FINANCIAL AID NEWSFLASH

Unusual Enrollment History

Beginning with the 2013-2014 award year, the U.S. Department of Education will flag federal student aid (FAFSA) applications for ‘unusual enrollment history’ to identify instances of potential fraud and abuse of the Federal Pell Grant Program. 

The flag will identify students who have been awarded the Federal Pell Grant at multiple post-secondary institutions, and remained enrolled only long enough to receive a Title IV credit balance/refund, leave without completing the enrollment period, enroll at another institution, and repeat the pattern. The period of review includes academic enrollment periods during 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. These students are not eligible for federal student aid until the institution has conducted a review to analyze completed enrollment, earned academic credit, and federal student aid paid. 

The flags and codes that will be used on the 2013-2014 FAFSA to identify students for review are as follows: 

UEH Flag Value 

“C” Code 

Comment Code 

Flag Description 

School Action to Resolve Flag 

No 

None 

Enrollment pattern not unusual 

No school action required. 

Yes 

359 

Possible enrollment pattern problem. May have received PELL funds at three institutions over two award years. 

School must review enrollment/academic and financial aid records for past three award years. 

Yes 

360 

Questionable enrollment pattern. May have received PELL grant at three or more institutions in one award year. 

School must review enrollment/academic and financial aid records for past three award years. 

Students with UEH flag 2 and UEH flag 3 on the 2013-2014 FAFSA will be required to complete and submit the “2013-2014 Unusual Enrollment History” form to the Office of Financial Aid for review to determine whether the student enrolled in multiple institutions solely to obtain a credit balance/refund payment. Official transcripts for each institution attended must be submitted with the form. The student will also have to attach a ‘statement of explanation’ for any course for which no academic credit was earned. The statement can include copies of third party supporting documentation such as medical bills/doctors’ reports, military assignment or court documentation of legal events. Additional documents or information may be requested. 

For students who earned academic credit at each of the previously attended institutions during 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013, no further action is required, and the student’s eligibility for federal student aid can be reinstated. In instances where the student has been awarded a Pell Grant at Alcorn State University during the review academic enrollment periods, the student may be placed on an academic plan and given counsel about the implications of enrollment history on Pell Grant eligibility. 

Federal student aid eligibility will be reinstated when the ‘unusual enrollment history’ review outcome is that the student did not enroll solely to obtain a credit balance/refund payment, and the transcripts and other documentation support the student’s explanation. The student may be placed on an academic plan and given counsel about the implications of enrollment history on Pell Grant eligibility. The U.S. Department of Education “Statement of Educational Purpose” may also be required. Financial aid eligibility for the Pell Grant and campus-based assistance will be awarded for the payment period during which the student regains eligibility. Direct loan eligibility will apply to the award year. 

Federal student aid eligibility will not be reinstated when the ‘unusual enrollment history’ review determines that the documentation does not support or disprove that the student enrolled in multiple programs at multiple institutions solely to obtain a credit balance/refund payment, and the student did not earn academic credit at one or more of the prior institutions. 

When federal student aid eligibility is not reinstated, the student may appeal by submitting the “Special Circumstances Appeal” form. Criteria for consideration of the appeal will require that the student has met with an Academic Advisor, been enrolled for three academic terms only in required degree program courses, has not withdrawn officially or unofficially from the courses, and academic credit is earned that meets the standards of federal satisfactory academic progress. Evidence of criteria compliance must be included with the “Special Circumstances Appeal” form. The special circumstances appeal decision is final and no further consideration will be given to reinstating federal student aid eligibility at Alcorn State University. 

Fall 2013 Refund Schedule

General Refunds - September 30th;  First Time Loan Borrowers - October 8th; and 2nd Disbursements (Fall Only Awards) - October 15th. 

Note:  If you have classes with a start date of October 14th, you must have at least 6 hours of classes with a start date of August 26th to receive a refund on September 30th; otherwise your refund schedule date is October 25th.  

Helpful Tips for Viewing/Accepting Financial Aid and Completing the Registration Process

Enclosed information provide details on How to apply for Parent PLUS Loan, Viewing/Accepting Financial Aid, and Completing the Registration Process. 

Verification Policy and IRS Tax Request

Effective July 1, 2012

Exit Loan Counseling 

All graduating students, Exit Counseling must be completed online before the clearance form is signed.  Click on the link (Exit Loan Counseling Update) for additional information.

DEPENDENT STUDENTS OF FULL-TIME FACULTY AND STAFF TUITION WAIVERS (GPA no longer a requirement) 

 EFFECTIVE SPRING 2012    

Tuition Waiver Forms are available for download at http://www.alcorn.edu/offices/FinancialAid/info.aspx?id=421.    

801.15 DEPENDENT TUITION WAIVERS  
 
B. Dependent Tuition Waivers - The Dependent Tuition Waiver employee benefit for the state institutions applies to all dependent children (as defined in Internal Revenue Code §152(c)(3)) of full-time faculty and staff of the universities and full-time employees of the Executive Office. In order to receive an undergraduate tuition waiver for 50 percent (50%) of the total tuition, the dependent must gain admission to the university where the parent or legal guardian is employed, or in the case of dependent children of the IHL Executive Office, at any of the eight state universities, and make a formal written request to the Office of Financial Aid of the respective institution. In cases wherein both parents or legal guardians are eligible employees, a tuition waiver of one hundred percent (100%) shall be provided to the dependent children. Dependent children of continuing employees hired prior to July 1, 1977, are eligible for full waiver of undergraduate tuition at the appropriate institutions because of the grandfather clause included in the April 28, 1977, minutes of the Board.  
 
IHL Board of Trustees Policies & Bylaws 139  
  
1. Continued Eligibility - A single, dependent child may receive an undergraduate tuition benefit (consistent with the continued employment of the parent or guardian) which may be continued until the degree requirements for one baccalaureate degree are met or until age 25, whichever comes first.  
 
2. Dependent tuition shall be accounted for and reported at the face value of the tuition being waived in the appropriate functional category.  
 
Revised:  January 11, 2012 
 

Repeat Coursework Policy for Financial Aid

A recent federal regulation change regarding repeated coursework may impact your financial aid eligibility and awards. Effective for the fall 2011 semester, in order for a repeated course to be counted towards your enrollment status for financial aid purposes, you may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts). If you enroll in a previously repeated and passed course for a third time, this course will not count towards your enrollment for financial aid purposes. For example, if you are enrolled in a total of 12 credit hours and 3 credits you have repeated in the past, you will only be considered enrolled in 9 hours for financial aid purposes. A passing grade is defined as “D” or better. Please note that the repeat course policy for financial aid is separate from institutional academic polices regarding repeat courses.  
The policy allows a student to receive financial aid under the following situations:  
  • To repeat any failed course until a passing grade is received.  
  • To repeat one time any course in which a passing grade of “D” or higher was previously received.  
Please Note: Repeating a previously passed course two or more times may result in an adjustment to financial aid eligibility. Any adjustments will typically occur after the start of the semester during which the student is repeating the course, so students are responsible for monitoring their own enrollment in repeated coursework.  
Please Note: Repeating a previously passed course two or more times may result in an adjustment to financial aid eligibility. Any adjustments will typically occur after the start of the semester  
 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Changes Effective FALL 2012

Alcorn State University’s Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) was modified for the 2011-2012 Academic Year due to recent changes in federal regulations.  The new policy for SAP standards will be effective with the Fall 2011 semester.   

Note:  To be informed of additional SAP policy updates, please click on the Satifactory Acacdemic Progress (SAP) link to the right of this page.  

Please Note: Repeating a previously passed course two or more times may result in an adjustment to financial aid eligibility. Any adjustments will typically occur after the start of the semester
 

Year Round Federal Pell Grant 2010-2011

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, some changes were made to the awarding of Pell Grants.  HEOA allows students to receive more than 100% of their Pell Grant Eligibility, providing the student meets certain conditions.  To be eligible for Pell for summer 2011, the conditions that students must meet are defined as followed:  

 

  • Students can receive Pell Awards from their second scheduled awards after they have exhausted funds from their first scheduled awards. 
  • Enrolled year round for the academic year, which begins with fall and ends with summer. 
  • Must have completed enough fall and spring hours and be enrolled in sufficient hours for summer to be considered for making academic  progression at an accelerated rate, which is 25 or more credit hours for the academic year. 
  • Must be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours) to receive a Pell Award from their second scheduled award. 
  • Summer Pell Awards will be awarded based on the EFC calculation from the 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

In addition to the above requirements, the HEOA also included a provision for crossover periods in which the aid application yields to the most beneficial Pell grant between the current aid year and prior aid year. At Alcorn State University, the cross-over period is 2011-2012 however, Alcorn will not assign students a crossover payment period for purpose of the Federal Pell Grant for Summer 2011.