Financial Aid Updates

Year-Round Pell

Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, an eligible student may now receive full Federal Pell Grant for summer 2018 even if they received a full Federal Pell Grant during the fall and spring semesters. Year-round Pell Grant availability can provide students with an excellent opportunity to accelerate program completion, possibly saving on overall degree cost and limiting student loan debt. Just because students may be eligible for full-time Pell Grant funds DOES NOT mean students are required to carry a full-time load.

Example Of How Year-Round Pell Will Work

If an eligible student in an academic year receives a full-time Pell award total of $5,960; $2,960 for the fall semester and $2,960 for the spring semester, this student will now be eligible to receive up to another full-time Pell Grant of $2,960 for the summer semester if they were to enroll full-time (12 hours) for summer or up to a total of $8880 for the entire academic year.

If the student enrolled half-time (6 hours), he or she would receive $1,480 of Pell Grant for summer, or one-half of a full disbursement.

Note: The provisions of the new law state that any Pell Grant received will be included in determining the student’s Pell Grant duration of eligibility and Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU).

State Aid New Eligibility Requirement Update

Summer Term Disbursement

ASU has ONE summer term with several different class start dates. Despite the time-frame of class start dates, disbursement dates are based on the time-frame of the TERM. Financial Aid Funds are also disbursed on actual hours enrolled and attended at the time of disbursement. Financial Aid Awards are calculated based on full-time enrollment and may be adjusted accordingly if enrolled less than full-time.

Note: Federal Direct Student Loans have two disbursement dates during the summer term. Federal regulation mandates two disbursement dates for loans made during one term regardless of your start and end date (however, you must be enrolled at least half-time to receive a disbursement).

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. Effective: July 1, 2012

Achieve Scholarship

Effective immediately, Alcorn State University is suspending new awards of its Achieve Scholarship. The Achieve Scholarship is awarded to returning undergraduate students earning a minimum GPA of 3.3 on thirty credit hours earned at Alcorn. The decision to suspend new awards will not affect current students that have already been awarded the Achieve scholarship. The university will continue to honor current Achieve awardees, provided they continue to sustain the maintenance GPA requirement. Although the university is growing and in a sound financial position, Alcorn’s general support state appropriations have declined by double digits over the past three fiscal years. Reductions in state appropriations coupled with the impending reduction in funding from the Ayers desegregation settlement has necessitated the need for this hard, yet prudent decision. As future state appropriations to Alcorn increase, the university will consider reinstating the Achieve Scholarship.

Dependent Students Of Full-Time Faculty And Staff Tuition Waive

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
Effective: July 1, 2012

Repeat Course 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 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.

Federal Student Aid Credit Balance (Fsa) Refunds

Federal Regulations require that once funds have been disbursed/authorized (actual date posted to account) and creates a Federal Student Aid Credit Balance, the school must pay the credit balance as soon as possible but no later than 14 days after the balance has occurred. At the beginning of every semester/term, ASU will notify students via ASU email the dates for class attendance verification, disbursement/authorization of funds/ and anticipated refund date.

Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Federal Student Aid Credit Balance (Fsa) Refunds
As prescribed in section 484(r) of the Higher Education Act, a student who, during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving any Federal grant, loan, or work assistance, is convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any additional grant, loan, or work assistance from the date of that conviction for the period of time specified in the following table:

Offense Possession of Illegal Drugs Sale of Illegal Drugs
1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
3+ offense Indefinite period

Student Responsibilities if Convicted During Period of Enrollment

According to the US Department of Education, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal aid, they must notify ASU Office of Financial Aid immediately. Student will be immediately ineligible for further aid and will be required to pay back all aid received after the loss of eligibility.

Students are required to self-certify their eligibility for Federal aid with regard to drug convictions on the FAFSA. If a student has been convicted of a drug offense while receiving Title IV Federal financial aid, they are required to report the conviction on the FAFSA. For additional information on this requirement call 1-800-433-3243.

Regaining Eligibility
A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends, the date their conviction is overturned, or the date they complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program, whichever occurs first. A student whose eligibility has been suspended indefinitely may only regain it by successfully completing a qualified drug rehabilitation program.

A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  1. Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a Federal, State, or local government program.
  2. Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a Federally – or State – licensed insurance company.
  3. Be administered or recognized by a Federal, State, or local government agency or court.
  4. Be administered or recognized by a Federally – or State – licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.

It is the student’s responsibility to certify to ASU Office of Financial Aid that they have successfully completed a rehabilitation program.