Financial Aid Consumer Information For Graduate Students 2013-14
Due to federal regulations, we are required to provide basic consumer information to you as an enrolled student at George Fox University (GFU). Listed below is some of the information, in no particular order, that we are required to provide to you.
Cost of Attendance
The general, (estimated) cost of attending George Fox University is listed on your award letter. The cost of attendance is only an estimate and used to calculate the aid for which you are awarded. Your financial aid cost of attendance reflects direct and indirect costs to attend George Fox University. Tuition & fees are generally your direct costs. Personal expenses, room & board, books & supplies and transportation are generally your indirect costs.
Your student account will provide details to your exact (direct) costs to attend George Fox University. If you have any further questions on any of your charges, please contact your student account specialist.
The following are non-need-based federal financial aid available to graduate students.
Non-Need-Based Federal Aid
- Federal Teach Grant (Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education)
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
All of the above awards have specific requirements that determine eligibility such as expected family contribution (EFC), financial need (as determined from EFC), majors, field of study and GPA. The PLUS loan is subject to an approved credit check in order to qualify for the loan.
Federal Direct loans (unsubsidized and Grad PLUS) are made available to students by filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) The Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans:
- Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest begins to accrue at the time of disbursement, even during the time a student is attending school and during grace and deferment periods.
- PLUS: unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest accrues at the time of disbursement.
- Consolidation: Eligible federal student loans can be combined into one Direct Consolidation Loan.
Student borrowers are not required to begin making payments until after they drop below half-time attendance, graduate or leave school. PLUS loan payments begin after the loan is fully disbursed.
GFU will inform you how much you may borrow and the types of loans you are eligible to receive on your award package. To receive a PLUS loan, you must fill out a borrower request form and be credit approved for the loan. For a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department of Education will check your credit history. To be eligible to receive a PLUS loan, you must not have adverse credit history. If you are determined to have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if you obtain an endorser who does not have adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if you can document to the satisfaction of the Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history. The information below will give you an idea of the loan amounts you may be eligible to receive.
Annual Loan Limits
Annual Stafford Loan Limits
1st Year Undergraduate
$5,500 (maximum of
2nd Year Undergraduate
3rd & 4th Year Undergraduates
*Dependent students are those who filed a FAFSA with their parents, except those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan. In this case, a student may be considered independent for loan purposes only.
*The independent student limits also apply to dependent students whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan due to a denial.
*The numbers in parentheses represent the maximum loan amount that may be subsidized (for undergraduate study only).
*In general, Direct PLUS loans cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid/resources of the student.
The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive for an academic year is determined by your school and may be less than the maximum annual amounts shown in the chart above.
Below are the aggregate (total) limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans:
- $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized). All new undergraduate borrowers as of July 1, 2013 are also confined to the 150% maximum time period of one’s academic program to receive a subsidized Stafford loan.
- $57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
- $138,500 for graduate or professional students (no more than $65,500 may be subsidized; includes loans for undergraduate study)
These aggregate limits include both Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and any subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans received through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program (which is no longer available).
Except for Direct PLUS loans, to receive the above loans, one must complete loan entrance counseling and a master promissory note (MPN). Loan entrance counseling, the MPN and loan exit counseling provides additional details on your rights and responsibilities as a federal student loan borrower. You can complete your Stafford loan entrance counseling and MPN at www.studentloans.gov. Loan exit counseling is explained at the end of this section.
There are many different repayment plans for direct Stafford and PLUS loans. For further details on these plans, please reference the Direct Loans website or call Direct Loan Servicing. There is a 6 month grace period for Stafford loans and PLUS loans begin repayment after the last disbursement for the loan. The standard repayment period for a direct loan is 10 years (120 months). The interest rate for a Direct Stafford Loan is currently 3.86% for subsidized loans and 3.86% for unsubsidized loans. Interest rate for PLUS loans is 6.41%. Minimum payment of Direct Loans is $50. Various loan forgiveness programs may also be applicable to the borrower.
All loan exit counseling is required when a student attends less than half-time, leaves school or graduates. It is important to complete loan exit counseling because it will outline your rights and responsibilities as a borrower in repayment, as well as give you an idea of your payment schedule. As a student who borrows from the federal government, you will need to repay the government what you have borrowed to pay for your education. Ignoring or skipping loan payments will adversely affect your credit history. Defaulting on student loans may also make you ineligible for any future federal aid. According to the Higher Education Opportunity Act, student loans cannot be included in a bankruptcy. You can complete your Stafford loan exit counseling at www.nslds.ed.gov. Information and totals on your federal loans can also be viewed at this site.
Deferment of Federal Education Loans
A deferment is a period in which repayment of the principal balance is temporarily postponed if you meet certain requirements. During a deferment, the government pays the interest on subsidized loans. For unsubsidized and PLUS loans, the borrower is responsible for paying the interest that accrues during the deferment period. A borrower can pay the interest as it accrues during the deferment period, or allow it to be capitalized with the principal balance of the loan.
The following are conditions when a deferment is allowable:
- Enrolled at least half-time at an eligible postsecondary school (approved participant of federal aid programs).
- Study in an approved graduate fellowship program or in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled.
- Unable to find full-time employment.
- Economic hardship (including working in Peace Corps Service)
- A member of the National Guard or other reserve of the U.S. Armed Forces who is called or ordered to active duty while enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution or within six months of having been enrolled at least half-time.
- On active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency.
To request a deferment, please contact Direct Loan Servicing. You may find more information at www.studentloans.gov.
Other need-based and non-need-based state, local, institutional and private aid programs that are available to students are listed below.
- OSAC State Scholarships (Oregon Student Assistance Commission)
- Ford Family Scholarship
- Other various donor funded scholarships
- Ministry to Underserved Populations Scholarship (Seminary Only)
- GFU Yellow Ribbon Match
- Other various donor funded scholarships
- VA Yellow Ribbon Award
- Private Student Loans (from various lenders)
The above listed awards/programs are not all inclusive of all possible aid available to student but rather our most common programs at GFU. All awards have different qualifying criteria.
Applying for Aid
Generally, acceptance to the university and completing the FAFSA is required to qualify for federal and state aid (you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to apply). You can complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Other applications may be required for some institutional and/or outside/external aid.
Federal aid eligibility is determined from the EFC derived from the FAFSA. Financial need is calculated with the cost of attendance and EFC to determine need-based and non-need-based aid eligibility.
Distribution of Aid
At George Fox University, financial aid is distributed to students by various means. Generally, most of the institutional aid is awarded to the traditional undergraduate students due to the higher cost of tuition. In evaluating and assessing the student body profile at George Fox University, awarding structure/policies are developed to entice recruitment of certain types of students. For merit aid, award levels are based on cumulative high school GPA (college GPA for transfer students) and SAT/ACT scores. Other smaller awards are based on certain types/groups of students that the school wants to recruit to the school. Also, there are awards based on levels of need from the FAFSA.
The adult degree program does not have institutional aid due to its reduced cost. The graduate program generally does not have institutional aid as well. A very minimal amount of institutional aid is awarded by a few graduate programs.
Rights & Responsibilities of Students Receiving Aid
At George Fox University, if you are a student receiving any type of aid, you have the right to accept or decline any aid that is offered to you. Please pay special attention to all award messages on your award letter. These messages give you additional information about your specific awards. Also, please be aware that any changes in federal, state and/or institutional policies may result in award changes (revisions). We will notify you of any award revisions of your financial aid award package. Any scholarships/grants not known to GFU may also result in award revisions. It is your responsibility to notify the Student Financial Services office of any external scholarships/grants that are awarded to you. As a financial aid recipient, you must meet certain basic requirements. The basic requirements are as follows:
- You must be accepted to an eligible program of study.
- You cannot be enrolled in an elementary or secondary school.
- Have a high school diploma or a “recognized equivalent,” including homeschooling or a Department of Education ability-to-benefit test.
- Be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) by financial aid standards.
- Your aid eligibility is dependent on your enrollment status.
For federal and state aid, the basic requirements are those stated above as well as the additional requirements that follow:
- You have not been convicted of a federal or state drug conviction. If you have, there are additional requirements that may or may not make you eligible for federal aid.
- You are not an incarcerated student.
- Have a valid FAFSA for the academic year receiving aid.
- You are an eligible U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident, citizen of the Freely Associated States or other eligible noncitizen.
- Is not in default or owes an overpayment on a Federal Student Aid grant or loan (without a repayment arrangement).
- Have a valid Social Security number (SSN).
- Men are registered with the Selective Service (unless you meet a federal exemption).
- Pell grant recipients must be in an undergraduate program of study.
- Pell grant recipients must not be in an involuntary civil commitment following incarceration for a sexual offense.
- Pell grant recipients are eligible up to the maximum number of Pell grants received.
- Federal TEACH grants require an annual completion of a service agreement and entrance counseling.
- Federal loan recipients must be at least half-time in the awarded term to be eligible for the loan funds.
- Stafford loan recipients are eligible for loans up to the maximum annual and cumulative limits designated by the federal government and as stated above.
- Grad PLUS loans are additional federal loans made to the student. Credit eligibility is required and determined by the federal government.
As federal, state and institutional rules & regulations are constantly changing, your above right and responsibilities are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to know the above requirements for aid. If you have any conflicting information in relation to the above requirements, you have the right to appeal this decision with your financial aid counselor.
Financial Aid Disbursement
Financial aid is disbursed to student accounts after all eligibility requirements for the award have been met. Generally, things that can prevent a disbursement from occurring are an invalid FAFSA, missing documents, verification not complete, overawards, improper enrollment, insufficient GPA, SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) not met, first class of the term starts at a later time, prior holds on your account and similar criteria. In general, the first disbursement occurs 7 days prior to the first day of the term and every week thereafter in the term. On and after the first day of the term, all eligibility criteria of the fund must be met in order to be disbursed. Upon having any loan funds disbursed to you, you will have 14 days from the date of disbursement to have the funds returned. To do so, you must submit your request to us in writing within this 14 day window. If you want to return your loan funds after the 14 day window, you must do so by paying the lender directly.
SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress)
Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for financial aid must be met in order for a student to be eligible for financial aid. There are two components for measuring SAP, qualitative and quantitative. Under the qualitative standard, a student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA, at all times, while attending school. The quantitative standard requires a student to pass at least 67% of their credits attempted for each term. The maximum time frame for a student’s financial aid eligibility is 150% of the length of the program. For a student to be eligible for financial aid, it must be mathematically possible to finish the program within the maximum time frame. If additional degrees (double majors/minors) are desired, the maximum time frame will be 150% of the program with the greatest number of credits needed to graduate.
SAP will be calculated after each term of enrollment.
Upon failing to meet SAP, a student is given a warning (warning status). Warning status means that the student is eligible for financial aid in the following term to regain/re-establish their SAP eligibility. If the student fails to re-establish SAP in the following term, the student is suspended (revoked) of their financial aid and is not eligible for aid in any subsequent term.
Students who are suspended (revoked) of their financial aid must attend school on their own resources (without financial aid) to regain/re-instate their SAP eligibility. A student who is suspended (revoked) for the first time also has the option to appeal their SAP status by completing a SAP appeal form. Please find the SAP appeal form at the Student Financial Services website in the Satisfactory Academic Progress page. Within the SAP appeal form, the student must state the reasons for failing SAP and what will be done to remedy the situation. If an appeal is approved, a student is placed on probation-meaning that the student may receive aid with certain conditions and/or requirements. With the probation status, an academic plan will be written (statement of requirements and understanding), outlining the requirements to re-establish or continue with SAP eligibility. If the requirements are not met at the end of the probation term(s), financial aid will be suspended (revoked) again and an appeal is not allowed. Students must also appeal to change their academic plan. In the appeal to change an academic plan, it must be state what has happened to make the change necessary and how they will be able to still make satisfactory academic progress. An appeal to change the academic plan must be done sooner rather than later to allow the change to be effective toward academic progress.
Transfer credits which count toward the degree are counted toward the maximum time frame for the program. Cumulative GPA’s are reflective of GFU grades only.
Withdraws and drops after the add/drop period are considered attempted units toward SAP. Remedial and ESL courses are included in SAP calculations. Incomplete grades are considered an ‘F’ grade when calculating SAP at the end of the term. It is the student’s responsibility to notify their counselor when a grade is assigned for an incomplete grade. The financial aid counselor will recalculate the student’s SAP if necessary.
In terms of repeated courses, a student is allowed to repeat a “passed” course once for financial aid. A “passed” course means that a grade other than an “F” was received. A “failed” course may be repeated for financial aid until a passing grade is received.
Withdrawing & Return of Federal Student Aid funds
At George Fox University, to officially withdraw from a term, you must complete the withdrawal form through your MyGFU account. Completion of the form is notification to GFU of your intent to withdraw and the date of your withdrawal, unless there are circumstances beyond one’s control. GFU administration will evaluate these unusual circumstances on an individual basis. A mid-semester leave of absence (LOA) is considered a withdrawal (for financial aid purposes) from the current term. Please understand that a withdrawal or LOA can have financial consequences toward your financial aid and charges on your student account. Failure to return from a LOA may result in the exhaustion of your student loan deferment period which will cause your student loans to go into repayment. The registrar’s office is the only office that can accept notifications of official withdrawals.
According to the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), sessions are treated as individual enrollment within the term. Enrollment in a session is treated individually within the term. This means that dropping a class in a session will be classified as a withdrawal if there is no concurrent enrollment at the time of withdrawal, regardless of past (class that was completed or received a grade) or future enrollment in other sessions. At the time of a withdrawal from a session with a future enrollment in another session, a student may supply a note or message to our office confirming intent of the future session which will classify the student as enrolled. If the student does not attend the class in the future session, it will be classified as a withdrawal back to the original date attendance ceased. Upon a session withdrawal, the below withdrawal policies will be applied in relation to the projected time of enrollment within the sessions in the term.
Federal regulations require that we calculate how much aid you are eligible for and need to return upon withdrawing. This is called the Return of Title IV funds (R2T4). Generally, the percentage of time a student attended in the term is what he/she is eligible for in federal aid unless unearned charges are less than the federal aid eligible. If unearned charges are less than the federal aid eligible, a student is then eligible for the total federal aid less the unearned charges. In the event that your federal aid has not been disbursed prior to withdrawal, we are required to calculate the federal aid that you are eligible for and perform a post-withdrawal disbursement. A post-withdrawal disbursement requires obtaining permission from the student before we disburse any eligible federal aid. If this occurs, your financial aid counselor will notify you of this occurrence. For all Return of Title IV calculations, original charges to a student’s account are used.
To find out specific details of how much federal aid you may be eligible for upon withdrawing, please contact your financial aid counselor.
The institutional refund policy is as follows:
1st week-Full Refund (100%)
6th week or later-No Refund (0%)
*Each 'week' referenced above refers to 1/16 (6.363%) of the course length. Additional refund information is available on the Student Financial Services website under 'Removal of Institutional Charges'.
All institutional aid eligibility will coincide and be proportionately equal to the institutional refund policy.
All state aid will be adjusted in accordance with the state office issuing the funds.
Each of the above refund policies are independent of each other and are performed on a separate basis. After all withdrawal calculations are performed, an outstanding balance may occur. If this does happen, the student is responsible for the remaining balance owed. This balance may prevent future enrollment and may place a hold on your record/account. Conversely, if you have a credit balance after the withdrawal calculations are performed, a refund check for the amount will be sent to you.
Study Abroad Programs-Federal Student Aid
A student who chooses to study abroad is eligible for Federal Student Aid through George Fox University. Study abroad students are students who choose to study at another eligible institution while maintaining enrollment at George Fox University. To study abroad, the student must make sure that all classes being taken at the visiting institution can be transferred and applied to their degree. This approval must be done by an academic advisor or enrollment counselor. As a study abroad student, the student is responsible for having their grades transferred before their next term starts (or soon thereafter if the terms are continuously rolling).
Study Abroad with Another School
To study abroad at a school means that the student is attending another eligible institution while maintaining enrollment at George Fox and wants financial aid for this study. In this case, the study abroad is coordinated through the financial aid office. This financial aid consortium agreement is approved on a case-by-case basis. It is George Fox University’s financial aid policy to not do consortium agreements with another school unless it is an approved study through the Center of Peace and Justice. Also, be aware that an approval to pursue a consortium agreement by George Fox University does not mean it will be approved by the visiting institution. Every school has the right to approve or deny consortium agreements. In this case, a student is eligible for Federal Student Aid only. The student will be responsible for making sure George Fox receives the bill from the visiting institution and must follow through in making sure all classes are transferred after the term is completed. Upon receiving a bill from the visiting institution, George Fox University will send a check for the student’s federal aid to that institution.
Diversity Statistics of Enrolled, Full-Time Students Who Receive Federal Pell Grants: 2012-2013
Although Federal Pell Grants are not available to graduate students, the following statistics are for information purposes in identifying the diversity of the total number of enrolled, full-time student who received Pell Grants at George Fox University. Of the total enrolled, full-time Pell Grant recipients, 62.8% are females and 37.2% are male students. The ethnic diversity is as follows: American Indian/Native Alaskan 0.94%, Asian 4.04%, Black/African American 4.18%, Hispanic 11.19%, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.67%, Nonresident Alien 0.13%, 2 or more races 4.99%, White 69.00%, Unknown 4.85%.
Penalties for Drug Law Violation
A federal law suspends eligibility for students with drug convictions that occurred during enrollment periods while receiving federal student aid. Federal and state convictions for the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in suspended eligibility of federal aid. Convictions that were removed from your record or occurred before you turned the age of 18 (unless you were tried as an adult) should not count toward this suspension of federal aid eligibility.
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act-FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) apply to students who are or were enrolled at GFU. No one shall have access to, nor does the institution disclose any information from, students' education records without the written consent of students except to personnel within the institution with direct educational interest, to persons or organizations providing students' financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the Act.
Students are afforded the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate education interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the university may disclose educational records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
At its discretion, George Fox University may provide "directory information" in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The university construes the following information to be "directory information": parents' names and addresses; the student's name, permanent address, local address, temporary address, e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, major, dates of attendance, full-time and part-time status, degrees and awards received, class year, the most recent previous school attended, and for members of athletics teams, height, weight, and position played. The university also considers photographs to be directory information. As such, release of photographs also is permitted.
Students may restrict the release of their directory information to third parties by annually submitting a signed and dated statement to the registrar's office within the first two weeks of the semester. Otherwise, all photographs and information listed above are considered as "directory information" according to federal law. Non-directory information, notably grade records, is released to third parties only on written request of the student, or otherwise required by law (e.g., subpoena).
The law provides students the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of their education records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the hearing panel's decisions are unacceptable. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The registrar's office at George Fox University has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review of procedures for student education records, which include admission, personal, and academic files, and academic, cooperative education, disciplinary records, and placement records. Students wishing to review their education records must give a written request to the registrar listing the item or items of interest. Only records covered in the Act are made available within 45 days of the request. Education records do not include student health records, employment records, alumni records, or records of instructional, administrative, and educational personnel that are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute. Health records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the student's choosing.
Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the Act: financial information submitted by their parents; confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment, or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution permits access only to that part of the record that pertains to the inquiring student.
Who to Contact with Questions
If you have any questions about the above financial aid consumer information/disclosures, please contact your financial aid counselor. You may also request a paper copy of this consumer information by asking for it at the Financial Aid Office during normal business hours. Our office is located on the 2nd floor of the Stevens Center on the Newberg campus. Our contact information is:
George Fox University
Financial Aid Office
414 N. Meridian St. #6068
Newberg, OR 97132-2697