Making Sense of Your Financial Aid Awards

Dear Student:

 

Your Financial Aid Awards are determined by the information you submitted on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or applicable scholarship applications.  This page has been created to help you understand your awards.  In addition to providing a checklist for completing the financial aid process, we have included a list all of the programs available at the College in simple, easy to understand terms.  We hope this will be of value as you consider the awards offered.  In some cases, further action is required on your part after accepting the awards.  For example, student and parent loans require a separate process as described below in the Check List for Completing the Financial Aid Process.

If you have special circumstances you feel should be considered in determining your aid eligibility, someone from our office will be happy to discuss those with you and your family.  As always, if you have questions, please let us know.

 

 

CHECK LIST FOR COMPLETING THE FINANCIAL AID PROCESS

 

·         After reviewing your “Financial Aid Awards”, please follow all instructions and if applicable, submit any requested document(s) to the Office of Financial Aid in a timely manner.

 

·         Review all information provided on this webpage.

 

·         All student and parent borrowers interested in a Federal Stafford or Parent Loan must apply on-line at college's website.  (Click here to access this page)

 

·         A student’s financial aid can not be applied to their account in the Cashier’s Office until they complete their financial aid file by returning the requested verification documents (if applicable), and complete the loan process as noted above (if applicable).

 

·         Depending on the timeliness of financial aid information received by the Office of Financial Aid, students may need to request a “Financial Aid Deferment” form from the Office of Financial Aid and hand deliver this form to the Cashier’s Office to verify aid received.  The student’s financial aid file must be complete as noted above before a deferment will be provided.  IMPORTANT – before requesting a deferment, a student should review their financial aid account information through the Student Information Portal to verify the need for a deferment.  If all relevant aid is listed as Pending or Accepted on the Student Information Portal, a deferment is NOT required.  If applicable, deferments won’t be needed any earlier than two weeks before the start of classes.

 

 

·         It is up to the student to make sure their account is cleared with the Cashier’s Office by the applicable due dates as provided by that office.

 

 

STUDENT AID PROGRAMS

 

FEDERAL AID PROGRAMS

 

Pell Grant (Pell Grant)

·The Pell Grant program is administered by the Federal Government to students who demonstrate extreme financial need.  Unlike a loan, a Pell Grant does not have to be repaid.

 

TEACH Grant (TEACH Grant)

·Students must complete a FAFSA and plan to complete teaching coursework and teach in certain academic disciplines at a low income school.  This is a grant which becomes a loan if requirements are not met.

 

Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG Grant)

·This is available to students with exceptional financial need.  The program gives priority to Pell Grant recipients.  The program is administered by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise commensurate with our institutional award policy.  Unlike a loan, SEOG funds do not have to be repaid.

 

Work-Study Program (Work Study)

·This program is designed to allow you to earn money to contribute toward educational expenses.  You may work in an on or off campus job depending on the sites available.  Students interested in community service opportunities via the FWSP may do so by indicating this on their skills survey form.  The average FWSP award allows students to work 8 - 10 hours weekly and is flexible with your classes. Positions are very limited and assigned on a first come, first served basis upon receipt of the online work study survey.   Information regarding the work study survey will be mailed in mid July prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

 

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (Unsub. Loan)

·This program is designed for students who do not qualify in whole or part for Federal Stafford Loan subsidies.  You will be responsible for the interest during the school year.  If the interest is not paid while attending school, the interest will accumulate and will be added to your principle, increasing the total amount you will be required to repay.  If you choose to accept a student loan, please review the steps listed under the Check List for Completing the Financial Aid Process section at the beginning of this webpage.

 

Subsidized Stafford Loan (Sub. Loan)

·This is a federally subsidized, low interest loan made by the U.S. Department of Education and processed through the College.  These loans are based on need and must be repaid beginning six months after leaving school. The interest is fixed.  If you choose to accept a student loan, please review the steps listed under the Check List for Completing the Financial Aid Process section at the beginning of this webpage.

 

Parent Loan (PLUS)

·This program is available to parents and stepparents with a good credit history to supplement other financial aid sources and the amount they can afford to pay out of available income for their student(s).  This loan has a fixed interest rate and repayment typically begins within 60 days of the date of the spring disbursement; however, parents can request interest only payments while the student is in school by contacting the Department of Education.  The amount that can be borrowed varies and is based on the cost of education at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise minus other sources of aid awarded.    If you choose to accept a PLUS loan, please review the steps listed under the Check List for Completing the Financial Aid Process section at the beginning of this webpage.

 

***SPECIAL NOTE TO BORROWERS***

 

Students borrowing either a Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or parents borrowing through the Parent loan program should note the following:

 

·If you are interested in a Stafford or PLUS Loan, complete the applicable on-line loan process as described in the Check List for Completing the Financial Aid Process above.

 

·As part of the on-line loan process, first-time student and parent borrowers are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), which must be completed in order for the loan(s) to be processed and disbursed to the College.

 

·In addition to the MPN, all first-time student (only) borrowers are required to complete an Entrance Seminar that highlights borrowers’ rights and responsibilities.  Upon completion of the Seminar, your results will be electronically sent to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Office of Financial Aid.

 

·All student loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) arrive in two (2) disbursements.  Disbursements are first applied to student accounts and any remaining amounts are refunded to the student.  Review your Student Portal to find out if you are eligible for a refund and to see if your refund check is available. 

 

·Students have up to 14 days after the proceeds are received by the college to cancel their student loans.

 

·The loan process should be completed prior to the start of classes.     

   

 

STATE AID PROGRAMS

 

Commonwealth Grant (Comma Grant)

·Available to Virginia residents with demonstrated financial need.  Students may receive assistance for up to 135 credit hours, including any transfer hours accepted.  This award ranges from $2,000 to tuition and a percentage of required fees; it is renewable. Recipients of the Commonwealth Grant are not eligible for VGAP.

 

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP Grant)

·Available to Virginia residents with demonstrated financial need and who graduate from a Virginia high school, and have an academic GPA of 2.5 or greater.  The VGAP award ranges from $2,500 to tuition and a percentage of required fees; it is renewable.  Recipients of VGAP are not eligible for the Commonwealth Grant.

 

Higher Education Teacher Assistance Program (HETAP Grant)

·This is a need-based grant to full-time students from Virginia and does not have to be repaid.  Recipients are selected by Education faculty.

 

 

FOUNDATION SUPPORT

 

Kline Scholarship (Kline Schol)

·This scholarship may be available to students from Southwest Virginia who enroll on a full time basis.  The award is chosen on the basis of scholarship, need, and the ability to work toward a college degree.  Funds are limited.

 

Lettie Pate Whitehead General Scholarship (LPWG Grant)

·This is a scholarship award administered by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Foundation, Inc.  This scholarship may be available to full-time female students, with demonstrated financial need, and who reside in one of these nine states:  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.  Funds are limited.

 

Lettie Pate Whitehead Medical Scholarship (LPWM Grant)

·The same criteria listed above apply.  However, this scholarship gives preference to women pursuing a nursing or other allied health major.  Funds are limited.

 

 

INSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS

 

There are a wide variety of institutional scholarships available from the College.  They are awarded based upon different criteria such as academic achievement, financial need, community service, intended major, strength of character, and so forth.  Initial scholarships awarded through the General Scholarship Program will be noted on the award letter as follows:

 

·     Chancellor’s Academic Merit Scholarship (CHAN Schol)

·     Crockett Academic Merit Scholarship (CROCK Schol)

·     Founder Society Academic Merit Scholarship (FOUND Schol)

·     Cavalier Society Academic Merit Scholarship (CAV Schol)

·     Martha Randolph Academic Merit Scholarship (MARTHA Schol)

·     Clinch Valley Academic Merit Scholarship (CLINCH Schol)

·     Transfer Academic Merit Scholarship (TRANS Schol)

 

Eventually, each scholarship will be assigned a name from an endowed fund, showing a different name(s) from those listed above; however, the total amount of the award will not change.   For Scholarships awarded by the College outside the General Scholarship Program, names will vary.  If you have questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Scholarships through the General Scholarship Program are renewable based on the following:

1.  A 2.75 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and at least 26 credit hours earned by the end of your freshmen year and a 3.0 GPA and 26 additional credit hours at the end of each subsequent academic year at UVa Wise,

2. Submit a letter of thanks* to the fund(s)/donor(s), the name(s) of which will be provided to recipients at a later date,

3. Continued good standing socially as a student at the College,

4. As space allows, attendance at the annual scholarship awards luncheon in early spring of each academic year.

Amounts for renewed scholarships will remain level for each subsequent year; however, the fund names may vary depending on available resources.  Scholarships for incoming freshmen are renewable for up to three additional years, but may vary for transfer students and returning students who are first recipients depending on class standing at time of receipt.

*Shortly in the fall semester of each academic year, scholarship recipients will be sent a request by the Office of Development to submit letters of thanks addressed to applicable donors.  There is no scholarship application to complete for consideration in the General Scholarship Program ; however consideration for several smaller scholarship programs offered through the college do require an application.  The applicable applications can be found by clicking here.

Internal scholarships not under the purview of the General Scholarship Program may be renewable and are subject to the terms set forth on the appropriate scholarship applications.

 

EXTERNAL SCHOLARSHIPS

There are a wide variety of scholarships awarded to UVA Wise students from external sources.  Typically these external awards are processed through the College and applied directly to the student’s account.  The names of these scholarships vary widely and are listed on the award letter by scholarship name.

 

 

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STANDARDS (SAP)

On behalf of the College, the Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to review and cancel an award at any time because of changes in financial or academic status, change of academic program, or failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards.  The satisfactory progress standards require that students receiving financial aid maintain a sufficient grade point average while successfully completing a percentge of semester hours each year.  Financial aid is defined as:  Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, College scholarships and grants, College Scholarship Assistance Program Grants, Federal Work-study employment, Federal Perkins Loans, Stafford Loans, and Federal PLUS Loans.  Below are the minimum standards for meeting satisfactory academic progress.

 

These standards are for all students (part-time and full-time):

 

   # of Earned          Grade Point                      Semester hours

        Credit                average                           completed

        Hours               should be                           should be

    Less than 30              1.75                        75% of hours attempted

Between 30 & 59.5          1.85                        75% of hours attempted

   Greater than 60            2.0                         75% of hours attempted

 

Click here for additional information about Satisfactory Academic Progress at UVA Wise.

 

 

VERIFICATION

Students selected for verification must complete and submit the forms and documents requested in their Financial Aid Verification Request Letter.  Verification forms can be obtained by clicking here.

 

IMPORTANT REMINDER 

Once you enroll at the College you must establish your eligibility for financial aid each year.  Plan to complete either a Renewal Application for Federal Student Aid or a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1 each year until you complete your education. These applications are submitted via the Internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Remember to complete only ONE form each year!

 

WITHDRAWAL POLICY 

Students who withdraw from the College may have their financial aid adjusted based on the percentage of the semester completed prior to withdrawing.  This process, called Return to Title IV, determines the amount of Federal Title IV funds a student who withdraws has earned.  For this process, Title IV Funds include the following:  Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, and Federal Teach Grant.  Additionally, students who complete a semester wth a GPA of 0.0 will be designated as an "Unofficial Withdrawal" from the college and a "Return to Title IV" calcualtion will be performed based upon 50% attendance for the semester.  For additional details on withdrawing from the college and the Return to Title IV process, please click here.

 

 

 

 

Payment Options


The Cashier's Office at UVa - Wise offers an interest -free monthly payment plan. Instead of the usual large payments due at the beginning of each semester, annual educational expenses may be budgeted over 10 months. The fee for this is currently $50 per school year. For more information, call the Cashier's Office at (276)328 - 0107.


If you are not enrolled in the payment plan at UVa -Wise, your balance must be paid before the start of classes each semester. Payment can be made in the form of cash or check, and the Cashier's Office will accept Visa or Master Card.

 

Veterans Information


There are several VA education programs in existence for students today. The Veterans Affairs Office at UVa-Wise is located in Crockett Hall and can be reached by phone at (276) 328-0140.

The VA Regional Office can be reached on the national toll -free telephone line at: (800) 827 - 1000. Application forms can be obtained from either of these offices.