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Awarding Financial Aid
Office of Financial Aid
Awarding Financial Aid
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) staff awards students on a priority basis with March 31st being the priority deadline. The need-based aid is awarded to those students with the greatest need until the funds are depleted.
The following information explains important philosophies and procedures which guide the process of awarding financial aid to students at Southern University and A&M College (SUBR):
Institutional Packaging Philosophy
The packaging philosophy in the OSFA is to ensure consistent, equitable, and fair distribution of financial aid funds.
Institutional Packaging Procedures
When packaging financial aid, the OSFA consider Federal Pell Grant first, other grants and/or scholarships second, and the campus-based aid (FSEOG, FWS, Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized, Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized, Additional Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized, and Federal Direct PLUS) third. The various types of financial assistance is considered in a manner that the student's cost of attendance (COA) is met (tuition & fees, room & board, books & supplies, transportation, and personal).
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional need (Federal Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contribution).
The OSFA staff awards students automatically from criteria set up using the Financial Aid Packaging Module in Banner. If a student has aid other than Title IV Aid and aid from the State of Louisiana (TOP's, La Go Grant, etc.), it will be applied to the award manually.
Determination of Total Funds to be Awarded
The Director, in conjunction with the OSFA staff, determines the total aid funds to be awarded during an award year. The Department of Education sends the OSFA information detailing annual fund allocations through the Federal Authorization Letter with the Official Notice of Funding. Determining the total funds available includes an evaluation and projection of available funds, required matching, and administrative expenses. Careful projections are made to enable the OSFA staff to offer fair and equitable packages to students. A determination is made based on prior year history of the percentage which all programs will be awarded in excess of allocation to account for attrition.
Students are encouraged to seek assistance from outside resources. It is required that all outside assistance be reported to the OSFA. Financial aid, including outside resources, may not exceed the student's cost of attendance and or need. Therefore, if a student has been awarded by the OSFA and receives outside funds, an adjustment to the original award notification may be necessary. If an adjustment is necessary, the OSFA will first reduce or cancel all loans until the overaward no longer exists. If the overaward still exists, Federal Work-Study is reduced or cancelled to eliminate the overaward.
Award Notification and Acceptance of Awards
Students receive notice of financial aid via an award notification. Students must return a copy of the award notification ONLY if declining or modifying the financial aid award offered.
Consortium Agreements/Exchange Student
A student may receive Title IV aid if he/she is taking coursework at two or more schools, if the participating institutions enter into a consortium agreement. A consortium agreement specifies which institution will process and disburse student aid. The agreement also should stipulate which institution will consider the student enrolled. Whichever institution disbursed aid funds is responsible for keeping records and returning Title IV funds in the case of an overaward.
International students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid because they do not meet the citizenship requirement. International students may receive non-federal aid and are encouraged to apply for such aid. International students seeking assistance are referred to the Center for International Affairs.
Awards & Disbursements
A confirmation of the financial aid awarded to each student is provided in an Award Notification emailed by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Award notifications are emailed during the spring and summer preceding the fall enrollment term.
The award notification will inform students of their awards and direct them to their Banner Student Self Service account which may contain data on student budgets, expected family contribution, award categories and Student Rights and Responsibilities. Students are requested to accept or decline the terms and conditions of the award and the award (Loans).
The financial aid awards are usually made on an annual basis. The annual award is divided into two equal installments which are posted to the student's account by the Business Office during the Fall and Spring Terms. The awards are posted to the student's account after the verification process is completed by the Office of Student Financial Aid and registration has been completed.
The student's account, provided by the Bursar's Office, consists of postings from at least three (3) sources:
1. Institutional Charges
b. Room and Board
c. Fees, etc...
2. Financial Aid Awards
a. Pell Grant
b. FSEOG grant
d. Scholarships from College and/or other sources
e. Federal Work-Study
3. Payments by cash or check from students and parents
When the financial aid award and/or cash payments exceed college charges, the student is eligible to receive a refund. Refunds of the excess credit balances are processed by the Bursar's Office and will be available to students at least thirty (30) days after the first day of enrollment to ensure that attendance and enrollment verification have been completed. Entrance interviews must also be conducted with the student before the loan proceeds are disbursed to the student.