Applying for Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping students and their families finance their higher education. Every effort is made to provide financial aid to qualified students through grants, loans, employment, and scholarships. All funds are administered in compliance with federal, state, and institutional guidelines.
Students interested in applying for financial aid need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is the application for all major federal, as well as some state and institutional student aid programs, and must be received by the federal processing center on or before March 1 for priority consideration. Shepherd University’s federal school code (003822) must be included so that the results will be sent to the Office of Financial Aid.
It is recommended that the FAFSA is completed online at http://www.fafsa.gov. The online process ensures a higher rate of accuracy and quicker processing time. For students who filed a FAFSA for the previous year, your application may be pre-filled at the same website which can be even quicker.
To be considered for summer financial aid, students must have a current FAFSA on file, enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours and be compliant with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy. Once the student has finalized their summer schedule, the Office of Financial Aid will offer awards to the student via their RAIL account.
Under a consortium agreement, students may receive financial aid to take courses at another school provided those credits count toward their degree. Students taking classes at another school must complete the Transfer Approval Form with the Office of the Registrar. It is then the student’s responsibility to provide a copy of the approved form to the Office of Financial Aid and complete the Consortium Agreement. This agreement will then be forwarded to the financial aid office of the host school for completion.
Students participating in consortium agreements are required to provide a transcript of grades from the host institution to the Office of the Registrar at the end of each consortium semester. Failure to provide the transcript will result in the suspension of aid for any subsequent semester. In addition, grades received from the host institution will be included in determining satisfactory academic progress.
Definition of Academic Year for Financial Aid Purposes
The definition of academic year for financial aid purposes for undergraduate students is as follows:
- Students earning 29 credit hours or less shall be classified as first year.
- Students earning 30-59 credit hours shall be classified as second year.
- Students earning 60-89 credit hours shall be classified as third year.
- Students earning 90-128 credit hours shall be classified as fourth year.
- Students earning more than 128 credit hours shall be classified as fifth year.
This definition will be used when awarding aid programs that are based on grade level or year in school.