The Financial Aid Office and Student Account Offices provide information and assist students and their families in meeting college expenses. These offices 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 and universities. 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 or her family.
Matriculation at Mansfield University is by semester. Students 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, and TEACH Grant, as well as institutional and private grants. Loans include the Federal Direct 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 monies 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 only).
- The important deadlines for financial aid are March 15 for new students and currently enrolled students. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (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.
- Students are considered sophomores with 30-59 credits, juniors with 60-89, credits and seniors with 90 or more credits. This is important for Federal Direct 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.
Satisfactory Academic Progress at Mansfield University
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of “satisfactory academic progress” (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV aid programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Federal Work-Study. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards apply to all students seeking federal Title IV financial aid, regardless of whether a student has received Title IV financial aid in the past.
Process of Determining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):
Each student will be measured for satisfactory academic progress annually in May after spring grade processing. This evaluation will determine if the student has sufficient progress to be eligible for future Title IV funding. Students who have not met the minimum SAP requirements will be notified that they are not eligible for financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Measurement
Qualitative Measure (cumulative MU GPA):
Credits Attempted (including transfer hours)
Minimum GPA required
- Graduate students must achieve at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Completion Rate/Pace: Pace is calculated by dividing cumulative hours the student successfully completed by cumulative hours the student has attempted. This calculation includes all attempted credits, both at MU and those accepted in transfer; courses for which a student receives academic credit, withdraws, receives incomplete or repeat grades and/or fails are counted in the calculation of the completion rate/pace.
- Undergraduate students must successfully complete 75% of the total cumulative attempted credits;
- Graduate students must successfully complete 75% of the total cumulative attempted credits.
Maximum Timeframe (completing program of study within 150% of program length)
- Undergraduate students may receive aid for up to 180 cumulative credits attempted (includes both MU credits attempted and those accepted in transfer).
- Graduate students may receive aid for all credits attempted up to 150% of the specified number of credits required by their specific degree programs.
Students who change majors are responsible for completing the degree requirements within the timeframe specified above.
Readmitted Students - If a student is readmitted to the University, satisfactory academic progress will be based on the student’s previous attendance at MU and credits accepted in transfer. Students who have not met the minimum requirements will be notified of their ineligibility for federal financial aid and informed of the options to regain eligibility.
Special Grades and Their Use in Satisfactory Academic Progress Determination:
- I – Incomplete – Student will receive no credit for an “I” grade although the “I” is counted as attempted credit(s). If, however, the incomplete grade is resolved and a passing grade is received, the credits will be counted.
- W – Withdrawal – No credit received; however counted as attempted credit.
- AU – Audit – No credits received.
- P/F – P means the student receives credit(s) but GPA is not affected. A grade of F will impact the GPA.
Repeat of Course - The last grade earned is always used in calculating the GPA. If the student failed the course the first time but passes it the second time, the appropriate number of credits will be received after the second attempt. If, however, the student passed the course the first time, repeats it in an attempt to improve the GPA but receives a failing grade, the appropriate number of credits will be deducted from the cumulative credits earned total. Maximum hours earned for any course cannot exceed the number of credits listed for that course in the catalog.
If a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards, but meets the standards later at some point, the student can once again be eligible to receive federal Title IV. In such cases, financial aid eligibility will begin with the academic semester after which the student re-establishes progress. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the MU Financial Aid Office after completing coursework that allows the student to regain eligibility for financial aid.
Students taking coursework at another institution to regain SAP eligibility should be aware that:
- A Request to Transfer Credits form must be completed (go to Registrar’s Office webpage) prior to taking any courses elsewhere if the credits are to be transferred back to MU. The Registrar’s Office must accept the transfer credits in order for those credits to be counted towards satisfactory academic progress.
- Only “credits” transfer back to Mansfield University; “grades” do not. If the student’s deficiency is in GPA, taking courses at another institution will not resolve that deficiency.
Appeal Process – Students whose financial aid eligibility has been terminated may “appeal” that status if they have experienced extenuating circumstances that affected their abilities to meet the academic progress standards. In general, extenuating circumstances can include, but are not limited to, illness, injury, death of relative or friend, difficulties with accommodations for students with disabilities, and adversity due to unforeseen events. Students interested in appealing their termination of financial aid eligibility can access the Academic Progress Appeal Form at www.mansfield.edu/Financial Aid Office/forms and publications; the completed form and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid. Each student must also address in the appeal why the student failed to make SAP, what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP in the next evaluation and an academic plan for success. A student should submit the appeal prior to August 15th for fall semester consideration or prior to December 1st for spring semester consideration. The student will be notified via email and/or in writing of the decision.
State Grant Academic Progress: Academic progress requirements for state grant programs vary from the federal academic progress policy. Academic progress requirements for the Pennsylvania State Grant are communicated directly to recipients with their state grant notification by PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency).
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 offered by the Veterans Administration. These forms are available through the Veterans Certifying Official, Room 231, South 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 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. Students wishing to apply must 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. They 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 for grant award consideration.
Eligible students must be accepted into the Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Education or Teacher Certification programs at Mansfield University and agree to teach full-time in a high-need subject area for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families.
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 abilities. 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. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. For purposes of the PHEAA Grant program, 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 10 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, a student must 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 10 hours of work a week. To apply, a student must complete the 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 $5,500 per year for undergraduate students and $8,000 per year for graduate students. In an effort to extend the funds to assist as many students as possible, the average Perkins Loan at Mansfield University 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. Applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Subsidized Direct Loan. These funds are made available 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 review of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Loans will be certified electronically, and students will need to complete and sign their Master Promissory Notes if they are first time borrowers. The Master Promissory Note is intended to be valid for 10 years; a student should only be required to sign one note.
Each eligible applicant 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 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 Direct Loan. This loan is similar to the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan program; however, students do not need to have 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 Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). This program allows parents to borrow for their undergraduate students. A parent can borrow the difference between the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.
Parents have the option of the PLUS Master Promissory Note. Like the Direct 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 Direct PLUS Loans. Like parent PLUS borrowers, Grad PLUS borrowers will undergo credit checks 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 attendance 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. Students interested in an alternative loan, 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 credit 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 who take leaves 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 has earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution will be required to return a portion of the funds and the student will be required to return a portion of the funds. The aid recipients must keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.
If a student has earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution will 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 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.
Refunds are allocated in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (other than PLUS loans)
- Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- 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.