Student Financial Services - SFS
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The United States Department of Education requires students to progress through their academic program in a timely manner in order to maintain eligibility for Title IV aid. Students receiving La Sierra University financial aid must also meet satisfactory academic progress requirements. La Sierra University's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for receiving Title IV and La Sierra University financial aid is as follows:
All students will have grades and attempted academic units reviewed at the end of each Spring term.
- Undergraduate students whose cumulative or La Sierra University GPA falls below 2.0, and graduate students whose cumulative or La Sierra University GPA falls below 3.0 will be disqualified from receiving Title IV and La Sierra University financial aid. A disqualified undergraduate student may be reinstated when his/her cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher. A disqualified graduate student may be reinstated when his/her cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher. Only the most recent grade for a repeated class will be used in calculating the GPA.
- Students who fail to complete at least 67% of units attempted for the year will be disqualified from receiving Title IV and La Sierra University financial aid. Units attempted will be calculated for all grades including the number of corresponding units for grades of W, I, F, XF, S and U. Grades recorded as IP will be counted as units satisfactorily completed. IPW units will be counted as units attempted but not completed. A disqualified student may be reinstated when he/she has successfully completed enough units so that the cumulative number of units completed versus attempted is greater than 67%, so long as this does not exceed the 150% unit limit.
- La Sierra University policy states that graduate students must complete all requirements for a degree within five years (20 quarters) from the date of admission for a master's program, and within seven years (28 quarters) from the date of admission for the educational specialist or doctoral degree. Students who exceed these time limits will be disqualified for financial aid.
- Under Title IV regulations and La Sierra University policy undergraduate students may receive financial aid up to 150% of the units necessary to complete their program.
- To receive financial aid, undergraduate students in a typical (190 unit) bachelor degree program may not exceed 285 attempted units.
- When transferring to La Sierra University, attempted units from all other institutions where the student attended will be included when determining the total units attempted.
- All the units for repeated classes will count in the total attempted units. Non-credit, continuing education units will not count toward the 150% total. Remedial units and for-credit continuing education units will be counted.
- La Sierra University allows one change of major when calculating the 150%. When a student changes their major the units from their previous program that qualify for their new program will be calculated in the total.
Transfer students must submit official transcripts from all other institutions where the student attended before any federal aid can be awarded at La Sierra University. Upon evaluation of he official transcripts, if the student can complete the declared degree program within the 150% time frame of that program, the student will be awarded federal aid. Likewise, f the total units attempted elsewhere, along with the units left to complete the degree requirements exceed 150% of the units required to complete the program, the student will be denied all federal aid.
All students may appeal their disqualification by completing and submitting an appeal form available at the office of Student Financial Services, or on-line at lasierra.edu/sfs/docs-forms/.
Appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and the student may be required to have an in-person interview before a decision is made. An appeal may be denied, approved for one quarter on a warning basis, approved on probation with an academic plan for one or more quarters, or approved for the remainder of the academic year without conditions. No more than one warning period will be issued per student.
Students who wish to be granted a probationary period must present an academic plan, prepared in consultation with their academic coach/advisor, which will bring them back into compliance with the academic progress standards within a minimum time frame. No probationary period will extend beyond three consecutive terms of attendance. Students who fail to fulfill any portion of an academic plan during any term will be disqualified for aid for subsequent terms, regardless of the original length of the academic plan.
Disqualified students and students whose appeals are denied will be ineligible for all federal and state aid, and most institutional financial aid. Grant aid for terms in which a student is disqualified may not be recovered. Loans, however, may be awarded retroactively for the same aid year if a previously disqualified student's financial aid is reinstated.
Notification of a student's disqualification for aid is sent via email to the student's university email account and the FAFSA email account, if available, within three business days of the date that grades are due at the end of each term. The notification includes the deadline for submitting an appeal and a link to the online appeal form. The Financial SAP Appeals Committee, composed of members from academic, student life, and financial service offices, will review appeals and decide whether to approve or deny the appeal. If approving the appeal, the committee may establish additional requirements that a student must fulfill in order to receive aid, such as accessing the services of the Counseling Center or campus tutoring. The committee's decision may be communicated to the student verbally by telephone or in person, or via email to the student's university email address. All decisions by the committee are final.
Monday - Thursday:
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
(All service offices close on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for University Worship)
Administration Building #101
Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid
How do I apply for financial aid?
You can apply for aid online at FAFSA on the web.
What is the La Sierra University school code?
The La Sierra University school code is: 001215
How long does the process take?
The FAFSA application process itself can take as little as 20 minutes when you have all of the information necessary readily available. Always remember to apply as early as possible (January 1 through March 2, prior to the following fall term) because some program funds are limited and awarded on a "first-come-first-served" basis. From the time that you submit your FAFSA online, it usually takes 3-5 business days for our school to receive your FAFSA.
How will I know how much aid I qualify for?
An award letter stating the type of aid, amount and conditions of your award will be mailed to you. You must review your award letter and if you find any discrepancies with your estimate, please contact the Student Financial Services office as soon as possible.
What happens if I decide to attend part-time?
Your aid may be reduced or canceled in some cases in order to comply with regulations or eligibility requirements.
What is an estimate, and how do I get one?
La Sierra University Enrollment Services (Recruitment) will provide all new students with a preliminary estimate of the financial aid awards that they may receive. Estimates are based upon information supplied to the enrollment services staff by the student or student's family. Verification of the student's information may modify the actual amounts provided in the student's official aid offer from La Sierra University Student Financial Services.
I was awarded a federal direct loan, but I want to reduce the amount. how can I do that?
Contact your financial aid counselor in the office of Student Financial Services.
What if I need to take some or all of my classes at another school?
You can only receive financial aid from the school in which you are accepted and enrolled in a program. As long as you are seeking a degree at La Sierra University and the classes will be credited toward your La Sierra University degree, you may be eligible to receive assistance. Contact the La Sierra University Student Financial Services office to see which forms you must complete and for which programs you may qualify.
What if I completely withdraw from classes? will I have to repay my financial aid?
Yes, if you withdraw before 60% of the term is completed, you will be required to repay a percentage of the aid you received since the funds were awarded to meet educational expenses for the entire quarter.
How will my fees be paid and what happens to the money that exceeds my fees?
Approximately three weeks (five weeks for first-time borrowers) after school starts your aid will be applied to your tuition. Any remaining credit will be mailed by the bursar's office to your local address on file at the registrar's office, or deposited directly into your bank account if you have submitted the Direct Deposit form to the bursar's office. Direct Deposit is the preferred method of delivery since it expedites the process and gets you your refund sooner.
What happens if I have been awarded a loan, but never complete the paperwork for it?
If you are a first-time borrower at La Sierra University, you will need to complete the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note for the Federal Direct Loans at www.studentloans.gov. If you have been awarded a Federal Perkins Loan, you must complete the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note in person at the Department of Accounts and Loans, Administration Building room 107. Loans will not pay onto your student account until the paperwork requirements have been completed.
How can I get information about my award?
You can call, email, or come to the Student Financial Services office to get the information.
Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid?
No, but you must be admitted before you can receive your award letter or financial aid.
How do I know which offices to deal with for financial planning?
The office of Student Financial Services is responsible for advising applicants about financial aid; collecting all required paperwork; determining estimated family contributions; and awarding all financial aid except leadership/merit type scholarships (which are awarded by the office of Enrollment Services). The office of Student Financial Services is the central processing office for the FAFSA, and all financial aid, including government grants and loans, outside resources, and La Sierra University aid.
The office of Student Financial Services establishes your total payment package. After you have received all the financial aid, grants, and scholarships available from the Financial Aid and Enrollment Services offices, you will receive financial clearance and Student Financial Services can guide you in setting up a payment plan.
are deadlines important?
Yes! Deadlines are critical. March 2 is the priority deadline. For example: a qualifying California resident will lose the Cal Grant (over $9,000!) if they miss this deadline. There may still be other money available later, but many funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to maximize your aid offer, apply early!
My family income has changed since I filed my fafsa. What should I do?
Submit a request for professional judgment to a counselor at the Student Financial Services office. You will be asked to submit written documentation of the change. After a review of your request, you may be awarded additional assistance.
What is considered in calculating how much my family can afford to contribute?
It's a complex calculation which takes into account a variety of factors including family income and size, total assets, parents' age (and their need to save for retirement) and the number of family members in college.
If the information on the FAFSA does not accurately reflect your ability to pay for college, or your family has extenuating financial circumstances, you should contact your student financial services counselor if you have any questions.
The FAFSA asks for information about my parents, but I do not receive any support from them. What do I do?
Federal regulations require your eligibility to be based on your income and that of your parents unless you are 24 years old; married, or have legal dependents other than a spouse; are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces; an orphan or ward of the court (or you were until age 18); or will be working on a degree beyond a bachelor's. If you think that you have exceptional circumstances contact your La Sierra University financial counselor about a possible dependency override.
What determines how much I'll be offered, and whether I'll get loans, grants, or work?
The amount of your award is determined by the amount of your financial need and available funding. The greater your need, the more aid we can offer you. The kind of aid you are awarded depends on your eligibility for the various aid programs. Each has its own requirements. Most students are offered a combination of gift assistance (grants and scholarships which don't have to be repaid) and "self-help" aid (loans and/or work opportunities).
can I get a book advance?
A book advance allows students to use a portion of their anticipated financial aid, up to $550, to purchase textbooks and supplies from the campus bookstore prior to the beginning of Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. Students who have been awarded federal or state aid and who will have a credit balance after tuition and other campus charges are paid are eligible for a book advance.
1) Joe's charges for the quarter are $14,000 and he has approved aid in the amount of $14,600. Joe would be eligible for a book advance of $550.
2) Sue's charges for the quarter are $14,000 and she has approved aid in the amount of $14,200. Sue is eligible for a book advance in the amount of $200.
*The amount of the book advance is based on a student's registration, charges, and aid at the time the advance is made. Any changes to the registration, charges, or aid after the advance is given may require the student to repay the funds received.