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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What are my chances of receiving financial aid?
A: The only way to determine your eligibility is to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The likelihood of receiving some form of financial assistance is probably better than most students and their families anticipate. Normally, more than 80% of the students who apply for financial aid demonstrate some financial need.
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
A: The first step is to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is available on the web at www.fafsa.gov. The application determines your eligibility for grants, loans, and work study. It must be completed EVERY YEAR. For maximum consideration, the Federal Processor must receive the FAFSA by March 1. The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year becomes available January 1.
Q: What if our taxes will not be completed by your deadline?
A: Although we encourage you to complete your tax returns before completing the application process, we understand that sometimes, this is not possible. Realize that you may be selected for verification (a process which requires you to provide your tax documents to the financial aid office) or need to correct your FAFSA later.
Q: I received a letter that states I am selected for verification. What does that mean?
A: A number of applications are required by the Department of Education to submit an IRS tax return transcript and other financial documentation to the financial aid office as well as a "verification worksheet: to verify the financial information reported on the FAFSA. This worksheet will be available on the financial aid office website as soon after January 1 as possible. Students and parents can request a free copy of their tax return transcript from the IRS website at www.irs.gov or use the IRS data retrieval tool to fill in the correct tax information on the FAFSA.
Q: What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
A: The IRS data retrieval tool allows FAFSA applicants to retrieve their tax data directly from the Internal Revenue Service in order to auto-fill the tax portion of the form. The IRS data retrieval tool typically becomes available in late February. IRS information will be available within several days for electronic tax filers or several weeks for paper tax filers.
Q: Who determines how much aid I get?
A: The federal government has established the basic formula approved by Congress, called Federal Methodology. When we receive your application, it includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is determined by the formula. We subtract your EFC from the total cost of attending Shepherd University. This gives us your financial need, and allows us to develop your financial aid award, or package.
Q: How do I apply for privately funded scholarship assistance?
A: Some businesses and social organizations offer scholarship assistance to employees, members, or other students that meet designated application criteria. Students should inquire about such assistance from their current employers, their parents' employers, or any local organizations. Information of scholarship sources may also be obtained at the library. Scholarship searches are also available on the Internet. Visit our scholarships page for more information.
Q: What is a "Financial Aid Package" or "Award Letter"?
A: Your financial aid package is composed of the different types of financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, and work) combined to form your award. Most students have a combination of grants, loans, and work study in their packages. We begin sending award letters in April.
Q: What happens after my first year in college?
A: You need to reapply for aid each year using the FAFSA. Aid changes each year based upon changes in the family's financial situation and changes in college expenses. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards will also apply.
Q: What happens if I have to withdraw from school?
The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal statute to recalculate
federal financial aid eligibility
Q: What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?
A: To receive funds administered by the Office of Financial Aid at Shepherd University, student must be making measurable academic progress toward completion of an eligible degree. Federal regulations require evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative academic progress. You can find the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy here.
Q: Can I appeal my financial aid if I am not meeting SAP standards?
A: Unusual circumstances may occur which impact a student's ability to be successful during an enrollment period. Examples of such unusual circumstances would be death of an immediate family member or legal guardian, personal injury or illness of the student, or other documented circumstances. Documentation such as death certificate/notice, physician's statement, etc., or other comparable documentation of unusual circumstances will be required. A student who wishes to appeal his/her SAP status based on documented unusual circumstances may do so using the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form--Level 1
Q: Is there anything I can do if the Office of Financial Aid denies my appeal or I am not meeting the SAP standards following the one semester of probation?
A: If the appeal is denied by the Office of Financial Aid, or the student does not meet the SAP policy following the one semester of probation and did not follow the Advisor's Academic Plan for Progress, the student may initiate a new appeal to be reviewed by the Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee. A student who wishes to appeal to the Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee may do so using the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form--Level 2
Q: Do I have to be a full-time student to receive financial aid?
A: No. Part-time students often qualify for financial aid.
Q: How does financial aid for the summer term work?
A: Summer financial aid requires a separate application which can be found on the website from mid-March to mid-July. AFTER you schedule your classes for summer, complete the application and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.
Q: What happens if I am convicted of a drug law violation during a period of enrollment during which I was receiving Title IV aid?
A: If you are convicted for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which you were receiving Title IV program funds, under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV grant, loan, or work study assistance.
Office of Financial Aid