Financial Aid Policies and Resources

Return of Title IV Funds

The Office of Student Financial Services is required by federal law to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw officially or unofficially, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. All federal and state financial aid will be recalculated in these particular situations.

If a student leaves the university prior to completing 60% of a payment period or enrollment period, the Office of Student Financial Services recalculates eligibility for all Title IV funds except federal work study. The university is required to return all unearned funds within 45 days of the student’s withdrawal. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:

Percentage of the payment period or term completed (percentage of earned aid) =

(the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date) / (the total days in the payment period or enrollment period).

Note: Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

Aid to be returned = [(100% of the aid that could be disbursed) – (the percentage of earned aid)] x (the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period enrollment period)

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds. Please remember that when Title IV funds are returned, this may create a balance due to Coker University from the student.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the university would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 30 days of the student’s withdrawal.

Return of funds are allocated in the following order:

To view Coker’s Return to Title IV Policy in its entirety, click here.

Verification

When completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, most of the questions on the form want to know your situation as of the day you sign the application. However, there are some instances in which you’ll want to (or be required to) change the information you reported.

The Department of Education, or the institution, may select your FAFSA to be verified. This process is known as verification. In this case, the accuracy of the information provided on the student’s FAFSA is verified in order to ensure that federal aid is distributed appropriately to those who are eligible. Your FAFSA may be selected for verification due to estimated information, inconsistencies, conflicting information, incompletion, or random selection.

Students will be notified that they are selected for verification via their student aid report (SAR) as well as through email, mail, or phone. If your FAFSA is elected by either the Department of Education or by Coker University, you are required to provide the requested documentation to the University and its representatives. This documentation will be used to verify the information you entered on the FAFSA.

If you choose not to or fail to submit verification documents, the university will be unable to complete the review of your eligibility for financial aid. In rare cases, a student who has already been awarded federal and/or state financial aid may be selected for verification after financial aid has been disbursed. In the event that this happens, we will send notification by email. Failure to comply with the verification requirements will result in your aid being canceled and any future aid not disbursing to your student account. If financial aid had already disbursed to your student account, your financial aid will also be canceled which may result in a balance on your university student account. If you are selected for federal verification but do not wish to complete the process and want to cancel your aid application, you should send written notification to the Office of Student Financial Services.

To view Coker’s Verification Policy in its entirety, click here

Awarding

The Department of Education mandates that Coker University determine a student’s eligible for specific other Title IV aid that would reduce the need for borrowing before allocating loan funds. Prior to awarding loans, pell grant and campus-based funds before awarding loans. Concurrently, the university must award Direct Subsidized Loan funds for the maximum amount for which the student is eligible before awarding the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. However, if the amount of the Direct Subsidized Loan would be $200 or less and the amount can be included as part of a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, then the university is not required to originate a separate subsidized loan per federal guidelines. For a dependent student, Coker may originate a Parent PLUS and disburse Parent PLUS funds without determining the student’s Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility. Determining Pell eligibility is not relevant for Graduate PLUS, but Coker will determine a graduate/professional student’s maximum Direct Unsubsidized eligibility before the student can apply for a Graduate PLUS.

As part of the financial aid awarding process, loan eligibility must be determined and verified. When awarding direct loans, the student’s academic level (year in school) is used to determine the amount of loan funds available as per federal guidelines. The academic levels are defined as freshman (0-27 completed credit hours), sophomore (28-57 completed credit hours), junior (58-89 completed credit hours), and senior (90+ completed credit hours). Transfer students are assigned an academic level based on the number of accepted transfer hours per the Coker University academic catalog. Additionally, loan eligibility is also determined based on the student’s annual loan limit as well as their aggregate loan limits as per federal guidelines.

Please see academic level loan eligibility in Table 2.0

Please see aggregate loan limits in Table 2.1

Coker does allow students to reduce their loan amount for an enrollment period. As such loan origination for less than the student’s yearly maximum eligibility can occur with a written request from the student. Students who are close to or have met the maximum loan amounts will receive written notification from the Office of Student Financial Services. if their loans are reduced to cover just tuition, or tuition and books, etc. A copy of the letter or email will be retained in the student’s file.

Borrower and Self Certification Form

Coker’s borrower and self certification form is available here.