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Financial Aid Policies and Important Information

Financial Aid at HNU Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Who is Eligible for Financial Aid?
Dependency Status HNU’s Cancellation Policy Appeals Procedures for Denial of Financial Aid
Student Rights and Responsibilities Confidentiality and Access to Financial Aid File (FERPA) Enrollment Requirements
Leave of Absence/Withdrawal from HNU Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Appeals for Professional Judgment


Financial Aid at HNU 

The Office of Student Financial Assistance provides quality service to students and ensures compliance with federal, state, and institutional legislation and regulations.  The Financial Aid staff will make every effort to assist students in obtaining financial aid.  However, each student is responsible for completing necessary applications, meeting deadlines, and fulfilling the eligibility requirements established for the various financial aid programs.

Financial Aid at HNU is administered according to the following principles:

•     Every effort is made to assist students in meeting their costs for education—including living expenses while in school—in the least expensive manner possible while complying with all state, federal, and institutional policies and regulations.

•     Financial aid will be offered only if a student demonstrates eligibility through an approved need-analysis formula (the “Federal Methodology”) which indicates that the student’s resources are insufficient to meet educational expenses.  The amount of financial aid offered will not exceed the amount needed to meet the difference between the student’s educational expenses (see Student Budget, below) and the student’s resources (which are made up of scholarships and the Estimated Family Contribution).

•    In determining eligibility for HNU-administered funds, contributions from the student (as well as the student’s spouse, if applicable) and the student’s parents, if applicable, will be considered. Parental contributions are calculated from information supplied on the FAFSA or Renewal Application (e.g. income, assets, household size, and number of dependants in college).The need-analysis formula established by Congress, called the “Federal Methodology,” is used to calculate both student and parent contributions.

•     HNU administered funds are awarded to students in proportion to their calculated financial need (unless federal regulations require otherwise).

•     Awards will be made to students who are making maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

•     All funds are applied first towards tuition and HNU fees.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 

All students applying for federal financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available on the Web at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.  This form is used to determine eligibility for federal, state and most institutional funds.  There is no fee associated with filing the FAFSA at this site.  If you are attempting to complete the FAFSA and are requested to pay a fee please log out of that site and be sure you are using the link above.

The information on your application is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution

(EFC) through a formula called the Federal Methodology.

Students (and parents of dependent students) must get a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN number process is included with the FAFSA or available separately at

www.PIN.ed.gov.   The PIN is used for electronic signatures and as a secure identifier on federal web sites.  It will be used for electronic signatures on student loans and when accessing your secure information on line.  Do not share your PIN.  Be sure to keep a copy of the PIN number handy.  The PIN will follow you through the university years and during the life of the student loan.

No determination of financial aid eligibility can be made without a processed FAFSA or Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) on file in the Office of Student Financial Assistance.  The University will receive an electronic copy of the FAFSA a few days after the student/family completes and submits the application on line.  It is, therefore, essential that the FAFSA is completed in a timely manner meet deadlines mentioned above. Please be sure to complete the FAFSA for the appropriate academic year.

Who is Eligible for Financial Aid? 

In general, to be eligible for financial aid assistance an applicant must:

  • Be enrolled on at least a half-time basis in an eligible program leading to a degree or certificate.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen.
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the need analysis process, when required by program regulations.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by HNU.
  • Not be in default on any Title IV Stafford, Perkins, SLS or PLUS educational loans at any institution, unless satisfactory payment arrangements are made to repay or otherwise resolve the overpayment or default.
  • Not owe a repayment on any Title IV educational grant Pell or SEOG at any institution.
  • Use financial aid funds solely to meet educationally related expenses.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service, if required by law to be registered.

Dependency Status

An important step in establishing financial aid eligibility is determining whether a student can apply as a self-supporting student (Independent Student). Applicants who meet one of the conditions below will be considered Independent.

• Students who have not reached their 24th birthday.

• Students who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.  (This does not include Active Duty students)

• Students who are orphaned or who were wards of the court until they reached age 18.

• Students who have legal dependents other than a spouse.

• Students who are graduate or professional students.(NOT including students enrolled in a Credential program).

• Students who are married.

Students who do not qualify as independent students must provide parental information on the FAFSA application or they will be disqualified.  Students with special circumstances should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

HNU’s Cancellation Policy 

Very rarely does the Office of Student Financial Assistance cancel awards.  However cancellation of an award will result from a student’s failure to sign a Master Promissory Note(s), Award Letter or complete other federal or state requirements.  Cancellation of an award will also result if the student or parents misrepresent or provide false or incorrect information on the financial aid application.  Financial assistance is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and funds will awarded funds, except for student loans and federal or state entitlement awards, not be held for incomplete applicants.

If misrepresentation is discovered, a student may be required to repay all or a portion of any funds disbursed.  Any refund of student aid funds will be made according to HNU policies in conjunction with the Return of Title IV Funds policy used to calculate the percentage of aid awards to be refunded to the accounts from which they were disbursed.  Any loan amounts refunded to the financial aid accounts/lender are cancelled from the student’s indebtedness.

Students must report, in writing, any information that modifies their financial need as soon as they have such knowledge.  Such information includes a change in personal or family income, change in marital or residency status, change in the amount of fees assessed by HNU receipt of financial aid from an outside source, and changes in enrollment.  Following a review of the revised information, any change in a student’s financial aid eligibility will be communicated to the student in writing.  Failure to notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of any of the above changes may jeopardize the student’s eligibility for continued assistance or necessitate repayment of all or part of an award.

HNU reserves the right to cancel institutional aid due to funding and/or Grade Point Average

(GPA) in addition to all other criteria that must be met.

Appeals Procedures for Denial of Financial Aid 

All students are entitled to an appeals process.  Students who are denied financial aid are entitled to an explanation for the denial.  The first step for a student who is denied aid is to make an appointment with a financial aid counselor to discuss the situation in detail.  Problems are often resolved at this point.  In the event that a resolution is not obtained, the next step would be for

the student to submit a Financial Aid petition form and a letter of explanation to the Director of Financial Aid.  The appeal must be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid within two weeks of the initial denial.   Each appeal will be considered on a case by case basis. Individual cases will not be considered as precedent.  The Financial Appeals Committee will review the appeal within two weeks of receipt and will determine whether the financial appeal is considered for reinstatement of financial aid.  The student will be advised in writing of the decision.

Student Rights and Responsibilities 

A student has a RIGHT to know:

• What financial aid programs are available at HNU

• The deadlines for submitting applications for each of the available financial aid programs

• How financial aid is awarded, how decisions on awarding are made, and the basis for these decisions

• How financial eligibility is determined, including how costs for tuition and fees, room and meals, transportation, books and supplies, personal/miscellaneous expenses, etc.are estimated in the budget

• What resources (such as parent contribution, other financial aid assets) are considered in the determination of financial aid eligibility

• How much financial need has been met

• Information about the various components of the financial aid package

• The refund policy of HNU

• What portion of financial aid must be repaid and what portion is grant aid.(If the financial aid package includes loans, a student has the right to know the interest rate, total amount that must be repaid, repayment procedures, deferment availability, length of time over which the loan must be repaid, and date when repayment is to begin.)

• How HNU determines whether a student is making satisfactory academic progress and the consequences if the student is not making satisfactory academic progress

A student is RESPONSIBLE for:

• Completing all application forms accurately and submitting them in a timely fashion to the Office of Student Financial Assistance; completing the FAFSA or FAFSA Renewal Application early enough to meet established deadlines

• Providing correct information (misrepresentation of information on a financial aid application is a violation of federal law)

• Supplying all additional documentation and/or information on as requested by either the Office of Student Financial Services or the agency to which an application is submitted

• Reading carefully all forms that require a signature and keeping copies of them

• Accepting responsibility for all agreements signed

• Submitting requested award changes in writing with a signature

• Fulfilling an entrance interview as required by federal law on www.studentloans.gov

• Performing the work that is agreed upon in accepting a Federal Work-Study position

• Knowing the HNU refund policy

• Scheduling an exit interview with the Office of Student Financial Assistance when graduating or leaving Holy Names University for any reason, or going to www.NSLDS.ed.gov and do the exit interview online.

• Providing properly completed deferment forms on an annual basis in order to defer repayment of loans

• Following the repayment schedule on all student loans

• Notifying the Office of Student Financial Assistance when additional financial aid is received from outside sources

• Notifying the Office of Student Financial Assistance of any changes in Programs, Unit loads, or housing status

Confidentiality and Access to Financial Aid File (FERPA)

All records and conversations between an aid applicant, his or her family, and the staff of the Office of Student Financial Assistance are strictly confidential and are entitled to the protection ordinarily given to a counseling relationship.  No information concerning a student’s financial aid record may be released to anyone outside the Office of Student Financial Assistance without written consent from the student except as circumstances/requirements may dictate (e.g. reports of and to federal financial aid programs agencies, and reports to Deans and other Administration staff who would normally have access to privileged information).

Permission to Release Information Forms are available from the Office of Student Financial Assistance or on line at www.HNU.edu in the Financial Aid section Documents and Forms tab.

Enrollment Requirements 

Full-time enrollment for traditional undergraduate students consists of 12 units per semester, for semester credential students 12 units, semester graduate students 9 units.  At a minimum, a student must be enrolled at least half time in order to be eligible for federal financial aid. Changes in a student’s enrollment may require an adjustment and/or repayment of financial aid funds awarded.

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal from HNU 

If at any time, a student decides to leave HNU, it is absolutely necessary for him or her to make an appointment with financial aid counselor for an exit interview prior to leaving the campus. This applies to students who are taking a leave of absence, withdrawing, transferring to another institution, or who are dismissed from HNU.  Failure to attend an exit interview may increase the risk of defaulting on student loans as well as incurring a potential liability to HNU for not maintaining compliance with a federal requirement. Students who withdraw or take a leave of absence may be subject to Return of Title IV Funds.

Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) 

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (HEA98) created a significant shift in the policies for Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid.  These policies apply to a student the moment he or she withdraws from HNU.

The Title IV policy governs all federal grant and loan programs (Pell, SEOG and other federal grants,  Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, Perkins, and PLUS loans), but does not include the Federal Work-Study program.

In general, the law assumes that a student “earns” approved and verified federal financial aid awards in proportion to the number of days in the term prior to the student’s complete withdrawal. If a student entirely withdraws from school during a term, the school must calculate—according to a specific formula — the portion of the total scheduled financial assistance that the student has earned and is therefore entitled to retain up to the time that the student withdrew. If a student received (or the University received on the student’s behalf) more assistance than he or she earns, the unearned funds must be returned to the Department of Education or to the Federal Stafford or Parent’s Federal PLUS loan lenders. If a student’s charges are less than the amount earned, and a refund is due, the student may

be able to receive those additional funds. Students who have not completed the verification process are ineligible to receive any financial aid.

The portion of the federal grants and loans that the student is entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of days in the semester to the number

of days that the student completed before he or she withdrew.  For example, if a student completes 30% of the semester, he or she earns 30% of the approved federal aid that he or she was originally scheduled to receive for the term.  This means that 70% of the student’s scheduled or disbursed aid remains unearned and must be returned to the Federal Programs.

The policy governs the earned and unearned portions of the student’s Federal Title IV Financial Aid only.  It determines how much, if any, the student and/or the school may need to return. This policy does not affect the student’s charges. The University’s withdrawal policy will be used to determine the reduction, if any, in the student’s tuition and fees or room and board charges.  The student is responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the University. If through the Return of Title IV funds (R2T4) calculation it is determined that a portion of the financial aid received on the student’s behalf is unearned, the University shares with the student

the responsibility of returning those funds.  Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for the refund policy.


Appeals for Professional Judgment


Occasionally, students will encounter unusual or extenuating circumstances affecting their expenses.  These circumstances may be considered in addition to the standard budget.  The federal government permits the financial aid administrator to consider an individual student’s circumstances when evaluating his/her financial need through use of professional judgment.  A Request for Special Circumstance Adjustment form, along with supporting documentation, must be completed and submitted to the Office of Student Financial Assistance for any budget adjustment request. The request will be reviewed and appropriate, documented adjustments will be made accordingly. Examples of possible budget adjustments include:

  • Death of
  • Loss of income
  • Medical/Dental expenses in excess of standard federal allowances
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Loss of employment
  • Disability of student/spouse or parent
  • Other

The Office of Student Financial Assistance does not make adjustments for costs associated with pets, car payments, car insurance, credit card debt, or other expenses not directly related to the students’ education.


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