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Financial Aid FAQ
What is financial aid?
Financial Aid is money provided to help bridge the gap between your own resources and the amount needed to pay the cost of attending college. To apply for Financial Aid at Southern Oregon University you just need to fill out a FAFSA for the school year you would like to attend. The FAFSA is the application for scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.
What is an "Aid Package"?
When you fill out a FAFSA you are applying for all available aid programs based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is determined by a formula established by Congress taking into account your family income and assets. Using the EFC, Southern Oregon University Financial Aid will award an “Aid Package” including all Federal Financial Aid they are eligible for. The initial package will not include Southern Online Scholarship Application (SOSA) Awards.
Why do I have to provide parent Information?
Dependent students are required to provide parent information on the FAFSA. Even if your parents do not support you financially, you are still required to supply their information if you are considered a dependent by federal definition.
What If I have circumstances that do not fit the Independent criteria, but I cannot report my parents’ Information?
SOU may be able to use professional judgement in deciding to override the dependent status on your FAFSA. This must be due to extenuating circumstances. Examples include:
- You left home due to an abusive family environment
- You do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them
- You are older than 21 but not 24 and unaccompanied and either homeless of self-supporting and at risk of being homeless
To submit a Dependency Override Appeal, go to sou.verifymyfafsa.com , activate your account if you have not already done so, log in with your InsideSOU information, then click the plus mark at the top to select the appeal.
How do I accept my financial aid?
Once you are admitted to SOU you can accept your Financial Aid Package.
How do I pay for college if my parents do not take out the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan?
There are limits on the amount of student loans that can be awarded based on grade level. The Parent PLUS Loan can help bridge the gap between a students financial aid and the total cost for the year. If a parent is denied the Parent PLUS Loan due to credit, the student can request an increase in their yearly loan funding (an additional $4,000 Unsubsidized Loan for Freshman and Sophomore, and an additional $5,000 Unsubsidized Loan for Junior and Senior).
There are also alternative loan options that a student could apply for.
Why hasn’t my financial aid paid?
The most common reason your Financial Aid has yet to disburse is outstanding financial aid requirements. You can review your requirements on your inside.sou.edu . Students should pay attention to notifications from the Financial Aid Office regarding Financial Aid requirements. Notifications get sent to the student by email and, if subscribed, by text.
Common requirements missed are:
- Accepting your Terms and Conditions. You can review them on our website but to accept them you do so through your InsideSOU portal. Please be sure to read carefully as you will be held to these terms.
- Missing Loan requirements. For student loans both Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note are required before disbursement.
- Less than full-time enrollment. Some funds require full-time enrollment. If you plan to be less than full-time it is important to notify the Financial Aid Office so any adjustments can be made prior to disbursement.
What happens if I withdraw before the term is over?
If you withdraw from school you may be expected to repay a portion of your financial aid based on the amount of financial aid you earned prior to withdrawing. Financial aid is earned for each day that a student participates in a course.
Why happens if I do not pass all of my classes? What if I drop a class?
As a recipient of financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you fail, withdraw from, or do not participate in your courses, it may impact your eligibility for financial aid. If you change your enrollment level before the census date, your aid will be revised accordingly.
How will the financial aid office communicate with me?
The Financial Aid Office will communicate important information to the students’ SOU email and, if subscribed, by text.
What is SAP?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a federally required evaluation of a student’s progress towards completion of their degree.
The following must be met to maintain SAP:
- Maintain a minimum term and cumulative SOU GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates (3.0 for graduates).
- Successfully complete at least 67% of their attempted coursework.
- Complete their degree within 150% of the time frame for undergraduates. For undergraduates, you must complete it within 270 attempted credit hours.
Students that do not meet the SAP requirements for two subsequent terms will be in a denied financial aid status. To regain eligibility, students need to appeal.
When is SAP evaluated?
Students are evaluated at the end of each term to determine whether or not they meet the SAP status. The Financial Aid Office will run SAP the day grades post for the term. If a student has had a grade change they should contact the Financial Aid Office and their SAP status can be reevaluated.
How will I be notified that SAP has been evaluated for the term?
Every student whether they receive financial aid or not will receive an email informing them of when SAP has been finished evaluating as well as how to check their SAP status.
How do I appeal my SAP status?
You appeal through the online portal to submit forms sou.verifymyfafsa.com .
How does my appeal get reviewed?
SAP appeals are reviewed by a committee made up of faculty and staff from around campus.
How will I know the result of my appeal?
Once the committee has reviewed your appeal, you will be notified of the decision to your SOU email as well as a text.
When will my financial aid be disbursed?
Financial Aid is disbursed up to 5 days prior to the start of the term. Throughout the term, Financial Aid is disbursed every Wednesday. Financial Aid will always disburse to the student account balance first. Any overpayment of funds will then be sent in the form of a “refund” Thursday afternoon based on the refund preference setup on your BankMobile account.