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How Financial Aid Works

FINANCIAL AID OVERVIEW

The term "financial aid" covers the wide range of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study assistance offered to students to help lower their financial obligation while attending BW.

Sources of financial aid include federal and state government programs, BW itself and other offers from high schools, civic organizations, public agencies and private foundations.

Some types of aid are "need-based" with eligibility determined by an evaluation of family need. Other types of aid are "merit-based" and recognize academic or talent-related student achievements. There are also "offers of circumstance." Unlike merit or need-based aid, offers of circumstance are based on some common or shared characteristic or attribute such as being a resident of a particular city or a graduate of a certain high school.

General Information

The following information will help ensure you maintain your financial aid while enrolled at BW:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for receiving all federal and need-based assistance at BW, including but not limited to federal, state, and BW Grants. For more information on FAFSA eligibility please visit the federal student aid site.
  • You will need to file a FAFSA every year to receive a comprehensive financial aid offer letter.
  • Students must meet all posted deadlines.
  • Students must comply with all requests for information from the financial aid office (FAO), especially when necessitated by federal verification requirements.
  • Students must notify the FAO in writing of any changes in enrollment or if they plan to move on or off campus. These changes may cause adjustments to your overall aid eligibility and a new offer letter (e.g. a student taking 6 hours is eligible for different aid than a student taking 12 hours).
  • Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), as defined by the Federal Department of Education, and in keeping with BW requirements for good standing which is reviewed annually for financial aid purposes.

Your financial aid status can be tracked using the MyRecords portal available on the MyBW student homepage, log in using your BW username and password.

How Do Class Registration, the Billing Process and Financial Aid Disbursements Work Together?

Once you have registered for your next semester, the billing process starts. If you are unable to register due to a financial hold, visit our financial hold resolution roadmap to resolve the issue.

Typically, a month or two before the start of the semester, the BW Cashier’s Office will begin creating and issuing student billing statements and make them available on the MyRecords portal (accessible through the MyBW student homepage). Your bill will reflect both charges from the university (tuition, BW room, meal plan, etc.), as well as the aid we are able to disburse into your account. Aid can disburse at varying times depending on the type of aid:

  • Institutional gift aid should be reflected immediately on your account.
  • Federal aid should appear the week prior to the start of classes (the aid that has not yet posted should show as anticipated credits on your account).
  • Federal Work-Study will either be directly deposited to the student's bank account or applied to the student's BW billing account, based on student preference. Learn more information about work-study employment.

Learn more information about understanding your billing statement.

For up-to-date information regarding your bill or the status of your financial aid, utilize the MyRecords portal available on the MyBW student homepage. To access your homepage you will need your BW Username and Password. If you encounter issues when trying to log in, contact the IT Help Desk.

What if I add or drop classes once the semester has already started?

Once a term’s add/drop period has passed, the tuition charges and aid eligibility are set. Adjustments in the tuition charge and financial aid eligibility may occur if a student decreases or increases the number of credit hours for which they are enrolled. For more information on how enrollment affects financial aid, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

What if I change my housing status?

Your financial aid is based on the charges issued by BW. If your financial aid offer was based on you living on-campus, your financial aid eligibility was calculated based on charges of tuition, room and BW meal plan. If you move off-campus, you will only be charged for tuition and therefore your financial aid eligibility must be recalculated. Likewise, if your financial aid offer was based on you living off-campus, your offer would not include eligibility for your room and BW meal plan charges and therefore must be recalculated.

Notify the financial aid office if your financial aid offer letter does not correctly reflect your living situation.

Why hasn't all of my aid been credited to my student account?

There are several reasons why certain types of financial aid may not be credited to your student account.

Federal Verification
If your FAFSA was selected for federal verification, you will have been notified by email (and/or postal mail for incoming students) to visit your MyRecords portal for any required documentation. If you happen to miss the email notification, the phrase "Your FAFSA has been selected for Verification" will also appear on the paper version of your offer letter. Verification must be completed to have any federal or need based aid disburse to your account. Learn more about the verification process on our website.

Federal Direct Loan
Obtaining a Federal Direct Loan requires additional steps before funds can be credited to your student account. As a first-time Federal Direct Loan borrower, you need to complete an Entrance Interview statement and sign an electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). See detailed instructions.

Other Loans (Parent PLUS and Private Education Loans)
These funds can vary in their disbursement timeframes, depending on the lender, regulatory requirements and their transactional preferences. The funds are typically released to the Bursar's Office in the form of an electronic funds transfer (EFT), however, they are sometimes sent as a paper check, requiring endorsement from the borrower. If parents are required to sign a paper check, the FAO will contact them.

Federal Work-Study
Federal Work-Study is a unique type of financial aid that requires work to be performed in order to receive funds. If you are offered Federal Work-Study, you can decide how you would like to apply your earnings. You can choose to receive your earnings as a direct deposit into your bank account which you can use for personal expenses or you can choose to have your earnings deposited directly into your student account. The amount of Federal Work-Study dollars listed on your offer represents the maximum you can earn in an academic year.

Other Types of Gift Assistance (Outside Scholarships)
If you notify the FAO that you received a scholarship from an external source, we will include it as part of your financial aid offer letter. However, the funds will not be posted to your student account until the check is received by BW. In some cases, BW doesn't receive these funds until after the end of the semester.

Any balance due to the Bursar's Office is due regardless of the fact that outside funds are expected but not yet received. You may want to pay your balance due for any outside scholarship amounts to avoid any finance charges on an unpaid balance assessed by the Bursar. For more information about finance charges or the policy, contact the Bursar's Office at (440) 826-2217 or cashier@bw.edu.

I want to study abroad. Will I receive any additional financial aid?

Students who are approved to participate in BW's explorations/study abroad programs may be eligible to receive additional financial assistance when there are program costs above BW tuition, room and board. Depending on student financial need as determined by FAFSA results, 25 percent of a student's added explorations/study abroad formal charges may be offered in the form of additional BW gift assistance with a maximum possible offer of $2,500. Additionally, BW offers a no-interest loan option to further help with program costs above the BW costs for tuition, room and board.

Additional aid eligibility is determined during the semester prior to the study abroad travel, the explorations/study abroad office provides the FAO with a list of the students who are participating in approved study abroad programs, including any program costs above BW tuition, room and board.

Limited funds are available for students who participate in overseas study programs. However, if you plan on participating in more than one study abroad program, you may receive an added BW Explorations/Study Abroad Grant. This added assistance will be determined by the BW Explorations Office. Students receiving student tuition remission assistance from BW are not eligible to receive additional BW gift support for participation in explorations/study abroad programs.

Can my grades affect my financial aid eligibility (What is SAP)?

Yes. Your performance in the classroom can impact your federal financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

You can lose eligibility for federal aid if:

  • You are not maintaining the minimum cumulative grade point average (your mandatory GPA will depend on your credit hours earned and your program of study).
  • You are not earning sufficient credits toward graduation (you must be completing at least 67% of your attempted hours and complete your academic program within 150% of the credit hours needed to graduate).

Learn more information about our BW Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.

Are there any other consequences if I fail to achieve minimum standards of SAP?

Yes. If you're placed on BW's probation or suspension list, your BW Grant may be permanently reduced from your offer. The penalty is a $250 loss for academic probation and a $500 loss for one of these categories: academic suspension, board of appeals classification and warning probation.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

General/Federal

State/Local

Contact Us

Financial Aid Office
Phone: (440) 826-2108
Fax: (440) 826-8048
Email: finaid@bw.edu

Federal ID Code

BW's Federal ID Code: 003014

Office Hours

Academic Year: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Summer: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.