IMPORTANT CHANGES TO 2017-2018 FINANCIAL AID PROCESS–
On Sept 13, 2015, President Obama signed into law new federal regulations that will impact your financial aid. The new regulations require you to use your income taxes from the year prior to the prior year, or the “prior prior year” to file. For example for the 2017-2018 FAFSA you will use the 2015 tax return. The earlier submission date is a permanent change and enables you to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1.
Belmont Abbey College is encouraging all students to file their FAFSA’s as soon after October 1, 2016 as possible. Because you will have already done your taxes you won’t need to estimate tax information and then update the FAFSA later. You may also be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically import tax information into your FAFSA. Finally, the earlier submission date should relieve some pressure and give you more time to explore your financial options.
All students applying for Federal or State aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA code for Belmont Abbey College is 002910. www.fafsa.ed.gov
We encourage you to apply for Financial Aid by our priority deadline of April 1, 2017.
Please download and reference this financial aid handbook for adult degree students.
- After October 1st, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line, www.fafsa.ed.gov. Your 2015 federal tax returns are required to complete sections of the FAFSA.
- In completing the FAFSA be certain to list Belmont Abbey College in the “Information Release” section. The code for Belmont Abbey College is 002910. If Belmont Abbey College is not listed, the Financial Aid Office will not have access to the information required to consider the student for financial aid.
- The student must have an FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA. You may apply for your FSA ID at www.fafsa.ed.gov
- The Dept. of Education will calculate your information according to the Federal Methodology (FM). The result of this calculation is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This process will take approximately 72 hours to complete.
- After the calculation has been completed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR).
- The Financial Aid Office will electronically receive a federal need analysis of your information.
- Upon receipt of the Need Analysis, the Financial Aid Office will determine your eligibility for financial aid by subtracting the EFC from the cost of attendance. If you have a demonstrated need, you will receive an award letter with instructions.
- Some student files are selected by the US Dept. of Education for verification. The verification process will require the student to use the DRT on the FAFSA website or submit the 2015 tax transcripts, as well as submit other requested documents to the Financial Aid Office by a reply date. Upon receiving the required documents, the Financial Aid Office will verify the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA.
- Corrections must be made during the verification process. If corrections are made, the Financial Aid Office will obtain an “Official EFC” based on the correct data. You will then receive a revised award letter. The final award may be increased or decreased according to the “Official EFC.”
- Once you have received an award letter, you should accept or decline the award within two weeks.
A tax return transcript shows most line items from the tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040 EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes you, your representative, or the IRS made after the return was filed. In many cases, a transcript will meet the requirements of lending institutions such as those offering mortgages and student loans. You should receive your tax return transcript within 10 working days from the time the IRS receives your request. To request a transcript by phone call: 1-800-908-9946 and select option #2 or you may print a copy of your tax transcript at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript.
- Scholarships and Grants are considered gift aid and generally don’t have to be paid back (sometimes a repayment is required if a student withdraws);
- Loans are funds that you borrow and must be paid back, usually after you leave school.
Federal Pell Grant – The Pell grant is a federal entitlement program that provides funds to students enrolled at approved colleges. The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number on the Student Aid Report (SAR) determines the amount of each grant. This information is generated through the Department of Education and is mailed to the applicant at his/her home address.
Eligibility is based on the following:
- Enrollment as a regular student in an eligible program
- U.S. citizenship or permanent residence with proper documentation
- Undergraduate student not previously receiving a bachelor’s degree
- Does not owe a refund or is not in default on any federal financial aid
- Is in compliance with Selective Service Registration requirements
Annual maximum and minimum awards vary. The 2016-2017 minimum award is $590. The 2016-2017 maximum award is $5,815.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program is a federal non-repayable program that provides money to a limited number of undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Supplemental grants range from $200 to $4,000 per academic year depending on your need and availability of funds. There is no aggregate limit of FSEOG funds that a student may receive.
Subsidized Stafford Loans – Any student who files a FAFSA and who meets the eligibility requirements will qualify for a Federal Stafford Loan. Subsidized Stafford Loans do not accrue interest until a student ceases to be enrolled. The interest rate is set each year on July 1, and is a fixed rate loan. For 2016-2017 the subsidized interest rate is 3.76%.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans – If you do not meet the financial need criteria to qualify for a subsidized loan, you can still apply for an unsubsidized loan. You are responsible for paying the interest while you are in school. If you cannot make the interest payments, the interest can be added to your principle balance. The interest rate is set each year on July 1, and is a fixed rate loan. For 2016-2017the unsubsidized loan interest rate is 3.76%.
Federal Loan Programs for Parents
Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) – PLUS Loans are available for every creditworthy parent who is a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, who has completed the FAFSA.
Parents may apply for a PLUS Loan at www.studentloans.gov. Please complete this step no later than July 1. A delay can prevent the loan from being credited to your student’s account prior to first semester tuition due date of July 15. First-time PLUS Loan borrowers at Belmont Abbey College are also required to complete an online master promissory note. For 2016-2017 the PLUS loan interest rate is 6.31%.
Entrance counseling must be completed before a student can receive a disbursement of Stafford loan funds. College students may fulfill this federal requirement by clicking on the link below.
Federal Student Aid (Entrance Counseling)
Exit counseling must be completed when a student who has received Stafford loan funds either graduates or leaves college. Belmont Abbey College students may fulfill this federal requirement by either making an appointment with a BAC financial aid counselor or clicking on the link below.
Federal Student Aid (Exit Counseling)
Financial Aid Links
Financial Aid Forms & Verification
The US Department of Education randomly selects FAFSA applications for verification each year. Our policy is to complete verification on all applicants selected and those with incomplete, erroneous, or conflicting data. You will be notified once your FAFSA has been received as to what types of documents are needed to complete the verification process. These documents should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office within 30 days of receiving your notification letter. Please be sure to include the student’s first and last name on all documents.
2016-2017 School Year
- Special Circumstance Application
- Verification Independent V1 16-17
- Verification Independent V4 16-17
- Verification Independent V5 16-17
- Verification Independent V6 16-17
- Verification Dependent V1 16-17
- Verification Dependent V4 16-17
- Verification Dependent V5 16-17
- Verification Dependent V6 16-17
- Explaining Student Federal Income Tax Changes
- Explaining Parent Federal Income Tax Changes
- Tax Extension- Parent
- Tax Extension- Student
2017-2018 School Year
- Special Circumstance Application
- Verification Independent V1 17-18
- Verification Independent V4 17-18
- Verification Independent V5 17-18
- Verification Dependent V1 17-18
- Verification Dependent V4 17-18
- Verification Dependent V5 17-18
- Explaining Student Federal Income Tax Changes
- Explaining Parent Federal Income Tax Changes
Please complete and return all forms to the Financial Aid office.
Effective July 1, 2014
Changes to requirements for making satisfactory academic progress take effect on July 1, 2014.
Academic Requirements for Receiving Financial Aid
For a student to be eligible to receive financial assistance from Title IV Federal funds (Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, and Federal Work Study Program), State funds (North Carolina Need Based Scholarship) or Belmont Abbey College funds, he/she is required to make satisfactory academic progress.
When is Satisfactory Academic Progress Evaluated? Belmont Abbey College evaluates satisfactory academic progress at the end of each semester. A student will be notified via his/her Abbey email account if after his/her evaluation, he/she is determined to not be making satisfactory academic progress.
Criteria for Determining Satisfactory Academic Progress
A student must successfully complete 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted AND must have received a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
In addition, a student must be making progress toward graduation as follows:
- Degree Completion: Undergraduate degrees at Belmont Abbey College consist of 120 credit hours – maximum of five and a half years or 11 semesters to complete these 120 hours and receive Title IV federal student aid. Progress will be measured by dividing the cumulative number of hours you have successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours you have attempted. This calculation includes any hours you transferred in. Full time students must progress at a pace of 67% per semester. Federal law prohibits students who have earned more than 180 credit hours from receiving Federal financial aid.
- Any part-time hours will count in the maximum time frame calculations above.
- Hours are counted for all terms, even terms in which the student did not receive financial aid
Change of Major
A student may change his/her major up to two (2) times. Any change in majors must be made by the fall of the junior year.
It is important to understand how various grades and enrollment decisions impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.
Withdrawing, Dropping a Class, Incompletes, Transfer of Credits
- Withdrawing from a class: This could cause the student to fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress by reducing the number of hours successfully completed. Please see the Financial Aid Office for advice prior to withdrawing from a class.
- Dropping a Class during drop add – Dropping a class and not replacing it with another class could cause the student to fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress. Please see the Financial Aid Office for advice prior to dropping a class.
- Incompletes- Incompletes must be completed with an assigned letter grade by the end of the following semester. Failure to do so could result in a student failing to make satisfactory academic progress.
- Transfer of Credits – Any credits transferred into Belmont Abbey College will be used to calculate progress toward graduation (see above).
- Summer Courses – Summer Session hours attempted and earned will be included in the calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress as for any other term.
Note: Credit hours earned through competency assessments, challenge exams, co-curricular activities, CLEP, etc., are not counted. No credit is given for W or I grades. The grading system and calculation of GPA are explained in the Academic Catalogue.
What are the consequences for not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements listed above?
If a student fails to meet any one of the requirements stated above at the end of a semester, he/she will be considered not making satisfactory academic progress and will automatically be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. The student will be notified via his/her Abbey email accounts that he/she is on financial aid warning. At the end of the next semester, the student must be making satisfactory academic progress or will not be awarded any Federal Title IV aid, state aid, or Belmont Abbey College institutional aid unless the student successfully appeals to the Financial Aid Review Committee and is put on Financial Aid probation.
Once a student is placed on financial aid probation, he/she has one semester to attain satisfactory academic progress or he/she will forfeit all financial aid the following semester. A student is allowed one (1) satisfactory academic progress appeals.
If an appeal is granted by the Financial Aid Review Committee, the student may be required to follow a college mandated academic plan in order to retain his/her financial aid. The Academic Plan will be structured according to the students needs and his/her progress toward graduation. Failure to follow the prescribed academic plan will result in immediate loss of financial aid funds.
Appealing to the Financial Aid Review Committee
IMPORTANT: In order for an appeal letter to be considered, it must be written by the student himself/herself, signed, dated, and submitted to the Financial Aid Office prior to the submission deadline, as indicated in your Satisfactory Academic Progress letter. Appeals must also contain the following information:
1. Your description of the extenuating circumstances that you believe prevented you from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. Examples of extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to the following:
- Unexpected death or major hospitalization of an immediate family member
- Extended hospitalization or medical condition of student
- Victimization of a violent crime or natural disaster
Examples that are NOT considered extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to the following:
- Work conflicts or lack of transportation to school
- Change of major or pursuit of a double major
- The time of day the class is being held
- The professor who is teaching the course
2. Your plan of action – what you will do to resolve the cause of the circumstance which led to unsatisfactory academic progress.
3. Your contact information. Provide us with a telephone number and email address.
4. Copies of supporting documentation such as doctor’s letters/bills, death certificate, obituary, police reports etc.
Submitting Your Appeal
A student must submit your appeal via email (remember to attach any supporting documentation) to SAPappeal@bac.edu by the cutoff date listed on his/her Satisfactory Academic Progress letter. Appeals sent to any other email address will not be reviewed by the Financial Aid Review Committee.
After Submitting Your Appeal
The appeal will be reviewed within 2 weeks of the deadline listed to submit the appeal. The review of the appeal may take longer during peak periods. The student will be notified via his/her Belmont Abbey College email account of the committee’s decision. The decision of the committee is final.
During the review process the following factors may be considered:
- Validity of reasons for failing to meet SAP standards
- Resolution of the problems leading up to your failure to meet SAP standards
- Prior academic history (credits earned vs credits attempted, GPA, number of repeats, etc.)
- Any correspondence from your academic advisor
- If you are a residential student, your campus disciplinary status (any violations etc.)
- Your demonstrated motivation to succeed
- Quality of the appeal
- Quality and thoroughness of supporting documentation.
On August 14, 2008 the Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted. This legislation reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965. Part of this legislation requires that Belmont Abbey College have and enforce a code of conduct for all of its officers, employees and agents of the institution.
Belmont Abbey College is a William D Ford Federal Direct Lending School. Belmont Abbey College became a direct lending school at the beginning of the 1995-96 academic year.
Belmont Abbey College does not have a preferred lender list. Belmont Abbey College does not recommend or attempt to influence student’s right to choose their own lender if they elect to take out a private educational loan.
The following Code of Conduct applies to all employees, officers and agents of Belmont Abbey College who have responsibilities with respect to student educational loans. All of these individuals must comply with the following policy:
Ban on revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender: Employees, officers and agents of Belmont Abbey College shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.
Ban on receiving gifts from any lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer: Employees, officers and agents of Belmont Abbey College shall not solicit or accept any gift in the form of a gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan service, transportation, lodging, meals, reimbursement, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount.
Ban on contracting arrangements: Employees, officers and agents of Belmont Abbey College shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including stock purchasing options) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
Prohibition against steering borrowers to particular lenders: Belmont Abbey College does not have a preferred lender list and is a Federal Direct Lending School.
Prohibition on offers of funds for private loans: Belmont Abbey College shall not request or accept from any lender an offer of funds for private loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of loans made, insured or guaranteed, a specific loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement. An “opportunity pool loan” is defined as a private education loan made by a lender to a student that involves a payment by the institution to the lender for extending credit to the student.
Ban on staffing assistance. Belmont Abbey College shall not request or accept any lender assistance with financial aid office staffing. Belmont Abbey College does its own entrance and exit counseling.
Ban on advisory board compensations: No member of the financial aid office staff of Belmont Abbey College, or any other employee that has responsibilities with respect to education loans or any other student financial aid shall derive any material benefit from serving on an advisory board, commission or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors. However, such individuals may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on such advisory board, commission or group.
Belmont Abbey College
Financial Aid Office
100 Belmont-Mt Holly Rd
Belmont, NC 28012