Financial Aid FAQ's
Mandatory Steps for Accepting Your Financial Aid Award?
1. Log in to CAMS with you CAMS ID and Password
2. Select Term
3. Go to My Financial Aid
4. Accept Financial Aid you are requesting.
Should I Apply?
Any student who may have a financial need for educational expenses should apply for financial aid. Most students are eligible for some sort of financial assistance whether it is gift aid such as grants or self-help aid in the form of student loans and/or college work-study.
What Is Financial Aid
Financial aid is money provided to help bridge the gap between your own resources and the amount needed to pay the cost of attending college. The primary responsibility for meeting the cost of a college education rests with the student and family to the extent they are able to pay. A formula established by Congress and written in law, takes into account your family income and assets. When you apply for financial aid at Thomas University, you are applying for gift aid and self-help programs.
Grants do not have to be repaid and are based on financial need.
Loans are borrowed money that you repay with interest to the lender. Educational loans usually carry a low interest rate and offer a grace period with repayment generally beginning within six months after graduation or when you stop attending school at least half time. Student loans are considered financial aid because of the special interest rates. Most student loans are subsidized by the federal government’ and repayment does not begin until after graduation.
Scholarships are awards based on many factors such as academic merit or academic merit and financial need. They do not have to be repaid.
Student Employment enables students to earn money toward their educational expenses while in school by working part time. This can either be a regular employment position or a federally subsidized work-study one.
What Is An “Aid Package”?
When you apply for financial assistance from Thomas University, you do not apply for a particular type or amount of aid. Aid applicants are automatically considered for all available programs. One or more types of aid are usually awarded in combination to make up a student’s financial aid package. Students who receive scholarships from outside agencies or through their departments will have these scholarships included as a part of their total student aid package.
How Do I Receive Summer Financial Aid?
Summer term financial aid is unique from the fall, and spring terms. Summer term ends the aid year for 2016-2017 and requires that the 2016-2017 FAFSA be submitted for eligibility. If you will be enrolled for the year AND summer term, your Financial Aid will be distributed over 3 terms. Some grant and aid programs are not available for summer term. Students who have been awarded work study for the academic year may begin working during summer term if enrolled half-time or more. Enrollment levels for summer term remain the same as the fall, and spring terms. More information will be posted on the Financial Aid website during spring term.
Why Do I Have To Provide Parent Information?
Parent information is used because the Congress has said that families have primary responsibility for funding a college education. Parent information is not necessary if you are independent. Even if your parents do not support you, pay for your living expenses, bills, etc., you are still required to supply their information on your application if you are considered a dependent student by federal definition. To check your dependency status, please utilize the Dependency Worksheet, available on the FAFSA website under determining dependency status.
What If I Have Circumstances That Do Not Fit Independent Criteria, But I Cannot Report My Parents’ Information?
The Thomas University Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships may be able to use professional judgment in deciding to override the dependency status on your FAFSA. You will be required to document your specific extenuating circumstances.
Examples of extenuating circumstance include but are not limited to:
- You and you parents are in separate countries and you have been granted refugee status by the Immigration Service
- A legal restraining order has been issued to your parent(s) due to abusive behavior or other family disturbances
- You have been abandoned and are dependent upon yourself or foster parents for support
Any of these circumstances can be considered, but do not automatically allow you to be independent. All circumstances must be documented.
In cases where you do not qualify as an independent student, but you do not receive parental support, you should contact an advisor in the TU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss your alternatives.
Am I Allowed To Receive Financial Aid Funds From More Than One Institution At The Same Time?
No. If you are enrolled at more than one college or university at the same time, you may receive financial aid from one of the institutions, not both. Contact our office for more information.
Why Hasn’t My Financial Aid Paid?
There are several ways in which your aid may be delayed. Here are the most common reasons:
- You may be required to complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for your Stafford Direct Loans. You would have been notified of these requirements via an email to your CAMS email account.
- Dropping classes (below 12 for undergraduates, 9 for graduates). All students are assumed to be full-time unless they notify Financial Aid in writing that they will be less. If you are not enrolled at full-time and have not notified us, your aid will not disburse.
- Registering late for classes.
- Having unsatisfied requirements with your financial aid file that you have not completed.
You are responsible for managing your Financial Aid experience, so be sure to check CAMS frequently and review any emails you receive from us as they may include requests for additional information or action. Call, email, or stop by if you have any questions, we are here to help you!
Financial Aid Refunds
Depending on how you have your account set up, you may receive a refund check in the mail, or by direct deposit.
- Submit a FAFSA before Jan. 1 to meet TU’s priority deadline (Feb 28th). This will give you the best chance of receiving the strongest financial aid package from limited funds. Check with other schools for their deadlines.
- If you have not done your taxes, you may estimate tax information on the FAFSA using your final pay stub for the year, or your previous year’s taxes if your financial situation is similar. You will be able to correct this information at a later time with the updated information.
- For faster processing of your FAFSA online, apply for a FSA ID for yourself or, if you are a dependent, your parent may apply at fsaid.ed.gov.
- Please write your name and TU Student ID number on all forms submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and always retain copies of all forms for your records.
- Make copies of your taxes transcript and W2 forms in case the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships requests these documents.
- Read your Student Aid Report/Information Acknowledgment for accuracy and for important messages regarding your financial aid eligibility.
- Check out other FAFSA hints online.
How Do I Report Outside Scholarships?
Many students from Thomas University receive scholarships and grants from outside organizations. The receipt of any scholarship or grant not listed on the award notification must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in writing as soon as you are notified of the award. Please indicate the full name and the amount of the award.
Where Should The Donor Send My Scholarship?
Outside Scholarship checks should be mailed to Financial Aid at the following address: Financial Aid Office, Thomas University, 1501 Millpond Road. Thomasville, GA 31792.
If you have not already submitted notification to the Financial Aid Office regarding your outside scholarships, please submit the Reporting Additional Sources of Assistance form located on the Financial Aid Website. Please review your scholarship payment status through your CAMS account as funds will be credited to you student billing account when received.
How Will The Receipt Of An Outside Scholarship Affect My Financial Aid Package?
Many students from Thomas University receive scholarships and grants from outside organizations. The receipt of any scholarship or grant not listed on the award notification must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in writing as soon as the student is notified of the award. Please indicate the name of the award and the amount of the award. Additional resources may reduce your overall financial aid package.
What If I Have Additional Cost That Are Not Include In The Cost Of Attendance?
If you have additional costs that are not included in your original Cost of Attendance estimate, you can request to have them added to your total budget if they fit certain criteria requirements.
What If My Or My Parents’ Circumstances Have Changed Financially?
If you or your family has experienced a loss of employment, change in marital status, or other extraordinary circumstance since you completed the FAFSA, you may appeal to have your situation reviewed by our office. If approved, your aid eligibility and financial need may be recalculated, based on the new information. For additional information, please contact our office for guidance.
Regular Student Employment
If you have additional costs that are not included in your original Cost of Attendance estimate, you can request to have them added to your total budget if they fit certain criteria requirements. You can learn more about this option by viewing the Cost of Attendance Revision Request form.
Why Didn’t I Get Federal Work Study?
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need to help them pay for their education. It’s designed to put you to work in the community or in a job related to your studies, whenever possible. The program is administered by the TU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Funds are limited and eligibility is based on need and in part by meeting the TU priority FAFSA submission deadline of February 28. If awarded, the amount of FWS indicated on your award is the maximum amount you may earn for the academic year. Funds are paid bi-weekly on the basis of hours worked in the pay period not to exceed 20 hours per week. Wages range from the state minimum rate up to $7.50 per hour, depending on job responsibilities.
While you may not be awarded work study funds, you can continue to look for CSWEP employment on campus.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
What Is SAP?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a federally required evaluation of a student’s progress towards completion of their degree. The evaluation includes the following three components:
- Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative TU GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates.
- Successfully complete at least 67% of their attempted coursework.
- Complete their degree within 150% of the published time frame for undergraduates. If your degree requires 110 credit hours, you must complete it within 192 credit hours including F & W grades.
Students that withdraw from all classes or do not complete at least one (1) credit satisfactorily for two terms in an academic year will be considered to have not met SAP and will be required to file a written appeal. Students that were suspended by the university and have been reinstated are also required to file a written appeal.
- How do I know whether or not I have been selected for not meeting the SAP standards?
- How often will I be evaluated for SAP?
- What do I need to do if I receive a SAP warning email notification?
- If selected as not meeting the SAP standards, what action(s) do I need to take?
- How will I know if my appeal has been received?
- How will I know the result of my appeal?
- What do I need to do after my appeal is approved?
- What do I need to do after my appeal is denied?
- Are there deadlines for submitting an appeal?
- What happens if I do not appeal?
How Do I Know Whether Or Not I Have Selected For Not Meeting The Sap Standards?
A notification will be sent to your CAMS email account notifying you if you have been selected as not meeting the minimum SAP standards.
How Often Will I Be Evaluated For Sap?
Students are evaluated at the end of each term (effective July 1, 2011) to determine whether or not they meet the SAP standards. Evaluation begins once grades have been posted to transcripts and continues weekly for the remainder of the upcoming academic year for students submitting their first FAFSA. Should you feel that your progress now brings you above the minimum standards, please request a reevaluation from our office.
What Do I Need To Do If I Receive A Sap Warning Email Notification?
At the end of every term we will evaluate your progress. The first term in which you do not meet SAP performance criteria you will receive a warning and aid will pay for the next term (unless you failed to complete at least one (1) credit satisfactorily for two terms or if you have exceeded the maximum time frame). This notification is a warning only, but should cause you to reevaluate your current academic performance and seek assistance through your academic advisor and other campus resources. Carefully review the SAP standards and your coursework for the next term to determine what plan of action may be needed to improve your GPA, course completion rate, or to graduate within the 150% standard. Do not hesitate to use the many resources available to you on campus, including the Academic Success Center and TU Counseling Services.
If Selected As Not Meeting The Sap Standards, What Action(S) Do I Need To Take?
The next step is to complete an appeal and submit it to our office. Please make sure that you are using the form(s) for the aid year in which you were selected and include all necessary information. An incomplete appeal can delay review and subsequently delay the availability of financial aid awards.
How Will I Know If My Appeal Has Been Received?
Once received by our office, your appeal should be coded and appear in your Requirements on CAMS. Please allow 10-15 business days once you have turned in a complete appeal in order to receive a decision.
How Will I Know The Result Of My Appeal?
Once review of an appeal is complete, you will be notified of the decision at your CAMS email account.
What Do I Need To Do After My Appeal Is Approved?
If your appeal is approved, please check CAMS for the Overall Status of your Financial Aid to see if you have any unsatisfied student requirements for this aid year.
What Do I Need To Do After My Appeal Is Denied?
If your appeal is denied, you are ineligible to receive financial aid until you have reestablished your eligibility. You should refer to your denial letter for additional information and explanation. If your appeal was denied due to pace of completion rate or GPA issues, you may reestablish eligibility by taking classes and paying for them on your own in order to bring your GPA or completion rate up to the SAP standard (see question on “What is SAP?” ).
Are There Deadlines For Submitting An Appeal?
Appeals should be submitted before the end of week six of the current term. Appeals received after week six may not be reviewed before the next term of attendance; therefore, we recommend submitting a complete appeal as soon as possible.
What Happens If I Do No Not Appeal?
For those that do not wish to submit an appeal, financial aid will not be awarded until eligibility has been reestablished. The only way to do this without submitting an appeal is to bring your GPA and/or pace of completion rate to the minimum standards of a 2.0 TU GPA as an undergraduate e and at least a 67% pace. Student that have exceeded their maximum time frame or that completed zero (0) credits in two (2) terms or were previously suspended, must file an appeal.