The Financial Planning and Financial Aid Offices provide information and assist students and their families in meeting college expenses. We inform students of application procedures and deadlines, types of aid available, eligibility requirements, and other pertinent data.
As a state university, our tuition is substantially lower than many other colleges. However, the combination of college expenses still requires financial aid for many students. While we help in any way we can, the basic financial responsibility for a college education continues to rest with the student and his/her family.
Matriculation at Mansfield University is by semester. As a student you are expected to meet the expenses of the upcoming term without assistance unless such aid has been previously arranged and confirmed. Mansfield University participates in the major federal and state financial aid programs. There are three forms of aid: grants, loans, and college work study (part-time employment). Grants include the Federal Pell grants, the Pennsylvania state grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, as well as institutional and private grants. Loans include the Federal Stafford Loans, the Federal Perkins loans, and the Federal Plus Loan for parents of undergraduate students. In addition, students may borrow additional funds should they wish to do so through the Alternative Loan Program. Federal work-study (part-time campus employment) is funded by federal dollars and is awarded to students with demonstrated financial need. Non-need based institutional work-study is also awarded.
We emphasize the following points:
- File for financial aid immediately upon confirmed admission to Mansfield University.
- To apply for aid, file the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the institutional application (for freshman).
- The important deadlines for financial aid are March 15 for new students and currently enrolled students. PHEAA has a deadline date of May 1 for the PA state grant program.
- Identify Mansfield University (003324) as an institution of choice on the FAFSA application.
- You are considered a sophomore with 30-59 credits, a junior with 60-89 credits and a senior with 90 or more credits. This is important for Federal Stafford Loan purposes.
Students and parents may call the Financial Aid Office at (570) 662-4129 with questions at any time. We are here to help you. In addition, new students may want to contact the Financial Planning Office regarding scholarships or for assistance with the FAFSA at (570) 662-4878.
Satisfactory Academic Progress at Mansfield University
To continue receiving financial aid at Mansfield University, you are required to make satisfactory academic progress toward the educational objective that you have chosen. If you do not maintain satisfactory academic progress, you will be ineligible for further financial assistance - at least until you are making satisfactory academic progress once again. Financial assistance includes: Federal Pell grant, FSEOG grant, Federal Work-Study, PHEAA grant, Federal Perkins loans, Federal Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Federal PLUS loans, and other grant, scholarship, and loan programs that require satisfactory academic progress.
There are two standards you must meet to maintain satisfactory academic progress: a quantitative standard and a qualitative standard. Each standard is explained in the next section. It is very important that you understand and meet these standards; otherwise you could lose some or all of your financial aid.
At Mansfield University, the quantitative standard measures the number of credit hours you attempt (including courses you registered for but did not complete, courses you withdrew from, courses you failed, or courses you otherwise did not complete) versus the number of credit hours successfully completed (courses for which you received a passing grade). This quantitative standard of credits attempted and credits completed is checked for all students (who attempt at least six semester hours) at the end of each spring semester.
Courses evaluated as complete and which earn credit toward this quantitative standard are graded: A through D-, P (pass), or S (satisfactory). The credits earned in such courses count toward the quantitative standard as long as they are courses for which the student has not already received credit. For example, replacing a D grade (and 3 credits) with a C+ grade improves your overall GPA, but it does not add a new three credits to your total of credits earned.
Courses which do not earn credit toward the quantitative standard are: F, U (unsatisfactory), W (withdraw), I (incomplete), or courses you have already received credit for previously.
At the end of each spring, you must have earned the minimum number of new credits based upon your enrollment status in order to maintain your financial aid eligibility. The table below shows the number of credits required for each enrollment status.
Your enrollment status can be any one of the following:
||to be completed
||12 credits or more
||9 - 11 credits
||6 - 8 credits
|Less than half-time
||3 - 5 credits
Please note that quantitative standards are reviewed on a semester status based on the number of attempted credits. It is important to understand the enrollment status, i.e. full-time or part-time to determine the number of credits that must be completed. For example if you were enrolled as follows:
to be completed
|Minimum number of credits completed to meet Quantitative standards
Quantitative standards are reviewed in May of each year for the previous fall and spring semester.
If you have not completed the minimum number of credits by the end of spring, you must make up the number you are short during the summer semester to be eligible again for aid in the fall.
It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office if credits were made up during the summer. If the credits were made up at an institution other than Mansfield University, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office and provide the necessary transcripts to the Registrar. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your aid for the fall semester, or any semester thereafter until the necessary credits have been made up. This standard applies regardless of the amount of time you have been out of school.
Unlike the quantitative standard which is reviewed once a year (after the spring semester), the qualitative standard is monitored each semester by the Registrar’s Office. The financial aid qualitative standard is directly related to your Quality Point Average (QPA) and is consistent with Mansfield University’s Minimum Academic Standards. You are required to earn a QPA at or above the following minimum standards.
Credits Attempted (including transfer hours)
Minimum QPA required
If your QPA falls below 2.00, you are placed on academic probation until your QPA is at least 2.00.
If your QPA is below the minimum required QPA at the end of any semester, you will be dismissed from the University and become ineligible for financial aid.
If you are reinstated your qualitative standards are not considered to have been waived by the Financial Aid Office. You must complete the necessary hours without financial assistance in a subsequent semester before you can receive financial aid again (regardless of qualitative reinstatement).
Maximum Time Frame to Complete Your Program
You are allowed 150% of the published length of your educational program for completion. This applies regardless of how many times you change majors. This generally means a maximum of 180-192 hours attempted for most 4-year bachelor degree programs (120-128 hours x 150%) and 90-96 hours attempted for most 2-year associate degree programs (60-64 hours x 150%). Programs with different number of hours are calculated in similar ways.
Waiver and Reinstatement
For quantitative measures, you can be reinstated by making up the number of credits you are short without the assistance of financial aid. You can earn these needed credits at Mansfield University or any other accredited postsecondary institution. This is the preferred manner of reinstatement. If extenuating circumstances led to your failure to complete the necessary quantitative requirements, you may appeal in writing for a waiver of the quantitative standards to the Director of Financial Aid.
For qualitative measures, the Financial Aid Office follows University policy. If a dismissal is appealed and subsequent re-admittance to the university is granted, your qualitative standards are not considered to have been waived for federal student aid purposes. An appeal must be made in writing, with adequate supporting documentation, to the Director of Financial Aid. It is possible to be reinstated to the university but not have your financial aid reinstated.
Students are limited to two appeals during the course of their enrollment at the University. Students who have already submitted two appeals must meet with the Director of Financial Aid before further appeals will be considered.
Additional PA State Grant Policies
In addition to the policies stated above, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) lists the following policies relating to Satisfactory Academic Progress for the State grant program:
- PA residents are normally limited to 8 full-time equivalent semesters of PHEAA grant eligibility (including summer grants), except for bona fide 5-year programs.
- To be eligible for a PA State grant, the quantitative standards are applied only for credits for which aid was received.
- Repeat courses: If you repeat a course passed in an earlier term, it may be counted to raise your enrollment status (to full-time or half-time), but it will not be counted in satisfactory progress toward the minimum quantitative standard for yearly evaluation purposes.
Eligible students may qualify for Veterans Educational Benefits as well as financial aid. The application procedure for financial aid is the same as that outlined for any regular student. Students may qualify for Veterans Educational Benefits through several different programs run by the Veterans Administration. These forms are available through the Veterans Certifying Official, Room 134, Alumni Hall. In addition, PA Veterans who are honorably discharged may be eligible for a PA State Grant for up to 80% of their annual tuition provided they apply by May 1 each year.
Federal Grant Programs
Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
To receive an ACG, the student must be a first or second year full-time undergraduate, have completed secondary school after January 1, 2005, be a U.S. citizen, have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study and be receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the same semester.
Federal Pell Grants
The Federal Pell Grant is for students pursuing their first undergraduate degree. The award amounts can vary depending on eligibility and are subject to change annually. To apply, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need and you must qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. Funding is very limited in this program, therefore, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be received and processed by the Federal Student Aid Programs by March 15, 2006 to be considered for this grant.
National SMART Grant
To receive a National SMART Grant, a student must be a U.S. citizen, be a full-time student in their their third or fourth year of an undergraduate degree program, be receiving a Federal Pell Grant and be pursuing a major in physical, live or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering or a critical foreign language.
State Grant Programs
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) provides State Grants to help Pennsylvania residents with financial need attend approved institutions of higher education. PA State Grants are available to both full and part-time students.
Grant recipients are expected to work during the summer to assist in meeting expenses and parents are expected to contribute according to their ability. Grant size depends upon educational expenses, family size, and family resources.
PHEAA Grants are subject to annual review and may change from year-to-year. Renewal depends upon satisfactory academic standing, continued financial need, and the availability of funds. Applications (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) may be obtained from high school guidance officers, the Financial Planning Office or the Financial Aid Office. The application deadline is May 1.
Student Employment Programs
Federal College Work-Study is a federally funded program awarded to students who demonstrate a financial need. It pays minimum wage, and a student cannot work more than 20 hours per week. In fact, most students work an average of 7 - 10 hours per week. The employment opportunities on campus include administrative areas, student center, athletics, the library, academic areas, security, laboratory assistant, etc. To apply, complete the FAFSA.
Institutional Work-Study is a Mansfield University funded program. It differs from the Federal College Work-Study Program in that a student does not have to show a demonstrated financial need in order to work. The pay rate, once again, is minimum wage and students cannot exceed 20 hours of work a week. To apply, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Perkins Loans. This program is for students who are enrolled at least half time (six credits) and need a loan to meet their educational expenses.
Maximum loans are $4,000 per year for undergraduate students and $6,000 per year for graduate students. In an effort to extend the funds to assist as many students as possible the average Perkins Loan is in the $1,000-$2,000 range per academic year. Repayment begins nine months after leaving school with up to 10 years to repay. During the repayment period, five percent interest is charged on the unpaid balance of the principle. To apply, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan. These funds are made available by participating lenders to students who demonstrate financial need for the loan. The loan is interest free while the student attends school on at least a half-time basis. Mansfield University determines your eligibility after careful review of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Your loan will be certified electronically and you will need to complete and sign a Master Promissory Note if you are a first time borrower. The Master Promissory Note is intended to be valid for 10 years; you should only be required to sign one note.
To be eligible, you must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits) and meet financial need requirements. The maximum loan for an undergraduate ranges from $3,500 to $5,500 a year. Total loans may not exceed $23,000 for dependent undergraduates and $46,000 for independent undergraduates. The variable interest rate may not exceed 8.25%.
Repayment normally begins six months after leaving school with up to 10 years to repay. The monthly repayment amount depends upon the size of the debt and ability to pay. In most cases repayment must be at least $50 per month unless circumstances agreed upon by the lending institution warrant a lesser amount.
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. This loan is similar to the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan program; however, you do not need to have a demonstrated financial need. Interest does accrue on the loan while the student is in school. Students may pay the interest quarterly or capitalize the interest upon repayment.
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). This program allows parents to borrow from a participating lender for their undergraduate student. A parent can borrow the difference between the cost of education minus any other financial aid received.
Parents have the option of the PLUS Master Promissory Note. Like the Stafford Loan MPN, the note is good for 10 years; however, parents are required to sign a new note for each dependent student.
The parent usually begins repayment of interest and principle within 60 days of loan disbursement although various forbearance options are available.
As of July 1, 2006, eligible graduate students may receive Federal PLUS Loans. Like parent PLUS borrowers, Grad PLUS borrowers will undergo a credit check before borrowing and will enter repayment on the date of the final loan disbursement. An eligible graduate student can borrow the difference between the cost of education minus any other financial aid received.
Additional loan options. Credit-based alternative loans for educational expenses are also available. Various programs offer competitive interest rates, flexible repayment schedules and differing co-signer requirements. If you are interested in an alternative loan, you can contact the lender directly or the Financial Aid Office for additional information, a comparison chart and application materials.
Financial Aid Awards And Grants
Approved Title IV aid is paid on account within the first four weeks of the semester. Aid will be paid bi-weekly thereafter. Loan checks are credited upon endorsement or when funds are electronically received.
Academic Year Definition
Mansfield University’s academic year is a period that contains 30 weeks of instructional time during which a full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 semester hours. The academic year is further described as a Scheduled Academic Year (SAY) that starts at the beginning of fall semester and ends on the last day of the spring semester. The summer sessions are designated as “trailer” terms which follow the SAY.
Return Of Title IV Federal Student Aid Policy
Mansfield University is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.
If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the financial aid office recalculates eligibility for the Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:
Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.
Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:
Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.
If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.
If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.
The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 30 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.
Refunds are allocated in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (other than PLUS loans)
- Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
- National SMART Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Other assistance for which a return of funds is required (e.g. LEAP)
Refund Allocation Policy
Refunds allocated to a particular program will not exceed the aid originally awarded to a student in that particular program.
A release form must be signed to authorize the University to apply Title IV funds to charges beyond tuition and fees. The release may be rescinded at any time by submitting a written request to the Student Accounts Office. Rescinded authorizations are not retroactive.