester)
- PLUS Loan: $5,000 (amount eligible, but parents did not take the loan
With John's withdrawal, his financial aid eligibility is changed in the following ways:
- BW Scholarship: $4,500 (25 percent adjustment under the College Refund Schedule)
- BW Grant: $3,000 (see above)
- State Grant: $860 (67 percent adjustment under the Federal Refund Schedule)
- Federal aid: $2,361 (see above)
- PLUS Loan: $0 (wasn't taken and is excluded from calculation )
- Work-Study: $300 (excluded from refund, money earned is kept)
In John's case, he is losing more of his federal/state assistance than the adjustment made in his tuition charges. He is eligible to keep 33 percent of his federal aid received (grants and loans) since he was enrolled for 33 percent of the length of the semester. His tuition adjustment was for 25 percent under the University refund policy. More charges remain on his account. There is no adjustment to his room charge as he occupied the room since the first day of classes. He received 50 percent of his Jacket Express chargeback, as this amount was not yet used (or consumed) by John during his first 35 days of enrollment in the semester/term.
For John to have received a more equitable adjustment between the University refund policy and the Federal Refund Schedule, he needed to have withdrawn from his credits by the end of the third week of the semester. If he had, his tuition adjustment would have been under the 70 percent University refund policy, and his federal aid would have been under the 80 percent Federal Refund Schedule for having been still enrolled through 21 of the 105 days of the semester. Instead, he withdrew from classes two weeks later, on the 35th day, which put him in the 25 percent tuition adjustment and 67 percent federal and state assistance reduction.
If you need to drop a class, it is always financially best to do so as early in the semester as possible.
A quick rule of thumb for "guestimating" how tuition and financial aid might be changed, consider each day from the start of the semester as one percent, and that with each passing day of enrollment, you earn or keep an additional one percent of your financial aid eligibility. So, if you are enrolled for 40 days, then about 40 percent of your financial aid will remain unchanged.
Among your federal aid eligibility, work-study and any federal loans not taken are excluded from a refund calculation. With respect to federal aid, loan assistance is first counted as being returned before any federal gift assistance is returned. In the example involving John, the amount of federal aid he is able to keep is $1,800 in the form of a Pell Grant because his student loan assistance is the first source of aid to be returned.
Here's what may happen if you drop a class:
- If you're still enrolled at 12 credits or more, there are no changes to your aid or tuition since you're still considered a full-time student.
- After the end of the add/drop week, a change in enrollment from 12 or more credits to six to 11 credits will mean a lower tuition charge and a change in aid eligibility. In addition, if over time, you don't earn an average of 11 credit hours per semester, you may jeopardize receiving federal student assistance.
- If you're enrolled part time through the first week of the semester, then your charges will reflect part-time enrollment, not full-time enrollment. This also means that only aid which you qualify for as a part-time student can remain. All full-time student aid eligibility is forfeited.
- If you drop below six course credits, the federal government considers you as enrolled at less than half-time status. Grants, scholarships, work-study eligibility and loans are all affected.
- If all credits are dropped for the semester, the same outcome will occur as if you dropped below half-time status. All aid eligibility is affected.
Is aid available to participate in a Study Abroad Program?
Yes. Assuming the cost of the Study Abroad Program is greater than the cost of one semester at BW, then the difference between the two comparable semester charges is covered with extra financial aid. Of this extra amount of aid, one fourth is in gift assistance. For example, if it costs $2,200 more to study in England than to stay at BW for a semester, there would be $550 in extra gift aid and $1,650 in additional loan assistance. Only one semester of study abroad support is provided by the University.