The ULM Office of Financial Aid Services supports the mission of the University by assisting students in reducing or eliminating financial obstacles which might prohibit them from attaining an education. At ULM, we understand the financial burdens placed on students and their parents when pursuing a college education. The Office of Financial Aid Services is designed to help students and parents find the type of aid that best suits their needs.
Financial aid programs offered through ULM are scholarships, grants, loans, and employment. For additional information or questions, visit our website at http://finaid.ulm.edu. The Financial Aid Office is located in George T. Walker Hall 1-122.
Financial Aid is intended to assist students in financing their education when family and personal resources are not adequate to meet their total educational cost. There are three types of direct aid:
- Grants - no repayment necessary. Based on financial need, students must apply using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Loans - financial awards with a low interest rate. Repayments usually begin 6-12 months after graduation or withdrawal from school.
- Employment - provides federal work study jobs for students while attending school. ULM has two employment programs – on-campus and off-campus opportunities.
For a detailed explanation of the federal programs and how they are processed, consult the ULM Financial Aid Student Guide on our website at http://finaid.ulm.edu.
Applying for Financial Aid
NOTE: Apply early for admission to ULM. You may obtain an Application for Admission from the Office of Recruitment and Admissions (Sandal Hall, Phone 318-342-5430) or on-line at www.ulm.edu. You must be admitted to ULM before aid can be awarded.
||Apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the U.S. Department of Education. The PIN is required to complete your financial aid application on-line. Parents should also apply for a PIN. To apply for a PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov
||Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA begins the process for financial assistance. The 2011-2012 FAFSA became available on-line after January 1st at www.fafsa.ed.gov. It is recommended to file your FAFSA on-line. The electronic completion will take approximately 2-4 weeks for a response, where paper applications will take four to six weeks. When completing the application, make certain you list ULM’s Title IV school code (002020) so that your results can be electronically transmitted to ULM.
||After filing your FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) either by mail or on-line. The Department of Education sends this to you after your FAFSA has been analyzed. Read it carefully. Make certain that everything is correct and complete. The Office of Financial Aid Services will receive your information electronically and will notify you if further documentation is necessary for processing.
- If you are a Pharmacy student requesting a Health Professions Loan, you must complete the parental section of the FAFSA even if you are independent. Federal law requires parental information must be provided to determine eligibility for this loan.
- You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal regulations require that all students receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid funds maintain standards of satisfactory academic progress in the pursuit of their degree or certificate. Satisfactory academic progress is defined as passing a required number of hours and achieving a required grade point average during a reasonable period of time. Regulations require that your entire academic history be considered, even if you have never received federal aid.
Three standards are used to measure academic progress for financial aid purposes:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average
In order to retain financial aid eligibility a student must progress each term according to the following grade scale:
||Minimum Cumulative GPA
- Credit Completion Rate
This is the number of hours completed compared to the number of hours attempted. To retain financial aid eligibility a student must earn a minimum of 67% of the total number of hours attempted.
- Completion Rate = cumulative earned hours ÷ cumulative attempted hours
- All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours
- Maximum Time Frame A student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid once he/she has attempted more than 150% of the credits required for the major the student is currently enrolled. The maximum time frame is not increased for changes in major, double majors, or adding a minor in another subject area.
To determine the maximum allowable hours for a specific major, refer to the University Catalog, note the total hours required for the degree, and multiply that number by 1.5.
The following are considered when evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress:
- Grades of A, B, C, or D are considered attempted and earned hours.
- Withdrawals (W), Incompletes (I), Failures (F), No Credit (NC), and In Progress (IP) grades are considered attempted but not earned.
- Audited courses are included in the attempted hours but not in the total of hours earned.
- Remedial courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
- Transfer credits are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours and the cumulative GPA.
- Repeated courses and courses for which the student has been granted Academic Renewal are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
Annual SAP Review
Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester for currently enrolled financial aid recipients. The academic progress of new financial aid recipients will be reviewed as ISIR data is received.
- Students not meeting the minimum SAP standards will be placed on financial aid suspension.
- Students on financial aid suspension are not eligible to receive financial aid.
A student may appeal the loss of financial aid eligibility if extenuating circumstances interfered with the ability to meet satisfactory progress requirements.
In order for an appeal to be reviewed by the committee, the student’s circumstances must meet one of the following criteria:
- Prolonged illness, medical condition, or injury to student or immediate family member
- Death of an immediate family member
- Extenuating Circumstances
Proper documentation will be required. Documentation may include:
- Physician’s letters and hospital records (must include dates)
- Death certificate and/or obituary
- Court documents
- All decisions of the SAP Appeals Committee are final.
- Notification of the decision will be on Student Self Service.
- Financial Aid will be awarded for the academic year on a probationary basis for appeal approvals.
- Student will be required to complete an Appeal Approval Agreement form.
- Terms and conditions of appeal approval will be included in the notification letter.
Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility
Eligibility is re-established after the student improves his or her academic record to meet the minimum standards required by the SAP Policy or an appeal due to unusual circumstances is approved.
Resignation Policy for Students Receiving Federal Financial Aid
Students who receive Title IV Financial Aid, excluding the Federal Work-Study Program, will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy if the student withdraws before completing 60% of the semester in which the student was disbursed Title IV Aid.
The current policy, as a result of the Reauthorization of Higher Education Act of 1965, went into effect during Fall 2000 semester. Students must return unearned portions of the Title IV Funds to the Title IV Program.
- The student’s withdrawal is used to determine the student’s percentage of earned aid. The withdrawal date also is used to determine what percentage of the enrollment period the student actually completed.
- The percentage of earned aid is subtracted from 100% to determine the amount of Title IV Aid the student has earned. (This is the student’s percentage of unearned aid).
- The percentage of unearned aid is multiplied by the amount of Title IV Aid that has been disbursed to the student to determine the amount of aid that the student must return.
- The amount of Title IV Funds that the school must return to the Title IV Program is calculated by multiplying the total institutional cost by the percentage of unearned aid.
If the percentage of earned aid is greater than 60%, the student does not have to return Title IV Aid.
Resignation Withdrawal Policy
After enrolling in classes, a student who wants to resign must:
- Consult the ULM Schedule of Classes for dates and times to drop classes and notify the Residential Life Office to cancel a Room and Meal Contract if such contract was requested by the student.
- After the registration period, notify the Registrar’s Office in writing to cancel classes and notify the Residential Life Office in writing to cancel a Room and Meal Contract.
- Merely discontinuing class attendance is not considered to be a formal resignation from the University. Students who discontinue class attendance who fail to follow the established resignation procedure will be held responsible for all tuition and fees.
- Students who receive Federal Financial Aid and who stop attending classes without officially resigning are subject to the Return of Title IV Funds (see above). The student’s professors will be contacted to verify the last date of class attendance.
- Students who receive financial aid and resign or drop to less than half time will have their future semester financial aid cancelled.
Applicants for all loan programs must complete the FAFSA.
The HEALTH PROFESSIONS LOAN PROGRAM is available to full-time students enrolled in Pharmacy. Students determined to have exceptional financial need and who are making satisfactory progress toward graduation are eligible for this program. The interest rate on the loan is 5% and repayment of the loan begins 12 months after the student graduates, drops below full-time, changes his/her major, or withdraws from the University.
THE DIRECT SUBSIDIZED LOAN PROGRAM provides affordable loans to students that are enrolled at least half-time, are meeting the minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, and have been determined to have unmet financial need as defined by federal guidelines. The amount of eligibility varies depending on the amount of the student’s unmet need and the number of academic hours earned to date. The interest accrued on the loan is paid by the government and principal payments are deferred as long as the student remains enrolled on at least a half-time basis and meets certain other pertinent criteria. Repayment of the loan begins 6 months after the student graduates, drops below half-time, or withdraws from the University.
THE DIRECT UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN PROGRAM. Loans are available to students on a non-need basis. While appropriately enrolled in school, the student has the option ofpaying the accrued interest on the loan while or allowing the interest to be capitalized into the balance of the loan. Principle and interest payments begin six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment status.
THE ALTERNATIVE LOAN PROGRAM is offered to students by lenders; however, the interest rates and loan terms vary from lender to lender. Therefore, it is a good idea to research these alternative loan programs before you apply. The loan amount awarded is not to exceed the Cost of Attendance (less other aid received). Students must apply on-line for this loan at http://finaid.ulm.edu. Click on Financial Aid for Fall 2010/Spring 2011 to see information concerning this type of loan. (Note: This loan should only be considered when your loan options for the Direct Loan program have been exhausted. A FAFSA must be completed before an alternative loan can be awarded.)
The student employment program provides a large number of students with the opportunity to earn part of their expenses by working in the Library, Post Office, academic and administrative offices, and many other areas on campus. Student workers devote ten to twenty hours per week to their campus jobs. Each department coordinates a work schedule for the assigned student workers based in part on the total amount each student is allowed to earn. Campus employment is coordinated with all other forms of financial aid available to a student. Federal applications may be obtained from high school principals, counselors, or on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Student workers earn federal minimum wages.
The Office of Financial Aid Services, along with various academic departments, assists students in obtaining off-campus employment. Businesses in Monroe and West Monroe employ hundreds of students in part-time and full-time jobs. The listing of the jobs is on the Financial Aid website, http://finaid.ulm.edu. Applicants for all federal work programs must complete the FAFSA.
Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Applicants for all grant programs must complete the FAFSA.
The FEDERAL PELL GRANT PROGRAM was established by the Higher Education Act of 1972 to provide needy students with financial assistance in meeting the costs of a college education. They are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree and who are making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. The amount awarded to a student varies depending upon the amount of financial need determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The federal government determines the maximum Pell Grant award.
The FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG) is available on a limited basis to undergraduate students that are eligible for the Pell Grant and have exceptional remaining financial need. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, and be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. Funding is limited and priority is given to full-time students.
The LOUISIANA GO GRANT is available to those undergraduate students who entered college as a first-time freshman or is age 24 or younger that entered college as a first-time freshman or is age 25 or older and who has had a break in enrollment of at least two consecutive semesters. Students must be a Louisiana resident, be enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis, be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree and a Federal Pell Grant recipient.