General Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for need based financial aid at Worcester State University, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
be a United States citizen, a permanent resident of the United States, or an eligible noncitizen;
be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree-granting program at Worcester State University;
be in attendance at least 6 credit hours (unless otherwise allowed by a specific aid program);
demonstrate need for financial aid as determined by the regulations governing each aid program;
be making satisfactory academic progress according to University policy;
be registered with Selective Service as required by federal regulations;
not owe a refund of any grant from Title IV funds (Pell, SEOG) received at any institution;
not be in default of any, Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Federal Parent Loan or Federal Perkins Loan received at any institution.
Eligibility for Financial Aid
Worcester State University follows a nationally accepted philosophy in administering its financial aid programs. Underlying this philosophy is the expectation of a reasonable contribution from students and their families toward meeting educational costs. Financial aid is awarded to those eligible students whose families financial resources are insufficient to meet college costs.
Expected Family Contribution
The amount a family is expected to contribute to college costs is calculated by using financial information provided on the FAFSA. That estimate may be adjusted by the University based upon verified data and/or individual circumstances. Components of this calculation include: family income; family assets; number of family members; and number of family members attending college at least half-time
Need for financial aid is determined by subtracting the expected family contribution from the cost of attendance. The Financial Aid Office attempts to meet financial need by offering students a financial aid package of different types of financial aid.
All students applying or renewal of financial assistance must:
file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the Federal Processing Center, available online at www.fafsa.gov, for Worcester State University to receive the information from the FAFSA, the student must indicate the University's name and Federal Title IV school code (002190) on the FAFSA;
complete and return a Worcester State University Financial Aid Application to the Financial Aid Office;
the Financial Aid Office may require additional documentation from applicants to verify data reported on application materials. An applicant will not be considered for financial aid awards until all verification documentation has been received by the Financial Aid Office and any necessary corrections have been made to the application.
Application can be found online (If you have a fee waiver, you will need to fill out the paper version of the application. The online application cannot accept a fee waiver) at http://www.worcester.edu/FinancialAid/Shared%20Documents/Financial%20Aid%20Application%2010-11.pdf
Deadlines for January semester
• Last day to submit applications: December 10th
• Last day for supportive materials and decisions: January 7th
• Last day for deposit to be received in the Admissions Office: January 12th.
Deadlines for September semester
• Rolling admissions until the class is full.
• Transfer for Fall, priority deadline is May 1st
• Deadline for Nursing and Occupational Therapy is January 15th
The Financial Aid Office verifies complete financial aid applications selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education or by the University. Verification ensures that students and parents have accurately reported the information used to determine eligibility for financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will notify applicants in writing if additional information or documents are required or if changes have to be made to original information as a result of verification. Applicants are asked to submit requested information within four weeks of the date of your first Missing Items letter or your file will be considered LATE. Once verification is complete, an applicant's eligibility for financial aid is determined and the applicant is notified in writing of his/her eligibility for financial aid.
Financial Aid Application Deadlines
Priority date for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students who wish to be considered for financial aid, must file the FAFSA. Late applications will be considered subject to availability of funds.
Deadline for applying for the MASS Grant.
Deadline for on-time consideration for financial aid for students entering in the spring.
It is important that all required application materials are submitted accurately and on time to the Financial Aid Office.
Study Away Students
Many students have been able to participate in study away programs with the assistance of loans, grants and/or scholarships. It is very important that students who plan to use financial aid to pay for study away apply early. This will enable you to receive notification of your award before the payment deadline, and determine whether you will be financially able to participate in study away.
Deadlines for Study Away are May 1 for summer, August 1 for fall, and December 1 for spring.
Students enrolled for at least 6 semester hours but fewer than 12 semester hours may be eligible for financial aid. Assistance is prorated for part-time students. Some students who are enrolled for 3 or more credits may be eligible for a Pell Grant.
Financial aid programs require that applicants be matriculated in a degree program. Part-time students should follow the application procedures described in the Worcester State University-Financial Aid Guide
Although sources of funding are limited to federal loans and federal work-study, graduate students are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Applicants should follow the application procedures described in this Worcester State University-Financial Aid Guide.
Graduate assistantships are available for matriculated students taking at least six semester hours each semester.
For information and an application, you may contact the Graduate and Continuing Education Office at (508)929-8125 or http://www.worcester.edu/DGCE.
Students transferring to Worcester State University from other institutions may be eligible for financial aid. Financial aid received at a previous institution is not automatically transferred to Worcester State University and we may not offer an identical financial aid package. Applicants may contact the Financial Aid Office at (508) 929-8056 or follow the application procedures described in this Worcester State University-Financial Aid Guide http://worcester.edu/FinancialAid/Shared%20Documents/Documents/Financial_Aid_Guide.pdf.
Transfer students who received a MASSGrant at another institution must notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance at 617-727-9420 to transfer that award to Worcester State University.
Summer Session Applicants
Limited amounts of financial aid are available for summer sessions at Worcester State University. Applicants for grants, loans and/or work study must meet the general eligibility criteria for financial aid, follow the standard application procedures described in this booklet, and file a summer financial aid application.
Applications for summer aid are available at the Financial Aid Office in early March.
Following review and verification of application materials, the Financial Aid Office will determine an award package which may consist of a combination of grants, loans, and work study.
PLEASE NOTE: All outside aid a student will receive during an award year must be included in the calculation of need for financial aid. Students must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing of any assistance received from a source other than Worcester State University.
A financial aid award letter will be mailed to students who qualify for financial aid. Students are requested to return a copy of the award letter by the due date indicating if they are accepting or declining an offer of a federal or state loan, or college work-study.
For a complete listing of Grants and Scholarships, Categorical Tuition Waivers, Other Massachusetts State Scholarship and Waiver Programs, Loan Programs and Federal Work Study, and Tuition Payment Plan go to the Admissions/Financial Aid website for a detailed listing on pages 11-16: http://www.worcester.edu/FinancialAid/Shared%20Documents/Documents/Financial_Aid_Guide.pdf.
A listing of Worcester State University Scholarships for Entering Students can be found at http://www.worcester.edu/ScholarshipDirectory/Shared%20Documents/2011scholarshipbook.aspx. , then click on the Undergraduate Scholarship Guide to view full screen.
Students can complete an online application for academic scholarships for the very first time this year. The application requires applicants to submit an essay as well. The electronic on-line application form can be accessed by selecting the Click here. Applications are accepted between Tuesday, February 1 and Friday, April 1.
Students may appeal for reconsideration of their financial aid award for exceptional circumstances. Appeal Forms are available in the Financial Aid Office.
DISBURSEMENT AND PAYMENT PROCEDURES
Financial aid that has been awarded to on-time applicants will be disbursed mid-October for the Fall semester and mid-February for the Spring semester. All other financial aid will be disbursed bi-weekly as applicant files are completed. Notices will be mailed from the Bursar’s Office notifying on-time and late applicants of when funds are disbursed. Disbursements are made each semester for that semester’s portion of the award.
Federal, State and Institutional Grants disbursements are made each semester for the semester’s portion of awards. Disbursements are made to the Bursar’s Office and credited to the student’s account.
Federal College Work-Study Program wages are paid directly to students for hours actually worked; paychecks are issued biweekly. Federal Work Study awards
are not credited to the student’s account.
Federal Perkins Loan disbursements are made each semester for the semester’s portion of the award. First time borrowers must complete loan counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note before payment will be credited to the student’s account. Disbursements are made to the Bursar’s Office and credited to the student’s account.
Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan disbursements are made by the lender, who notifies the student of the approximate date the loan check or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) will be mailed to the College. First time borrowers must complete loan counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note before payment will be credited to the student’s account.
Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) disbursements are made by the lender directly to the Bursar’s Office to be credited to the student’s account.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
To be eligible for financial aid, students must be in good academic standing and be making satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory progress is measured annually in June.
Students who do not meet the following levels of progress will be placed on Financial Aid Probation according to the following guidelines:
Credits Attempted GPA Percentage Completed
1 – 15 1.3 64%
16 – 29 1.7 64%
30 – 59 1.9 67%
After three consecutive semesters of Financial Aid probation a student will not be eligible to receive financial aid in subsequent semesters.
Students who do not meet the following qualitative or quantitative measures will become ineligible for financial aid for the following semester.
Students who fail to maintain the following cumulative GPA based on the number of credit hours attempted will lose their eligibility for Financial Aid as listed below:
1 to 15 credits attempted -1.00
16 to 29 credits attempted -1.50
30 to 59 credits attempted -1.75
60 to 180 credits attempted -2.00
Students who fail to complete the following percentage of credits attempted will lose their eligibility for Financial Aid as listed below:
1 to 15 credits - 60% completion rate
16 to 29 credits - 62% completion rate
30 to 59 credits - 65% completion rate
60 to 180 credits - 67% completion rate
Graduate Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 in order to remain eligible for financial aid. Graduate Students who receive three or more grades of C+ or lower will lose their eligibility for aid.
Drop vs. Withdrawal
If a student drops courses before the end of the add/drop period, the courses will not be counted as attempted. Any courses withdrawn from after the add/drop period will be counted as attempted but not completed.
A grade of incomplete will count as attempted credit hours but not completed credit hours. Once the course work is completed and a grade is determined, the student must contact the Financial Aid Office.
A student may repeat a course twice in which a low grade was earned and still be eligible to receive financial aid.
Non-credit courses are not counted as credits attempted or credits completed.
If extenuating circumstances contributed to unsatisfactory progress, a student may apply for a one-time waiver of his/her unsatisfactory progress. To apply for a waiver, the student may request a waiver form from the Financial Aid Office and submit it with supporting documentation within three (3) weeks of notification of unsatisfactory progress.
Reinstatement of financial aid
The Financial Aid Office will reinstate the student’s eligibility for financial aid at the time the student regains good standing or a waiver is approved. Students must request recalculation of eligibility due to updated or completed grades.
OUTSIDE AGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Pell Grant Processing Center 800-4FEDAID: for duplicate Student Aid Report requests.
Federal Student Aid Processing Center 1-800-4FEDAID: www.fafsa.gov to complete the FAFSA.
Office of Student Financial Assistance 617-727-9420: www.osfa.mass.edu for information on MASSGrants.
Federal Student Loan Programs 1-800-848-0979: www.studentloans.gov