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FAQ

Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Check out these instructional videos explaining how to complete some of the most common financial aid and bursar procedures.

Welcome and How to View Videos

2021–22 New Student Orientation: Financial Aid

Using ScholarshipUniverse

How to Check Your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

First-Time Undergraduate Students
You will receive one initial Estimated Financial Aid Offer in the mail, which serves to give you an estimate of your financial aid awards, including grants, loans, and scholarships.

Your initial financial aid award estimates are based on your submitted FAFSA information, academic record, and full-time enrollment (12 or more credit hours).

If there are any changes to your financial aid awards after this initial offer, then you will receive a student email notification. You can view your most up-to-date financial aid information at any time by logging in to your goPFW student account.

First-Time Undergraduate, Continuing Undergraduate, and Graduate Students
You will receive a student email notification when you have new or changed financial aid awards.

Award estimates are based on your submitted FAFSA information, academic record, and assumed full-time enrollment (12 or more credit hours for undergraduate and 8 or more credit hours for graduate). You can view your most up-to-date financial aid information at any time by logging in to your goPFW student account.

Because the majority of funds awarded are need-based, a student must have financial need as determined by federal regulations. How your financial need is calculated is explained below.

When a student submits a FAFSA, they are reporting financial information that the federal and state governments review and then use a federal formula to determine how much a family can contribute financially to a student’s education. This is known as the estimated family contribution (EFC). It is important to note that the EFC is not what the family is expected to pay, but a calculation that reflects a family’s current financial assets, future income, and future borrowing potential.

A dependent student will have an EFC calculated from FAFSA information that has both the student and their parent’s financial information.*

An independent student will have an EFC calculated from FAFSA information that is solely the student’s.*

The Office of Financial Aid determines a student’s estimated expenses to attend. This is known as the cost of attendance (COA).

Per federal guidelines, we use the following formula to determine your eligibility for need-based federal, state, and institutional financial aid:

Cost of Attendance (COA) − Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Aid

*For financial aid purposes, being dependent or independent does not pertain to how you file your taxes, whether you live with your parents or whether you support yourself. Common reasons to be classified as an independent student are being 24 years old or older, being married, or having children who will receive more than half of their support from the student. Other details may substantiate you as independent as well. For further questions and more detailed information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

You can view your COA, EFC, and the calculation that we did for you to determine your need by logging in to goPFW and following these steps: 

  1. Click on the Billing and Financial Aid tab.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom, middle box Financial Aid Awards.
  3. Click on View and Accept my Financial Aid Award.
  4. Select the current aid year from the dropdown menu and click Submit. If you wish to view what you had received during previous aid years, you see only general information.
  5. Once you choose the correct aid year, click on the Award Overview tab. This will show your COA, EFC and your calculated financial need. This tab also shows you the status of the financial aid awards you have been offered.

Online
Access your Bursar Student Account anytime by following these easy steps:

  1. Log in to your goPFW.
  2. Go to the Billing and Financial Aid tab.
  3. Click on the yellow dollar sign in the upper right corner (this is the billing icon).
  4. Click on the Make Payment tab.
  5. Pay online using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card are accepted), or you can set-up your bank account information to have an electronic debit pay your student bill.

In Person
You can pay in person by going to the Office of the Bursar’s windows, but please note that lines can be especially long during payment due dates and the first few weeks of the semester.

You can also pay in person by using the night drop box (next to the first bursar window).

  • Put your payment and the bill stub in a sealed envelope before depositing.
  • Your payment will be processed the next business day.
  • The Office of the Bursar is located in Kettler Hall, Room G57.
  • We are unable to accept credit card payments in person; we will accept only cash, checks, money orders, or cashier’s checks in person.

By Mail
Purdue University Fort Wayne
Office of the Bursar
2101 East Coliseum Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Verification is simply an audit of the information you provided on the FAFSA and is completed in accordance with federal government student financial aid regulations. Find complete information here.

Note: Your financial aid will not disburse until you have completed the verification process.

Census dates
Commonly referred to as financial aid “lock dates,” census dates are days in which certain financial aid awards are locked, meaning the amounts of these financial aid awards cannot change after the census date.

Why should you care about the census dates?
Certain financial aid award amounts are tied to the number of credit hours you are enrolled in. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are in the appropriate amount of credit hours on the census date in order to receive the full amount of the financial aid award you are eligible for. The following examples show financial aid awards that have census dates.

Federal Pell Grant census date is the Friday of the first week of classes.
The Federal Pell Grant financial aid award is initially placed on your student account with your maximum eligibility, which is based on assumed full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 credit hours). However, the final amount you will receive is based upon how many credit hours you are enrolled in on the census date (i.e., the Friday of the first week of classes). As you go down in the number of credit hours you are enrolled in, so does the amount of Pell Grant you are permitted to receive.

The Pell Grant is prorated down for the following increments: Full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours), three-quarters time (9–11 credit hours), half-time (68 credit hours), less than half-time (1–5 credit hours).

Once the census date passes, your Pell Grant financial aid award amount cannot be adjusted, even if you choose to adjust how many credit hours you are enrolled in.

State of Indiana Scholarship and Grant Programs census date is the Sunday that ends the fourth week of classes.
State of Indiana financial aid awards are initially placed on your student account with your maximum eligibility, which is based on assumed full-time enrollment (minimum 12 credit hours). However, the final amount you will receive is based upon how many credit hours you are enrolled in on the census date (i.e., the Sunday that ends the fourth week of classes).

You must be at full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 credit hours) at the time of the census date in order to receive the state of Indiana 21st Century Scholarship or Frank O’Bannon Grant.

Note: If you are not full time on the census date, the entire amount of these State of Indiana financial aid awards will be removed from your account. This could result in a bill. There no extensions to this census date deadline for these awards.

Below are the step-by-step written instructions on how to accept or decline your financial aid awards:

  1. Log in to you goPFW account with your student username and password.
  2. Click on the Billing and Financial Aid tab.
  3. Scroll down to the box in the bottom, middle section entitled Financial Aid Awards.
  4. Click on the link entitled View and Accept my Financial Aid Award.
  5. Select the current aid year in the dropdown menu and click Submit
  6. Click on the Accept Award Offer tab (even if you are declining your award you click here).
  7. Go to the Award Decision section to view your awards.
  8. In order to accept or decline an award, go to the column labeled Accept Award.
  9. If the award requires you to accept or decline it, there will be a drop-down menu in the Accept Award column.
  10. To accept the award, you have to choose Accept in the drop-down menu.
  11. To decline the award, you would have to choose Decline in the drop-down menu.
  12. If you want to accept a partial amount of the award, you can do so by selecting Accept in the drop-down menu, and then enter the dollar amount you wish to accept in the column labeled Accept Partial Amount.

The amount you list to accept is the combined total amount you want to receive for both the fall and spring semesters. This amount will be split evenly per the fall and spring semesters. For example, if you accept $5,000, you will receive $2,500 in the fall, and then $2,500 in the spring term.

14. Once you have made your decision you must go down to the bottom right and click on Submit Decision.
15. The next page will show you the amounts you have selected.
16. To adjust amounts after you have submitted, you will need to complete an Aid Adjustment Form with the Office of Financial Aid.

By accepting your financial aid awards, you agree to the terms and conditions as outlined within this guide.

ADDITIONAL STEPS REQUIRED FOR LOAN BORROWERS
Go to studentloans.gov to complete the following additional steps:

Master Promissory Note (MPN)
A promissory note is a promise to repay borrowed money.  In order to borrow funds to cover the cost of higher education, the borrower (either you or your parent) must sign a promissory note that outlines the repayment process. Your loan will not disburse (i.e. pay to your student bill) until a completed MPN is on file.  If you signed the MPN at a previous school, you will need to sign a new MPN.

Entrance Loan Counseling
Entrance counseling is required for most federal loans and serves as a means to educate you on the rights and responsibilities associated with receiving funds that must be repaid.  Your loan will not note disbursed (i.e. paid to your student bill) until a completed entrance counseling is on file.  If you completed entrance counseling at a previous school, you will need to complete this again.

It takes approximately two weeks to process loans to your account after you have completed all of these steps. We advise that you make decisions on your loans and follow the procedures as outlined in this section a minimum of four weeks prior to the start of classes.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you accept and complete the requirements to process your financial aid awards far enough in advance to meet your student billing deadlines. Otherwise you may incur late fees.

By a student allowing federal, state, PFW and outside financial aid awards to pay to their student account, they are agreeing to the terms and conditions as outlined herein:

  1. All PFW financial aid policies and fund rules are published on our website. The student is agreeing to these published policies as well as the terms and conditions outlined below by allowing financial aid awards to pay to their student account.
  2. The goPFW email account is the official method of communication from PFW to students. The Office of Financial Aid communicates to students via email to their goPFW student email account. It is the student’s responsibility to check their email daily.
  3.  Financial aid awards are awarded for a period of one academic year only. An academic year is defined as the fall and spring semesters. Any financial aid a student is awarded with will be divided equally between the fall and spring semesters. Students are responsible for knowing what the renewal requirements are for their financial aid awards and/or if they need to apply annually. Renewal of financial aid awards is not guaranteed.
  4. Students are required to notify the Office of Financial Aid of any scholarships, loans, book allowances or any other form of assistance extended to them from sources outside of PFW. Adjustments of financial aid may create a balance due if the external funds are applied after other financial aid awards have been paid to the student’s account.
  5. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right, on behalf of PFW, to review and cancel any award at any time because of changes to a student’s financial status, academic status or regulations of the financial aid the student received. All changes reflected on goPFW will result in an email to the student account and serve as notification of a change made.
  6. Financial aid is awarded to a student contingent upon maintaining standards as set forth by the institution’s Federal Title IV Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies.
  7.  Payment of financial aid to the student’s billing (bursar) account is called disbursement. Disbursement of a student’s financial aid award(s) (excluding Federal Work Study) will be in the form of a direct deposit. Federal work-study earnings are paid directly to the student on a bi-weekly basis via direct deposit or check.
  8. Financial aid will be awarded and posted to student accounts based on presumed full-time enrollment (undergraduate = minimum of 12 hours; graduate = minimum of 8 hours). Should the student register for less than full-time enrollment, changes to their  financial aid may be required per federal, state or institutional regulations that govern the financial aid the student was awarded with.
  9. The student is responsible for ensuring that their financial aid, payment plan, cash or outside resources (e.g. credit card payment) are completed in a timely manner as to ensure that their direct costs billed to them by PFW are paid in full by the posted billing due dates. Failure to do this will result in late fees. Students can access their current bill at any time via their goPFW student account.
  10. A student receiving federal financial aid earns their aid based on the number of days that they attend class. A student receiving federal aid who fully withdraws from PFW before they have attended for at least 61% of the term will have their federal aid eligibility recalculated based on the number of days the student attended. PFW is required per federal guidelines to return the unearned federal financial aid to the appropriate federal financial aid authority. Therefore, the student will in turn be billed for the amount of unearned federal financial aid that was removed from their student account and returned to the government.
  11. A student receiving state financial aid earns said aid-based enrollment at the end of the 28 class day of the semester. Therefore, state aid will be affected should that student drop below 12 hours before that date. State aid will not pay for all fees charged and specifically will not pay distance education fees. The state provides an electronic financial aid award notice to every student and this financial aid award notice is the final authority to determine the amount of state financial aid a student will receive.
  12. Federal Pell Grant financial aid awards are finalized based on hours of enrollment as a first bachelor, degree-seeking student at the end of the fifth class day. Therefore, the amount of the Pell Grant financial aid awards for a student will be affected should that student fully or partially drop from classes before the end of the fifth day of class. There is a lifetime maximum eligibility limit for receiving the Federal Pell Grant: a student is eligible for 12 full time semesters of Pell Grant. This financial aid award may change after a federal review of financial aid received in the past is completed.
  13. A student must be enrolled at least half time in order to receive Federal Direct Loans financial aid awards and to remain in loan deferment time period. If a student is eligible to graduate mid-year, the Federal Direct Loans financial aid awards, as well as the student’s cost of attendance (COA), will be reviewed to determine final financial aid eligibility based upon that semester’s hours of enrollment. Appropriate adjustments to the student’s financial aid awards will be made if necessary as required per federal, state and institutional guidelines.
  14. A student may be awarded employment financial aid under the Federal Work-Study program (FWS). The amount of FWS aid shown on the award letter is the maximum a student can expect to earn during the academic year as a result of work performed. The student will be paid for only those hours actually worked.
  15. Students planning to attend two different colleges or universities in the same semester should inform the PFW Office of Financial Aid and be sure to know the rules pertaining to this choice. In general, it is a violation of federal law to receive federal financial aid at two different schools during the same period of enrollment.
  16. Students are obligated to keep their PFW record current with any changes to their name, address or phone number.
  17. Students who are incarcerated in a state or federal correctional institution are required by federal law to inform the Office of Financial Aid of their incarceration.
  18. Students must be admitted and enrolled as degree seeking students at PFW.  Students admitted and enrolled as Temporary Inter-Campus Transfers or Graduate Students at Large are not eligible for federal, state, or institutional funds.

The FAFSA needs to be filed annually.

COA means cost of attendance. This value is an estimate, not your actual bill. The COA includes tuition and fees; estimates for on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, and transportation.

You can view your COA from your goPFW account by clicking on the Billing and Financial Aid tab, then click on View and Accept my Financial Aid Award, then click on Award Overview.

Cost of attendance (COA) minus your estimated family contribution (EFC) equals your financial need. You can have financial aid up to your maximum COA. Student scholarships, grants, and loans cannot exceed your maximum COA. 

Direct costs include tuition and fees (lab, proctor, and course differential fees).

Indirect costs are those you may incur that will not be on your PFW bill. Examples include off-campus housing, travel, miscellaneous, and food allowances.

  1. Log in to your goPFW account.
  2. Click on the Billing and Financial Aid tab.
  3. Click on View and Accept My Aid.

The Office of Financial Aid processes all scholarships and grants you are eligible for first. These are listed as Accepted on your goPFW because these are funds you do not have to pay back—gifted aid.

You can view your state aid and credit bank hours at ScholarTrack by creating a username and password. You can also view your aid in your goPFW account through the Billing and Financial Aid tab. Once there, click on View and Accept my Aid.

We encourage you to use our scholarship search tool in ScholarshipUniverse. You can securely set up a personal profile, apply for any matched scholarships, and even set up to be alerted when new scholarships are available. If you decide to search the internet for scholarships, be cautious because there are many scams out there.

Federal Work-Study is a source of federally funded, need-based financial aid. Both on-campus and off-campus jobs are available. 

All work-study jobs pay the federal minimum wage, though some jobs offer a higher rate. Your wage will depend on when you apply and your financial need.

There are limits on how much you can work per week and how much money you can earn per semester.  

Your funds will be paid biweekly (every two weeks) and delivered to you directly via direct deposit. 

If you have extra funds after your bill is paid in full, the extra funds will be refunded to you. In order to get your refund quickly, you can set up for direct deposit.

  1. Log into goPFW.
  2. Click on the Billing and Financial Aid tab.
  3. Click on the gold dollar sign coin.
  4. On the next screen, click on Refunds.
  5. On the next screen, you’ll be able to enter your banking information.

The FAFSA uses student and parent tax information from the previous year. A lot can change though, which is where this appeal comes in.

Who qualifies?

  • Any student who does not already have a zero expected family contribution (EFC) and a full Federal Pell Grant.
  • Graduate students are not eligible because they do not qualify for Pell Grants.

Who should apply? 

  • Students, parents, and legal guardians who have lost a job and are receiving unemployment.
  • Students, parents, and legal guardians who have lost income.
  • Students, parents, and legal guardians who have separated or divorced recently (no longer have two incomes as reflected on FAFSA).

Access the form here or contact us and we can help. 

Changing your schedule during the 100 percent refund period is considered the add/drop period, during which you’ll get fully refunded for any courses dropped and won’t receive a withdrawal grade on your transcript. 

After the 100 percent period, dropping a course is considered a withdrawal. You’ll receive a partial refund, or pay full tuition, and will have a W grade on your transcript.

You’ll need to contact the Office of Financial Aid prior to withdrawing from a course. Most financial aid requires full-time enrollment. Staff will review how your aid would be impacted by withdrawing. You should also talk to your academic advisor to assure you are still within your degree plan.

After clicking Accept in goPFW, you’ll also need to complete the entrance loan counseling (ELC) and a master promissory note (MPN) at studentaid.gov.

  1. At this site, click on Complete Aid Process.
  2. Then choose Complete Entrance Counseling. 
  3. After completing the ELC, go to the same site and click on Complete Aid Process,
  4. Then chose Complete a Master Promissory Note. 

After the completion of both MPN and ELC, your federal loan funds will available for disbursement to your PFW account. You’ll only have to complete the MPN and ELC once while enrolled at Purdue Fort Wayne (it lasts 10 years). Future semesters, after initially accepting loans, you’ll only have to click Accept from your goPFW account.

All financial aid (federal, state, and institutional) recipients are required to make reasonable academic progress toward completion of degree requirements. Standards for satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at Purdue are evaluated at the end of each academic semester (fall, spring, and summer) and at the time of awarding any aid. These three areas are evaluated:

  1. GPA of 2.0 for undergraduate students.
  2. Completion of at least 67 percent of hours attempted.
    1. W or F is noncompletion.
    2. If a student does not meet 33 percent (at any time), they will automatically go to immediate SAP suspension.
  3. Max time frame.

The maximum time frame refers to financial aid supporting 150 percent of the amount of credits to earn their degree. For instance, most bachelor degrees require 120 credit hours. So, the max time frame for a 120 credit hour bachelor degree is 180 credit hours. This allows students funding for credit hours to add a concentration, a second major, or possibly repeat a course, etc.