Financial Aid Procedures
Financial Aid Form (FAFSA)
Students seeking financial aid must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA application is available from high school guidance offices, the Finlandia University Office of Financial Aid, or the FAFSA application can be completed on-line at fafsa.ed.gov. Federal and/or state financial aid programs also use information provided by the FAFSA.
The FAFSA must be completed each year and should be submitted as soon after February 1 as possible for financial aid consideration the following academic year. Finlandia University must be listed on the FAFSA using Federal School Code 002322. To be considered for state aid, Finlandia University must be listed first on the FAFSA. Audit students and dual-enrolled students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid. Previous year U.S. income tax return information is needed to complete the FAFSA. If tax returns are not complete before the FAFSA is filed, the application should be submitted with estimated information. The FAFSA can be revised later; however, updated information may result in changes to the financial aid award.
Early submission of the FAFSA places students on the federal, state, and institution rosters for priority processing. The Finlandia University priority date for full fall semester financial aid consideration is March 1. Students considering enrollment beginning in the spring or summer semester should also complete the necessary steps for financial aid before March 1 of the previous year. Applications submitted after the priority date will be considered as funds are available.
With a formula established by the United States Congress, FAFSA information is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward the student’s education. A Student Aid Report (SAR) is mailed or e-mailed to the student and to the schools listed on the FAFSA. The EFC is used by the university to calculate the student’s financial need to cover cost of attendance (tuition, housing, meals, books, etc.).
Calculation and Notification of Awards
After the student’s financial need is determined, the financial award is calculated. The Office of Financial Aid notifies the student of the types and amounts of financial aid the student is eligible to receive. Students must review this information carefully. In both state and federal financial aid programs, there are numerous differences among scholarships, grants, employment, and loans.
Finlandia University is required by federal law to verify FAFSA information submitted by the student and/or parents. Requested information may consist of, but is not limited to, verification of income, proof of Family Independence Agency (FIA) benefits, Social Security benefits, and business income. The State of Michigan may also request verification information. The student is responsible for sending verification documents to the requesting agency. The financial aid file must be complete, including any requested verifications, before any financial aid is credited to a student account or the student begins to participate in the work-study program. In their initial financial aid packets, students will receive a list of the required documents.
Students are urged to check regularly with the Office of Financial Aid about the status of their files. If FAFSA information conflicts with verification information submitted by students or parents, the award may change. In this event, Financial Aid will inform the student of the change in writing.
All financial aid files must be complete by the last day of the published drop/add period in any semester. Students whose files are incomplete at that time may be removed from classes, may be required to immediately pay the full semester charges, or may be asked to drop their classes.
Federal financial aid regulations require students to make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree to remain eligible for financial aid. The financial aid programs affected by this policy include, but are not limited to:
• Federal Pell Grant • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
• Federal Work Study • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
• Federal Supplemental Grant (SEOG) • State Grants
• Federal Direct Subsidized Loan • Michigan Tuition Incentive
• Federal Perkins Loan • Program (TIP)
This policy defines the minimum requirements for financial aid eligibility at Finlandia University and should not be confused with any other academic status policy enforced by other departments, schools, or colleges at Finlandia. Students should understand the renewal criteria of each of their respective scholarships and awards. Some scholarships/awards may have more stringent requirements than those listed in this policy.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be measured at the end of each semester and a student must meet all three (3) of the following requirements:
Requirement 1: University Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
An undergraduate student must maintain a cumulative 2.0 after each semester
Requirement 2: Cumulative Pace of Completion
An undergraduate student must maintain a minimum pace of completion of 67%. Pace of completion is calculated by dividing the cumulative credit hours successfully completed by the cumulative number of attempted credit hours.
Requirement 3: Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion
Undergraduate students are permitted to receive financial aid for 150% of the required number of credits to earn their degree. For example, most degree programs at Finlandia University require 128 credits. Therefore, 150% of 128 = 192. In this scenario, a student may receive financial aid for 192 attempted credits prior to completing degree requirements for graduation. A student enrolling in a semester after attempting their 192nd credit is no longer considered to be making satisfactory progress toward the degree.
Students who do not meet the minimum requirements for satisfactory progress will, after one semester of financial aid probation, be denied financial aid until satisfactory progress is achieved. Until satisfactory progress is achieved, students bear the full cost of attendance. In cases of extreme and unusual circumstances, students may, in writing, appeal a loss of financial aid to the Office of Financial Aid.
Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs
Federal Aid Eligibility
Students seeking federal financial aid must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs:
- Have financial need, except for some loan programs;
- Have a high school diploma or GED certificate;
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- Have a valid Social Security number;
- Make satisfactory progress; and
- Sign a statement on the FAFSA application certifying that federal student aid will be used only for educational purposes, that the student is not in default on a federal student loan, and that money is not owed on a federal student grant.
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor or professional degree. For many students, Pell Grants provide a foundation of financial aid to which other aid may be added. The maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2016-17 academic year is scheduled to be $5,815. The amount of an individual Pell Grant award is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), cost of attendance, part-time or full-time status, and the number of semesters attended in the academic year.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) awards are based on exceptional financial need. Priority for the SEOG grant is given to Pell Grant recipients. Like the Pell Grant, the SEOG does not have to be repaid.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for students with financial need, helping them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Finlandia University employs many students through the work-study program. Due to limited funding, not all work-study-eligible students will receive work-study positions.
Hourly work-study wages vary according to the type of work and level of responsibility involved. Most jobs require an average of 6-8 hours of work per week. Students are expected to perform work functions for all hours documented on their time sheets. Federal and state taxes are deducted from earned work-study wages. Checks are issued bi-weekly directly to students, following the first pay date of each semester. All students participating in the work-study program are required to follow the guidelines listed in the employment packet. Failure to comply and/or leaving a substantial portion of the award not worked at the end of the school year may affect your work-study award eligibility the following school year.
William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program)
Students attending the university at least half-time who have filed a FAFSA may be eligible for the Direct Loan Program. Direct Loans are low-interest loans made directly by the federal government. These funds are requested through the university, sent from the government directly to the school, and applied by the university to the student’s account. Students’ financial aid files must be complete to receive Direct Loan funds. The required documents include a signed award letter to accept the loan, a completed Direct Loans Master Promissory Note (MPN), and a completed online Student Entrance Counseling session.
Students are responsible for understanding the conditions and regulations of the loan and repayment process. Students may contact the Office of Financial Aid or the lending institution for this information. Students should note that Direct Loans are debts incurred by the student, not by the family.
Subsidized Direct Loans
Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need. For undergraduate students, no interest is charged on subsidized loans while you are in school at least half-time and during deferment periods.. Repayment of subsidized loans begins six months after students cease to be enrolled at least half time. Students can borrow up to $3,500 a year for Level I, $4,500 for Level II, and $5,500 for Levels III, IV, and V. Interest rates are variable (but will not exceed 8.25%) and borrower interest charges begin with the borrower’s first payment on the loan.
Unsubsidized Direct Loans
Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for an unsubsidized loan. Unsubsidized loans are not awarded on the basis of financial need. The federal government does not make interest payments for borrowers. The interest rate, which is not to exceed 8.25%, is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Independent students, and dependent students whose parents are not eligible for a PLUS Loan (see below), can borrow up to $6,000 for each of the first two years of study, and up to $7,000 for each of the final two years of study. The maximum amount students may borrow in any single year is equal to the cost of attendance minus the sum of all financial aid already awarded, not to exceed the limits outlined above.
Unsubsidized Loan for Parents (PLUS)
The parents or guardians of dependent students enrolled at least half-time are eligible to apply for PLUS loans. Parents or guardians applying for the loans must be citizens or residents of the United States, pass a credit check, and not be in default or owe a refund to any student financial assistance program. A FAFSA must be filed for the child for which they are borrowing. The annual limit of a PLUS loan is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid that the student is awarded. The interest rate is variable (but will not exceed 9%) and interest begins to accrue as soon as the loan is disbursed; repayment begins within 60 days thereafter. Parents have the option of requesting a postponement of payments while the child for which they are borrowing is attending at least half-time. It is the obligation of the parent to understand the responsibilities and regulations of the PLUS loan.
Other Federal Student Aid Programs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Financial assistance based on financial need is available to students who are qualified Native Americans. Students should contact their tribal education office to apply.
Veterans Administration Education Benefits
U.S. veterans and reservists, and their dependents, may be eligible for various financial aid/Veterans benefits programs. Information and applications can be obtained from state veterans affairs offices, the Finlandia University Office of Financial Aid, or on-line at gibill.va.gov. Among the programs that Finlandia participates in includes Chapter 30, 31, 33, and 35 programs. Currently Finlandia does not participate in the Federal Tuition Assistance Program.
State of Michigan Student Aid Programs
Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG)
The MTG program provides need-based grants to Michigan residents attending independent, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in Michigan. To qualify for the Michigan Tuition Grant, a FAFSA application must be filed. Finlandia must be the first school listed on the FAFSA in order for the state to consider the student for this award.
Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS)
The Michigan Competitive Scholarship program provides need-based scholarships to Michigan residents pursuing their first degrees at an approved Michigan postsecondary institution. Awards are based on financial need and ACT scores. To qualify for the MCS, a FAFSA application must be filed. Finlandia must be the first school listed on the FAFSA in order for the state to consider the student for this award.
Michigan Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)
The State of Michigan Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) encourages eligible students to complete high school by providing college tuition assistance. To meet the TIP financial eligibility requirement, a student must have (or have had) Medicaid coverage for 24 months within a 36 consecutive month period as identified by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS), formerly the Family Independence Agency (FIA). Students may apply for the TIP program any time after completing the sixth grade, but must apply before high school graduation or GED completion. For eligibility guidelines, contact the Michigan Department of Treasury Bureau of Student Financial Services.
Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS)
Tuition assistance may be available through Michigan Rehabilitation Services, which provides services to individuals who require special assistance to become employment-ready and successfully find and maintain a job. MRS services are intertwined with other community agencies and organizations that provide services to people with disabilities. For eligibility information, contact State of Michigan Rehabilitation Services.
Finlandia University Scholarships and Grants
Finlandia University offers a variety of institutional scholarships and grants. The decisions to award institutional aid are the responsibility of the Office of Financial Aid. Institutional funding assists our students towards tuition, fees, and room and board. The amount of institutional scholarship and grant awards cannot exceed the total cost of tuition, room, board, and fees. Students who withdraw during the academic semester forfeit all institutional scholarships and grants awarded that semester. Students who fail to maintain continuous full-time enrollment forfeit all previously awarded institutional scholarships and grants. On-campus students who choose to move off-campus will see a change in the amount of institutional aid, and may see a change of amount in certain state and federal aid awards. For information about institutional financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid or an enrollment officer.
Finlandia Four freezes the tuition rate at the time students are accepted for the length of the academic degree program: eight continuous semesters for a bachelor’s degree or four for an associate’s degree. Students must remain continuously enrolled, full-time to remain eligible for this initiative. Please speak with the Admissions or Financial Aid Offices for further details.
Students enrolled as a new full-time student at Finlandia and remain enrolled full-time continuously for seven semesters, will be eligible to receive a tuition reduction for the last (eighth) semester. Students may continue in their degree program past the 8th semester, although tuition for the next semester(s) will be at a higher rate. Please speak with the Admissions or Financial Aid Offices for further details.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Students have the right to know the following:
- The available sources of financial assistance, including information on all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
- The deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial aid programs.
- The cost of attending and the refund policies that apply to students who withdraw from the university.
- The criteria used to select financial aid recipients.
- How financial need is determined, including consideration of costs for tuition, fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, personal, and miscellaneous expenses.
- The details regarding the various programs in the student aid award.
- The portion of the financial aid award that must be repaid and the portion that is grant or scholarship aid.
- If the aid awarded is a loan, students have the right to know the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the length of time allowed to repay the loan, and when repayment is to begin.
- The student has the right to request reconsideration of an award if the student believes it was made in an unfair manner.
It is the student’s responsibility to do the following:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) carefully and accurately and submit it to the appropriate office prior to the deadline. Errors may delay the receipt of financial aid. Intentional falsification of information on application forms for federal financial aid is a violation of the law and is considered a criminal offense subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
- Return all documentation, verification, corrections, and new information requested by the Office of Financial Aid or the agency to which the FAFSA application is submitted.
- Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms that are submitted.
- Accept responsibility for all signed agreements.
- Notify lending institutions of changes in name, address, or school status (if a loan is pending).