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Financial Aid FAQs

General Questions

 Do I have to file loans every year?


 What determines what type of loan I will receive?

The type and amount of loans is based on financial need. Financial need is computed by determining the educational costs (tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and a personal allowance) less family contribution (based on federal and institutional formulas). The difference between these is the need for financial aid.

 What are some of the mistakes people make about financial aid?

Four of the most common are:

  • Not applying early enough
  • Not reading the instructions
  • Not fully completing the application
  • Not using the correct Social Security number

 Does a large family or more than one student in college at the same time increase the amount of federal financial aid?

When there is more than one person in college at the same time, your family contribution is divided among the college students. So, if there were two people in college one year and only one the following year, the family contribution would be split evenly the first year. The second year, 100% of the family contribution would be expected to be available for the remaining student.

 Why does my federal award change each year?

At Pepperdine School of Public Policy, eligibility for financial aid is based on federal and institutional estimates of your family's ability to contribute to the cost of education. Keep in mind that your award is likely to change each year for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The cost of education will go up
  • Your family's income may change
  • The number of people in college may change

 Do I need to maintain good academic standing in order to remain eligible for financial aid?

Yes, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress at Pepperdine University in order to remain eligible for financial aid. Students should consult Academic Catalog for specific details. In general, students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 have one term to raise their GPA to 3.0 before losing eligibility for financial aid and being dismissed from the program. A student who loses aid eligibility may regain eligibility if a GPA of 3.0 is achieved; however, aid eligibility is not retroactive. Aid eligibility will resume in the term after the GPA of 3.0 is achieved.

 How do I know what I have been awarded?

The Office of Financial Aid will send you a Financial Aid Notification email to your Pepperdine email address after you have submitted all documentation and your file is complete. View your financial aid awards and accept/decline your financial aid awards and apply for a loan.

 I have a high income. Do I still qualify for aid?

Yes. You may qualify for a Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, which is not based on need. Students must still complete a FAFSA and the financial aid application process in order to borrow a Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

 What happens if I decide to take fewer classes/units?

If you enroll for fewer units than anticipated, it may affect your financial aid eligibility. You must contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine if your aid will be affected.

 I have a poor credit history. Do I still qualify for aid?

Yes. Federal Stafford Loans are not based on credit history. Students are eligible as long as they meet the general eligibility requirements for federal financial aid and are not in default on a prior student loan.

Documentation Questions

 What is the Title IV school code for Pepperdine-SPP for the FAFSA?

The school code for Pepperdine-SPP is 001264. This code should be entered in the School Code section of the FAFSA.

 Once I have filed my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), how do I know it has been processed? How can I verify that Pepperdine School of Public Policy will receive the results?

About four weeks after you have filed your FAFSA, you should receive a multiple-page Student Aid Report (SAR). This is verification that you filed the FAFSA and that it has been processed. Check to make sure Pepperdine School of Public Policy is one of the schools listed in Section H. Questions about FAFSA processing can be directed to the Federal Student Aid Information Center 319.337.5665.

 My Student Aid Report (SAR) is not accurate. Do I need to correct it?

Yes. Students who want corrections sent to schools other than Pepperdine School of Public Policy which are listed on the SAR should process the corrections through the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 319.337.5665. Students who are concerned only with Pepperdine School of Public Policy receiving corrections can submit the corrected SAR directly to School of Public Policy.

 I am not sure which university I will be attending. What should I do with my SAR if it's correct?

Hold on to your SAR until you decide, then submit the SAR to the school you will be attending. If you want, you can submit a photocopy of your SAR to the School of Public Policy.

 I turned my SAR in to another school, but I will be coming to Pepperdine School of Public Policy. What should I do?

Request a duplicate SAR from the Federal Student Aid Information Center 319.337.5665. Make sure the address they have for you is correct. The SAR will be mailed to you. Once you receive the SAR, submit it to Pepperdine School of Public Policy's Financial Aid Office.

 I completed my FAFSA. Is my file now complete?

Yes, but the US Department of Education may randomly select your FAFSA for a process called verification. If this is the case, the Financial Aid Office will request additional documentation (e.g., Verification Worksheet, tax returns, W2s) in order to verify the information that you provided on the FAFSA. Please respond right away to requests for additional documentation; a delay in submitting the required documentation will result in a delay in the processing of your financial aid.

 What is verification and why do I have to complete a Verification Worksheet?

Each year, the US Department of Education randomly selects students' FAFSAs for a process called verification and the Financial Aid Office must verify the information that the student provided on the FAFSA. If your FAFSA has been selected for verification, we must obtain your tax returns and a completed Verification Worksheet. If you did not file a tax return, we will need your W2s and a completed Verification Worksheet.

Loan Questions

 How much CAN I borrow?

Cost of Attendance less any other financial aid (grants, scholarships)

One loan period generally covers two terms and is delivered in two disbursements. Consider up to 4% guarantee and origination fees (depending on the lender and guarantor) when estimating the amount to borrow. Loan disbursements are sent directly to the school via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

 How much SHOULD I borrow?

Please use the Loan Calculator.

 What kinds of loans are available?

We offer Federal Stafford Loans and Alternative Educational Loans.

 What is a Stafford Loan?

The Federal Stafford Loan is a loan provided by private lenders and guaranteed by the federal government. Interest rates are low.

 What is the difference between the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans?

With the Subsidized Stafford, the interest is paid by the government while you are in school. The interest on the Unsubsidized Stafford is not paid by the government while you are in school. You have the option of paying the interest or deferring it on the Unsubsidized Stafford until after you graduate at which time it will be added to the principal of the loan.

 What is EFT?

EFT is Electronic Funds Transfer, which is used by lenders to transfer loan proceeds from the lenders to the schools without the need for individual checks. This method of disbursing loan funds does speed up the time between receiving funds in the Financial Aid Office and the student actually having access to the funds. Using EFT eliminates the need for endorsing loan checks at registration or at the Student Accounts Office.

 It's likely I will have to borrow every year to pay for my college expenses. How much should I borrow so that I know I can afford to pay it back?

Planning ahead is essential to managing debt. If you plan to borrow each year you are in school, estimate the total amount you will borrow. Then use the Office of Federal Student Aid's Loan Simulator (please have FSA ID and password available, to calculate student loan payments and review payment plans to best meet your needs). To decide how much to borrow, you can use the criteria lenders use when they consider an applicant's ability to repay: The total monthly payment for all student loan debts should not exceed 8% of your gross monthly salary.

 What happens to my financial aid if I drop all my classes for the term?

The school is required to recalculate the budget to determine if you may keep any of the money. The recalculation is based on when, in the semester, you dropped your classes. Both the school and the student are required to notify the lender that you are no longer enrolled for the term. If you later reenroll, it is your responsibility to notify the lender that you are back in school, and you need to find out if your loan is still in its grace period or whether a deferment needs to be requested.

 Why isn't my loan for the full amount I was awarded?

Federal regulations require that schools disburse no more than one-half of the loan for each term of the two-term loan period. The second half of the loan can then be disbursed at the beginning of the next trimester. In the case of one-term loans, the second disbursement may not be made until halfway through the trimester.

 What about the fees that are taken from my loan funds?

Each portion of your loan check will have fees deducted from it. A 5% origination fee goes to the U.S. Department of Education to help offset program costs.

 What if I want to borrow less than the amount I have been awarded?

When you view your financial aid awards in Wavenet, you will have the option of declining or reducing the amount of student loans that you have been awarded.

 What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

The federal government subsidizes the interest on a subsidized loan while you are enrolled at least half-time in school so that your subsidized loan does not accure interest charges during that time. Interest does accrue on the unsubsidized loan while you are in school. A student may choose either to pay the interest monthly while in school, or have the interest capitalized until repayment begins. If you are interested in paying the interest while in school, contact your lender to find out the amount of the monthly payments.

 What if my educational or career plans change or something happens to my job after I am out of school?

A change in career goals, the loss of a job, or other unexpected changes in your situation could make repaying your loan more difficult than you expected. In some cases, and at the lender's option, you may be permitted to temporarily stop making your payments, or your lender may accept smaller payments than scheduled. This is called a forbearance. In addition, for some loans, you may defer repayments temporarily which may help. The promissory note for each loan you borrow outlines the specific terms under which you may be granted a deferment.

 What happens if I do not pay back my loan?

Not paying back your student loan can have serious consequences. If you go into default, your lender can require you to repay the entire amount immediately, including all interest plus collection and late payment charges. The lender can sue you and can ask the federal government for help in collecting from you. The Internal Revenue Service may withhold your income tax refund and apply it toward your loan. You cannot get any additional federal student aid until you make satisfactory arrangements to repay your loan. Also, the lender will notify credit bureaus of your default. This may affect your credit rating which will make it difficult to obtain any future type of credit, for example: credit cards, home mortgages and/or car loans.

 What is the interest rate?

Effective July 1, 2007, the in-school interest rate for Federal Stafford Loans is 6.8% (fixed) and 7.9% (fixed) for the Graduate PLUS Loan. Interest rates for private loans vary and are usually at a variable rate.

 Can I defer my undergraduate loans?

Yes. As long as you are enrolled in at least half-time status at an accredited college or university, your student loans are eligible for deferment (repayment of the loans is deferred). Pepperdine University reports your enrollment status to the federal government for loan deferment purposes several times each year.

 If I borrow from more than one loan program, I may have to pay several different lenders at the same time. May I consolidate my payments?

If you have borrowed from more than one type of loan program, you may be able to consolidate some of the loans and use one payment plan to repay the loans. In general, federal loans may be consolidated into one new loan at an interest rate of the weighted average of the original interest rates of the loans being consolidated. The length of the extension depends on the total amount of the loans consolidated. Any non-federal loans are not eligible for federal loan consolidation.

 How can I find out about my credit history?

Since approval of some non-need-based student loans is based upon credit history, you may want to order a credit report if you will need these loans to finance part of your family share. Check the report closely for accuracy and resolve any erroneous information prior to applying for educational loans. The following agencies can provide you with a credit report: AnnualCreditReport.com, Equifax Credit Information Services, 800.685.1111; TRW Consumer Assistance, 800.392.1122; Trans Union Corporation, 800.916.8800.