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FAFSA Updates

May 16, 2024 UPDATE:

After months of delay due to changes to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form students interested in attending Shepherd University began receiving financial aid packages. Those packages will go to incoming freshmen and transfer students.

The U.S. Department of Education announced the delays to FAFSA on January 30. Interruptions in data transmission are creating complications for students trying to determine the affordability of a college education. We are working to minimize the disruption and stress created by this situation by providing our prospective students and families with as much information as possible while we wait for more details from the Department of Education. Shepherd staff are available to answer questions and assist.

April 30, 2024 UPDATE:

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued a proclamation announcing the temporary suspension of the requirement for students to complete the FAFSA in order to qualify for the state’s largest financial aid programs. The decision comes as the new FAFSA rolled out by U.S. Department of Education in January continues to present challenges to students and families applying for financial aid.

With Gov. Justice’s proclamation, students who qualify and apply for the Promise Scholarship by September 1, 2024, will receive an award of up to $5,500 for the 2024-25 academic year. If a student completed last year’s (2023-24) FAFSA and qualifies for the need-based Higher Education Grant, they will receive the award of up to $3,400 for the fall semester. If they don’t have a previous FAFSA on file but are eligible for one of the following programs through the West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS) or West Virginia Department of Health (DH), they can show their Department eligibility letter to their higher education institution’s financial aid office to receive the Higher Education Grant:

If a student or their family needs a replacement DoHS or DH eligibility letter, they can call the Office of Constituent Services’ Customer Service Hotline at 877-716-1212 to request a new one.

Feb 13, 2024 UPDATE:

The U.S. Department of Education announced plans to limit the verification of aid applications and reduce program reviews to let colleges and universities focus on students. That includes reducing the proportion of financial aid forms it reviews for potential inaccuracy, suspending all new reviews of colleges’ compliance with financial aid rules, and offering institutions flexibility in their applications to renew their eligibility to access federal financial aid programs.

Contact the Admissions office

Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Call: 304.876.5212

We will share the latest news, timelines, and resources with you on this website so you have what you need to make an informed decision. We will also continue to be flexible with deadlines to give you the time you need to make the decision to attend Shepherd.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the FAFSA pushed back?
The U.S. Department of Education revamped the FAFSA form last year to make it easier to complete and to increase the number of students eligible for federal aid. The original FAFSA open date was moved from October 1 to December 31 to give the Department of Education time to finish updates, pushing back the timeframe colleges and universities receive FAFSA data.

When does Shepherd University expect to send financial aid packages?
The U.S. Department of Education has indicated that colleges and universities may begin receiving FAFSA data in March. If that is the case, Shepherd can begin packaging in late April.

How are financial aid packages sent?
Packages normally get sent through the mail when FAFSA data is received. This year, Shepherd plans on sending packages electronically to get financial aid information to students as fast as possible. They may be mailed as well, depending on when the Department of Education releases the data.

Is there a way for me to know how much Shepherd University will cost for the upcoming academic year?
Students can see their individual costs when financial aid packages become available. Until then, students can contact the Office of Admissions or Financial Aid for questions about what they may be eligible for, use our net price calculator for an estimate, and look at our scholarship opportunities. You may also use the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Estimator. Please contact us at 304-876-5212 if you have questions about scholarship eligibility.

When is Shepherd’s enrollment deposit deadline?
Many colleges and universities have a deposit deadline of May 1, but Shepherd University accepts enrollment deposits on a rolling basis. This flexibility gives applicants additional time to decide to join the Ram Fam. We do encourage students to make their commitment to Shepherd as soon as possible so we have more time to work through any questions. Students can pay their deposit any time before classes begin in August.

What can students do while they wait for financial aid awards?
Students and families can monitor Shepherd’s FAFSA page. It will be updated as information is released by the Department of Education. Students and families should be prepared to update FAFSA information if asked by financial aid offices. We encourage students to be patient as we work through the new FAFSA. Shepherd will send aid packages as soon as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about financial aid, please take advantage of these resources: