There are several steps you need to take in order to begin the financial aid process.
You don't have to wait until you're admitted to FGCU in order to apply for financial aid. Students can complete the FAFSA on-line starting January 1 for the upcoming academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). You can include FGCU among the colleges you want your FAFSA information sent to when you complete the FAFSA. If you haven't been admitted to FGCU when the Financial Aid Office receives your FAFSA information, your application will be held aside pending admission before you are awarded financial aid. You must however have an official FGCU ID number (UIN) to complete the online FGCU Foundation Scholarship application at http://www.fgcu.edu/scholarships.
You may apply as early as, but not before, January 1 each year. You are encouraged to file the FAFSA by our priority filing date of March 1
No, the FAFSA is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Beware of scams. Some sites charge to submit the application for you and others advertise services to help you apply for financial aid for a fee. If you use one of these services, you will be providing personal information to a non-government agency.
FGCU's Federal School Code (also known as the Title IV Institution Code) is 032553.
Federal student aid programs are based on the principle that students (and their parents or spouse, if applicable) are considered the primary source of support for postsecondary education.
When you apply for federal student aid, your answers to certain questions will determine whether you're considered dependent on your parents or independent. If you're considered dependent, your parents' income and assets as well as your own must be reported on the FAFSA. If you're independent, you'll report only your own income and assets (and those of your spouse, if you're married).
If you don't know where your parents live, or you've left home due to an abusive situation, fill out the FAFSA and then immediately get in touch with the financial aid office. Your financial aid advisor will instruct you on what to do next. Don't put this off or you might miss important deadlines!
If you are a dependent student, you must provide parental information on the FAFSA. The following people are not your parents unless they have adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and uncles or aunts.
If your parents are divorced or separated, use information about the parent with whom you lived more during the past 12 months.
If you lived the same amount of time with each parent, use information about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent year. If this parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions on the FAFSA about that parent and include the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).
FGCU's priority deadline is March 1. Students who have completed a FAFSA by the priority deadline are more likely to receive funds from all programs for which they are eligible. After the priority deadline, funding in many programs, especially campus-based programs such as Federal Work-Study may be exhausted. Applying by the priority deadline will always be to your advantage.
After you have been admitted to FGCU, and the Financial Aid Office has received an electronic record of your FAFSA from the U. S. Dept. of Education, your record will be reviewed to determine what financial aid you are eligible for. You may be required to submit additional documentation to the Financial Aid Office to ensure that your application is complete and accurate. (See the verification page of our website for more information: http://www.fgcu.edu/FinancialAid/Undergraduate/verification.html)
Once your application is complete and correct, you will be awarded financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will notify you by e-mail to check your record in Gulfline to see your financial aid awards.
New and returning students will receive an award letter notification via email by the end of March of each year. This e-mail provides step-by-step instructions on how to review your awards via Gulfline.
You must complete the FAFSA each year in order to be considered for federal and institutional aid for the upcoming academic year. You must also complete the FGCU Foundation Scholarship application each year in order to be considered for a scholarship, even if you have received one in the past.
If you want to apply for federal aid, you must complete the FAFSA before the end of your period of enrollment during the academic year. Your completed FAFSA must be received by the central processor of the U.S. Department of Education by your last day of enrollment or by June 30, whichever is sooner.
The kind of aid you will be eligible for is limited by the availability of aid at the time you apply. You should never wait until the deadline to file the FAFSA. Loan processing requires additional time and must be completed before the end of your enrollment period.
The types and amount of financial aid you are awarded depends on the information you supplied on the FAFSA, program eligibility and the availability of funds. Your awards could include grants or scholarships, work-study, or loans.
The U.S. Department of Education has developed a process called Verification in order to insure the accuracy of the information that is reported by students and parents on the FAFSA. The central application processor for the U.S. Department of Education selects some applications randomly; others are selected because the reported information appears to be inconsistent or incorrect. The Financial Aid Office is also permitted to select applications for Verification. If you are selected for Verification, you must provide certain documents to the Financial Aid Office. Students are notified via e-mail if they have been selected for verification and the documents needed. If inaccuracies are found in the review process, your FAFSA will be reprocessed with the correct information. Please see the Verification page of our website for more information: http://www.fgcu.edu/FinancialAid/Undergraduate/verification.html.
Yes. However, the cost of attendance will be higher than that of an in-state student. In addition, some programs are only available for Florida residents.
Graduate students are eligible to receive Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Work-Study, the FGCU Graduate Student Grant and, in some cases, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. The FAFSA must be completed to apply for all of these awards. In addition, graduate students may also complete the online FGCU Foundation Scholarship application at http://www.fgcu.edu/as/financialaid to apply for scholarship funds.
Generally, students must be enrolled in a degree granting program in order to be eligible for financial aid. However, students who are enrolled in the Teacher Immersion Program (TIP) at FGCU and have been approved by the Teacher Immersion Program coordinator may be eligible to borrow Federal Stafford Loan funds.
International students are not eligible for any federal financial aid or aid from the state of Florida. The Office of International Students at FGCU provides information about financial opportunities for international students. See their web site for more information http://studentservices.fgcu.edu/International/StudyAbroadScholarships.asp
For information regarding financial aid & undocumented students, please click here.
Yes, it can. Your award may be increased, reduced or even cancelled if:
Not necessarily. Some awards may remain the same while other need-based awards may change based on the EFC on your FAFSA.
Possibly. If a student's financial aid exceeds their financial need and/or the university's established cost of attendance, an adjustment must be made to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and institutional guidelines. Self-help aid, such as direct loans and federal work-study awards, are adjusted before grants or scholarships are affected. Changes to a student's award offer may result in a financial obligation to the Florida Gulf Coast University.
Undergraduate students must enroll for at least 12 credit hours each semester in order to be considered full-time. Graduate students must enroll for at least 9 credit hours each semester in order to be considered full-time.
In some cases, changes in family circumstances can be considered when determining your eligibility for financial aid. You may speak with a Financial Aid Office representative to determine whether the change in your circumstances warrants an adjustment of your FAFSA information. You may refer to the Change of Circumstances Form on our web site for examples of circumstances that may warrant adjustments. The Change in Circumstance form can be printed from the Online Forms page of our website: http://www.fgcu.edu/FinancialAid/Undergraduate/Online-Forms.html
In some cases, students are eligible for financial aid during the summer term.
Where you live while attending FGCU is one of the factors that are used to determine the amount of aid for which you are eligible. See our web site for information about the Cost of Attendance that is used at FGCU to determine how much financial aid you will receive. Students who live with their parents while they attend FGCU have a different cost of attendance than students who live away from their parents (either on or off campus) since the cost of living at home with your parents is less than the cost of living in a residence hall or the cost of maintaining your own residence.
Gulfline is FGCU's web based information system for students, faculty and staff. You can check your financial aid record in Gulfline to
Direct Subsidized Loans: are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. For a subsidized loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest:
Direct Unsubsidized Loans: are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan. For an unsubsidized loan, you are responsible for paying the interest during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
Direct PLUS Loans: are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. There are two kinds of PLUS loans:
Yes, there is a 1% loan fee on all Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The loan fee will be proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement.
The school will first apply your loan funds to your school account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any additional loan funds remain, they will be returned to you.
The U.S. Department of Education requires that a student enroll on at least a half-time basis in order to be eligible to receive a Federal Stafford Loan. Undergraduate students must enroll for at least 6 credit hours each semester in order to be considered half-time. Graduate students must enroll for at least 5 credit hours each semester in order to be considered half-time.
Although PLUS is an acronym for Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, there are two kinds of PLUS loans.
A promissory note is a binding legal document you sign when you get a student loan. It lists the conditions under which you're borrowing and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan. It will include information on how interest is calculated and what deferment and cancellation provisions are available to the borrower. It's very important to read and save this document because you'll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferments or forbearances. You only have to sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) once even if you borrow several loans over the course of your education. If you change lenders, a new MPN must be completed. You will be contacted by your lender or their representative with information on how to sign the MPN. The MPN can be signed electronically or on paper. Borrowers are strongly urged to sign the MPN electronically.
Before receiving a Direct Stafford Loan, borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session. This quick and easy interactive counseling session provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses and helps you to understand your loan responsibilities. Entrance counseling is completed on www.studentloans.gov
The amount you can borrow each year from the Federal Stafford Loan program is based on the number of credits you have earned toward the degree you are pursuing as well as your dependency status. Detailed information about Annual Loan Limits is available on our web site: http://www.fgcu.edu/FinancialAid/Undergraduate/loans.html
Yes. If you would like to accept loans previously declined please submit a Loan Request Form to your financial aid officer.
An alternative loan is a private education loan offered by a lender. The loan is not government guaranteed and consequently alternative loans often cost more than loans offered by the federal government. FGCU does not certify alternative loans for dependent undergraduate students. Parents of dependent students should consider borrowing a PLUS loan if the student requires additional loan funds beyond those provided by the Federal Stafford Loan program.
A FAFSA is no longer required for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
Students who graduate from high school mid-year may submit a Florida Financial Aid Application no later than August 31 prior to the student's fall graduation, be evaluated for Bright Futures, and, if eligible, receive funding in the spring term following the student's high school graduation.
Bright Futures Website: http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/home/uamain.htm
Students are required to repay the cost of any Bright Futures funded course dropped or withdrawn after the Add/Drop week ends. Repayment to the to Florida Gulf Coast University Cashier's office is required. An exception may be granted by the Registrar if an appeal is approved.
It is in the student's best interest to repay the cost of the dropped/withdrawn hours as soon as possible as a HOLD will be placed on the student account until repayment is received. The student will be ineligible to access their student account and the award will not renew for any subsequent academic years until repayment or satisfactory arrangements to reimburse FGCU have been made.
When a student repays FGCU the cost of dropped/withdrawn hours, those hours are returned to that student's Bright Futures hours remaining for funding purposes. The student must successfully pass all funded classes; drops are not part of the completion calculation as they are repaid.
Students are required to successfully pass all funded classes. If you are at risk of failing a class, please stop by the Financial Aid office to find the best course of action to take so as to maintain eligibility for Bright Futures. You cannot make up failed classes in summer term. Dropping the class is usually the best course of action if at risk of failing.
Students are allowed to use the summer term after their first year to make up GPA deficiencies. If you cannot get the necessary GPA in summer, you will lose the scholarship for the second year. After spring term of the second year you may apply for RESTORATION at the Bright Futures website if you have the required GPA. The state does not allow for GPA make up after the first year. Please see Financial Aid if you had issues that prevented you from being successful.
No. A student may enroll part-time and receive Bright Futures funding. Six credits is the minimum required to receive funding. Students are required to successfully complete all funded credits.
Please visit scholarship length on the Bright Futures website. Easy access to program information, application and award status is at the Bright Futures website. This website has information regarding your contact information, all communications from the state to the student regarding status of application and awards.
Please check the Bright Futures website for eligibility. The state will determine eligibility for Graduate Bright Futures. If granted, funding is available for one term of graduate study, not to exceed 15 credit hours, paid at the current undergraduate rate. This may be offered to
FAS and FMS recipients who graduate with a baccalaureate degree earned in the 2010-11 academic year or thereafter, in seven or fewer semesters, or the equivalent hours.
A student may enroll and receive funding for less than six hours if the student:
You are not required to be full time to renew, only pass all funded classes fall and spring terms.
Yes there is a separate appeal just for Bright Futures. The appeal is available to print on the Online Forms page of our website:http://www.fgcu.edu/FinancialAid/Undergraduate/Online-Forms.html. You will need to fully explain your situation and provide documentation regarding your situation if possible. Transfer GPAs can be used to calculate your continued eligibility if necessary.
The value of your Florida Prepaid Account must be reported as an asset on the FAFSA. In the past, the benefits you received from the Florida Prepaid Program were counted as a direct reduction of your aid eligibility. In most cases, this new treatment is beneficial to students. If you are a dependent student, the value of the account should be reported by your parents as one of their assets on the FAFSA. If you are an independent student, you should report the value of the account as one of your assets on the FAFSA. If you don't know the value of the account, contact the Florida Prepaid program at (800) 552-GRAD (4723).
Students do not need to bring their Florida Prepaid card in order to activate their account. The Office of the Bursar uses students' social security numbers to link to and bill their Florida Prepaid account.
Florida Prepaid rates along with tuition and local fee plan coverage can be found by visiting the following link: http://www.fgcu.edu/Cashiers/fpcp.html.
If you do not wish to utilize your Florida Prepaid Plan then you must visit the Cashier's Office in McTarnaghan Hall. If you neglect to do this by the last day to pay fees, Florida Prepaid will be billed.
If you are receiving financial aid and you withdraw from all your classes, the university is required by U.S. Department of Education regulation to evaluate your record and determine how much financial aid you are eligible for, based on how long you were enrolled. Students who withdraw from all their classes may have to repay some or all of the aid they were awarded. Total withdrawal can also affect your eligibility for financial aid in subsequent semesters. You should see a financial aid representative to discuss your withdrawal plans.
The timing of your withdrawal and the number of classes you withdraw from can have a significant effect on your financial aid eligibility. If you are a loan borrower, it can affect your eligibility for loan payments that have not yet been disbursed and may affect your repayment date. You should see a financial aid representative to discuss your withdrawal plans.
The U.S. Department of Education requires that all colleges have a standard in place to insure that students who are receiving federal financial aid are making satisfactory academic progress towards earning their degree. The Financial Aid Office measures your progress at the end of each spring semester to see if you are making satisfactory academic progress. If you are not, you can lose eligibility for financial aid in the subsequent year.
Visit our website for more information on Satisfactory Academic Progress: http://www.fgcu.edu/FinancialAid/Undergraduate/conditions-for-receiving-aid.html
U.S. Department of Education regulations prohibit students from continuing to receive federal financial aid if they have earned more than 150% of the credits that are required to earn their degree. If the degree you are trying to earn requires 120 credits, you may not continue receiving aid if you have earned 180 credits and have still not earned the degree. This can happen if students change their major and are required to take additional courses. This regulation affects both undergraduate and graduate students. If you are receiving a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, you can receive funding for up to 132 credit hours towards the completion of your first baccalaureate degree.
Students are sometimes permitted to take classes at another college other than FGCU while they are enrolled at FGCU. To submit an application for cross-enrollment (transient), please visit Florida Virtual Campus HERE.
No, if you are receiving financial aid from FGCU, you cannot receive aid from the Host institution while cross-enrolled.
If you do not complete the classes at the Host Institution or make Satisfactory Academic Progress, you may be required to repay the aid disbursed based on this agreement.
You should check your record in Gulfline to determine whether you have enough financial aid to pay your bill and whether or not your aid has been applied toward the payment of your bill.
Click here for details - Financial Aid Advance Purchase Program
As part of the cross-enrollment (transient) process through Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), you are responsible for paying balances owed for transient courses as Financial Aid at FGCU will not disburse for transient courses until all paperwork in completed and processed.
Some, but not all financial aid can be transferred from one college to another. You should contact the Financial Aid Office at the college you are leaving as well as the Financial Aid Office of the college you will attend. You can find out from them what aid transfers and what aid does not transfer. You should inform them of your transfer plans and find out if there are any requirements you must fulfill as you transfer.
Financial aid is available for some study abroad programs. Financial aid eligibility for studying abroad is determined by the type of study abroad program you attend, as well as the type of financial aid you receive. Only students earning a degree at FGCU are eligible.
Detailed information about the kind of financial aid you may receive, depending on the type of Study Abroad Program is available on our web site.