Here are some frequently asked questions we hear from students. Specific questions not addressed below can be addressed with the Financial Services staff at your campus.
There are three web-accessible applications needed to apply for financial aid:
Yes, students must apply for financial aid every year. If their financial circumstances change, students may get more or less aid. Renewal of the financial aid package also depends on a student making satisfactory academic progress toward a certificate or degree, such as achieving a minimum GPA.
Yes. If a student receives any kind of financial assistance, it must be reported to the Department of Financial Aid. The university will review his or her financial aid package to determine if eligibility for federal funds has changed.
Whether aid is repaid depends on the type of funding received. Loans need to be repaid and grants and scholarships do not.
The Federal Direct Loan is a type of financial aid. Students must complete the federal grant application (FAFSA) before eligibility for a loan can be determined
There are many types of assistance available. However, income is only one of many factors involved in determining aid eligibility. Students should not assume they are not eligible until they have completed the FAFSA. Most students are at least eligible to participate in the Direct Unsubsidized loan program.
Yes. Having bad credit does not prevent students from participating in the federal financial aid programs (except the Federal PLUS Program).
It could be affected. Students should consult their Financial Aid Coordinator before making any changes to their enrollment status.
Verification is the process whereby the school is required to review the information provided on the FAFSA for accuracy. The federal government randomly selects students for this process or a student may get selected because of conflicting or unusual information provided on the FAFSA. If selected for verification, the student (and parents, if applicable) will be required to submit a verification worksheet and a copy of the appropriate year tax transcript.
Much of the information required for verification can only be found on the tax transcript.
The award letter is mailed to students after we have determined eligibility for aid. It will indicate the type of aid students are eligible for and the approximate disbursement dates and amounts for these funds.
Undergraduate students should submit a Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) via the Department of Education website.
The maximum annual PELL Grant is set by Congress and is determined in part by the student's enrollment status throughout the year and the output results from the FAFSA. Students should contact the Department of Financial Aid for more information.
No, the amounts of a PELL Grant disbursement are determined on a term-by-term basis. Unused PELL Grant funds at the end of the fiscal year (7/1 – 6/30) are lost.
In addition to the Federal Pell Grant program, there are a few other grant programs available to students attending Ottawa University:
Failure to repay loan(s) can have serious consequences. Not only will it affect credit, but a student's wages could be garnished, tax returns withheld and eligibility lost to participate in any further federal financial aid programs.
The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while the student is in school at least half time and (with some exceptions) during the grace period. The student can either pay the unsubsidized interest quarterly while in school (recommended) or can choose to capitalize the interest payment and have the interest added to the loan principal.
The entrance and exit interviews are the student's opportunity to learn about his or her rights and responsibilities as Federal Direct Loan borrowers.
The lender will provide Disclosure Statements showing details of current loans and reflecting overall indebtedness but the National Student Loan Data System (www.nslds.ed.gov) should be the best source of information pertaining to all of your student loan debts.
Students may contact his or her lender or the Department of Financial Aid. In addition, there are various calculators available to help students determine what their loan repayment will be.
All federal student loans are funded through the U.S. Department of Education. Private loans are available through a variety of lenders and the student can select whichever lender provides the best product to meet his/her needs.
A student who is eligible for a deferment will not have to make loan payments during the deferment period. Students who are enrolled at least half-time are eligible for an in-school deferment. The University Registrar updates student enrollment statuses each term via the National Clearinghouse.
The interest rate on Federal loans can/will vary based on the type of loan and when the loan is taken. Please contact your lender or the Department of Financial Aid for more clarification regarding the rates on your loan(s).
Students are allowed a grace period of six months before entering repayment. The grace period begins once the student leaves school or drops to less than half time status.
Students may be eligible. They should contact the Department of Financial Aid to further discuss.
The parent has the option to apply with an endorser who would also be subject to a credit check. The parent may also appeal the credit decision. Absent either of these alternatives, the student can be treated as an independent student for loan purposes only and receive additional Unsubsidized loan funds.
Repayment on a PLUS loan begins 60 days after the final disbursement is made. Parents can apply for a deferment while the student is in school. Be careful about asking for this since interest will continue to accrue during the deferment period. The accrued interest will increase the size of the loan, especially if the deferment is for an extended period of time.
Like all other types of financial aid, the funds will be applied directly to the student’s university account. If a credit balance is created, the excess funds will be issued to the parent.