Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

 

Become familiar with the financial aid process.  

How often must I complete the FAFSA?

A FAFSA must be completed every year to determine eligibility. You can complete the FAFSA online. 

Why was I awarded a full Pell Grant but only received a portion of it?

Pell Grants are offered based on the number of hours you are enrolled in each semester. As you enroll in courses, the amount of your Pell Grant award may change. Full time = 12 or more credit hours, Three-Fourths time = 7 - 9 credit hours, Half-time = 4 - 6 credit hours and Less than half-time = 1-5 credit hours.

If a student is close to their Lifetime Pell Grant eligibility (600% which equals 6 years), the full amount of Pell may not be received.

What is the difference between Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans? 

Subsidized loans are need-based loans. The interest is paid by the federal government while you are attending school at least half time (six credits). Unsubsidized loans are not need-based, and you are responsible for the interest while attending school.

How much can I borrow in student loans?

The amount that is offered to a student by Delgado Community College is determined by grade level and dependency status:

I accepted both loans; why haven’t I received them yet?

There are a few reasons that a student may not have received loan funding:

  • Student did not complete Entrance Counseling and/or Master Promissory Note at Studentloans.gov
  • Not enrolled in at least 6 credit hours
  • Student is a first-time borrower (must wait 30 days before loans are disbursed)
  • Student has reached his/her undergraduate loan limit (Status can be viewed at the National Student Loan Data System website).

What is the difference between disbursement and refund?

Disbursement is the process of applying funds to a student's account to cover tuition, fees and bookstore charges (if applicable). If the account shows a credit balance (negative amount), it will then move to the refund phase.

Is the disbursement date and the refund date the same?

No, funds disburse after the semester/session’s Census date. The Census date is the official 14th class day for the Spring & Fall Semesters and the 7th class day for the Summer Session. 

Once funds disburse, the refund process begins. This process can take approximately 14 days from the date the credit posted. Refer to the refund schedule for more information.

Why did 1/2 of my loan disburse instead of the full amount that I accepted?

Regulations regarding students who attend only one semester: Federal regulations require that student loans awarded for one semester (fall only, spring only, or summer only) must be disbursed in two installments. Loan disbursements will be credited to student accounts at the beginning of the semester and at the mid-point of the semester.

Can I repeat coursework and still receive Financial Aid?

Repetitive (repeated) courses will count toward a student’s hours attempted. Repeated courses that were previously failed are counted in hours pursued and, if successfully completed, hours earned.

Students are allowed to retake a previously passed course. A passed course is any course in which a student earns a grade of “D,” “C,” “B,” or “A.” however, financial aid will not cover the cost of re-taking any previously passed course.  Example: if a student receives a grade of “D” in the fall and receives a “C” in the spring for the same course, the student cannot retake the course for the third time AND receive financial aid for the same course. If a student withdraws before completing the course, the federal student aid funding may not be counted as his/her allowed retake course.

How do I apply for scholarships?

A listing of Delgado scholarships as well as external scholarships is available here.

Why am I not eligible to receive a bookstore credit?

In order to receive a bookstore credit, a student must have aid leftover once all tuition and fees have been covered. Bookstore credits and eligibility vary depending on the amount of authorized aid, the number of hours enrolled, and the timeframe in which awarding was completed. 

No, any funds spent will be deducted from your refund. Any excess funds (up to $900) may then be used in the bookstore for a limited time as outlined in the handbook. 

What is the 150% subsidized loan limit policy?

Students may borrow Direct subsidized loans to no more than 150 percent of the published length of the students educational program.   

Here is an example:
Program length is 32 credits. Once a student reaches 48 attempted credit hours, they are no longer eligible for Direct subsidized loans.
 

My classes are secured. What's next?

Learn about the SAP policy and how it affects your financial aid eligibility. 

What is SAP?

SAP or Satisfactory Academic Progress, is a set of standards that is measured each semester and determines your financial aid eligibility status. 

Why is meeting SAP important?

Meeting SAP standards each semester ensures you stay on track towards completing your program of study and allows you to remain eligible for financial aid. See eligibility criteria.

How can I check my Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Access instructions on how to check your SAP status.

When is my financial aid SAP status updated?

Your academic progress is reviewed and your status is updated each semester after final grades are posted. SAP will also be reviewed before aid is initially awarded.

Why does my SAP status reflect Academic Plan?

If you submitted an appeal and it was approved, your SAP status will reflect Academic Plan. The Academic Plan requires all students to meet two standards: earning a 2.0 semester GPA and passing 75 percent of hours attempted. Meeting these standards allow you to progress towards completing your degree or certificate program within a reasonable time frame. Students will need to meet the requirements of the Academic Plan each payment period until meeting the SAP standards. Not enrolling in college for a period of time then re-enrolling will not bring the student into compliance with the SAP policy.

At the end of each semester, your academic performance will be reviewed and your SAP status updated accordingly. If you have met the requirements of the Academic Plan, your status will be updated to continue on an Academic Plan.

What is my next step if I do not meet the SAP requirements?

A SAP appeal may be filed if mitigating circumstances prevented a student from meeting the requirements. The appeal must be submitted with supporting documentation and a completed academic plan.  All supporting documents will be retained in the student's financial aid file.

You have the option to submit a SAP appeal online or by using the paper form

What information must be submitted with my SAP appeal?

Each student must submit the appeal form, and attach:

  1. A statement detailing the mitigating circumstances that caused you to perform poorly or not complete your degree in the time-frame allowed and how it affected your performance.
  2. A statement explaining the steps you have taken to remove your mitigating circumstances and explain whether the circumstances have been removed.
  3. A document that supports or backs up the statement above. This can be a birth or death certificate, doctor's statement, fire or police records, hospital bills, a letter from a 3rd party or relative, letter from an employer, an obituary notice or any other legal or 3rd party document that supports the written statement attached.

How long does it take for my appeal to be read?

This depends on the time of the semester the appeal is submitted and the volume of appeals that are coming into the Financial Aid office. During the 3-4 weeks before and during registration, we receive an incredibly large number of appeals, and we do our best to read them in the order in which they are received. 

If I change my major will my old courses still count in the SAP calculation?

Yes. All attempted coursework from a prior major will be included in the calculation of the SAP components - GPA, PACE and Maximum Time-Frame.

I am a transfer student and this is my first semester at Delgado. How does SAP affect me?

All transfer students are given a SAP status of transfer. At the end of the semester, any transfer credits accepted by Delgado will be counted in the cumulative GPA, pace of progression and maximum allowable hours when determining SAP.

Minimester courses are compressed course that are taught over an 8 week, accelerated pace. Learn more about the financial aid process for this session.

Is a bookstore credit available for the minimester session? 

No, there is no bookstore credit available for this session. Textbooks for minimester courses must be paid for out of pocket. 

Will I be eligible to receive a Pell Grant for this session? 

The pell grant award is based on your EFC calculated from the FAFSA and the amount of credits hours enrolled. Your award cannot exceed the full-time amount per semester as outlined on the 2018- 2019 pell grant chart.

Keep in mind that the amount of a pell grant award is based on the total number of credit hours enrolled. Adding a course may not increase your pell award. Refer to the chart to determine your potential award. 

 Total Credit Hours Enrollment Status
1-5 Less Than 1/2 Time
6-8 1/2 Time
9-11 3/4 Time
12 or more Full Time

 

Will I be eligible for federal student loans? 

A student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours to be eligible for student loans.

  • If you are enrolled in a course for the 16 week semester but did not qualify for student loans, your eligibility may change for the minimester session. Visit campus for assistance. 
  • If you are enrolled in the 16 week session and have already accepted the loans offered to you, you will not be eligible for additional loans. 

If I am registered for the regular semester and the minimester session, when will I receive my refund? 

Financial aid is disbursed as outlined on the academic calendar. Once your account balance is paid in full, any excess funds will be refunded to you. Learn more about the refund process.

Are you selected for verification and not sure where to begin? Here are the answers you need to help you through the process. 

What is verification?

The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects FAFSA applications for verification. If you are selected, the information on your FAFSA will be reviewed for accuracy. 

What are some reasons a student is selected for verification?

  • You were selected randomly
  • The FAFSA submitted was incomplete.
  • The data on your FAFSA appears to contradict itself.
  • You provided estimated information on the FAFSA.

Will verification stop me from receiving a financial aid award?

You will not receive an award until the verification process has been successfully completed. Keep in mind that once you submit the necessary requirements, your file will be reviewed and you will be notified of your next step. If additional information is needed or corrections to your FAFSA need to be made by Inceptia, you need to allow time for processing. 

Your classes will not be secured by financial aid if you are still in the verification process. 

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and should I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is an option offered on the FAFSA that allows the transfer of tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA. It is recommended to use this secure tool so that the information provided on your FAFSA is accurate.

More information on the IRS DRT can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

View the Simple Steps to Transfer Tax Information Into Your FAFSA Form graphic.

What tax information is acceptable to submit for verification? 

If you were not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you may be required to submit your tax return information. You have the option to submit a signed copy of your return or you can request a free copy of your tax return transcript from the IRS by visiting the transcript request page on IRS.gov.

Will my financial aid change due to verification?

If the information provided for verification does not match your FAFSA, corrections will be made on your behalf. These corrections may decrease or increase your EFC, or it may not change at all. Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education and determines what type of aid you qualify for and how much, which is based on your enrollment status. 

Do I still have to complete verification if I did not work or file taxes?

If you are selected for verification, then you must complete the process. Each student and parent (if applicable) has their own specific requirements which is determined by the Department of Education. 

Who is Incepita? 

We have partnered with Inceptia for the processing of students verification files. You will receive an introductory email inviting you to setup your secure account so you can get started on your task list requirements. 

Do you offer assistance with this process? 

Yes, if you need assistance with the verification process, please visit your nearest Answer Center or schedule an appointment via the online scheduling system.

You can also call Inceptia at 1-888-374-8427.
Hours: Monday - 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST and Tuesday through Friday - 8 a.m.  to 7 p.m. CST

Take advantage of Year-Round Pell to achieve your academic goals. To benefit from this, we recommend that you come up with a financial plan and meet with your advisor.  

What is the Year-Round Pell Grant?

The US Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2017, allows a student to receive Federal Pell Grant funds for up to 150 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award for an award year.  This provision is effective beginning with the 2017-2018 award year.

How do I request use of my Pell Grant in the Summer?

Students must complete the Summer Financial Aid Request Form. If you have aid available, you will need to accept the award package in LoLA. 

Will I be eligible for Year-Round Pell?

To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds, the student must be eligible to receive a Pell Grant and must be enrolled at least half-time for the payment period(s) for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds in excess of 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award.

When will I know if I am eligible for Year-Round Pell?

Students must complete the request for summer financial aid. Once processed, the available amount will be calculated based on your Pell Grant usage and remaining eligibility at the 100% scheduled award plus the additional 50%.

How does this affect my lifetime Pell Grant?

It is deducted from your 600% Pell Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU). Visit NSLDS to see your complete financial aid history. 

The Winter Session is an opportunity for intensive study between fall and spring terms. It is important that you understand the financial aid process for this session. 

Important Financial Aid Information:

  • If you do not meet SAP by December 13th, you will not be eligible for financial aid, and will have to pay out of pocket for the Winter Session. Due to the timing of final grades, we will not be able to give you more notice of having to pay out of pocket. Students will receive a text message as we identify those who are ineligible for financial aid. At that time, you will have a small time-frame to make full payment. 
  • Disbursements for the Spring payment period will be made February 5th. Refunds for those disbursed on February 5th can be expected Friday, February 14th. 
  • Department of Education regulations prevent students from accepting financial aid from 2 different institutions during one payment period. Delgado's payment period begins December 18th and ends May 14th. You will not be able to receive financial aid at any other institution in the United States until after May 14th, 2020. 
  • For a student who has a credit balance after all tuition and fees have been paid (Winter and Spring session) as of Tuesday December 10th, may have a bookstore credit. Winter bookstore credits will not exceed $375. Bookstore credits can be used Thursday, December 12 through Monday, December 16th. You can either order your books online or visit the City Park or West Bank campus bookstores to make your purchases. 

Who is eligible to enroll in a Winter Session?

Continuing and new students are encouraged to enroll in Delgado's Winter Session. New Students must apply to the Winter Session. 

Is a payment plan available for Winter Session?

No. Payment plans are not available for Winter Session. 

Can I use financial aid for the Winter Session?

Yes. All financial aid documents must be submitted by December 2nd. Winter Session Financial aid will be part of your Spring Financial Aid award, and will affect the amount of funding available for the Spring semester. Financial aid cannot be used at Delgado for the Intersession AND be used at ANOTHER institution for the Spring full semester.

How many courses may I take during Winter Session?

A typical full Winter Session course load is one course. However, you may take a science course and its associated one hour lab course for example BIOL 141 General Biology I (3 Credit Hours) and BIOL 143 General Biology I Lab (1 Credit Hour). 

Will any academic support services be available during the Winter Session?

Unfortunately, the tutoring facilities are closed during the Winter Session for regular maintenance and improvements.

How can I earn the same number of credits in three weeks that usually take 16?

Intersession courses are compressed. That means that you will master the same content that usually takes much longer.  An intersession course is a serious commitment for a student. Students should expect to spend several hours a day on intersession coursework, and must adhere strictly to deadlines and timetables for completion of assignments and assessments. In a three week session, there is no time to catch up if you get behind.

When will my grades be made available?

Thursday, January 16, 2020