Financial aid recipients receive an "award letter" from the SRU Financial Aid Office that details the types and amounts of financial aid, including student loans, which a student will be receiving.
While all award letters are available on-line via MySRU, the initial award letter will be mailed to a student's home address. Upon receiving the initial award letters, students should check their financial aid status in MySRU regularly to view any requirements for confirming their aid.
If you have any questions about your financial aid award, please feel free to contact our office at 724-738-2044.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
A student must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for most federal student aid. At its simplest level, a student's financial need is the difference between the student's cost of attendance at the school and the amount the family is expected to contribute to the student's education.
The "Expected Family Contribution" is determined through a federal need analysis formula that is applied to the information a student supplies on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Students can view their federally-determined EFC on the FAFSA webpage.
Terms and Conditions
Students should read the following information to understand the terms and conditions of the financial aid funds they are receiving.
Satisfactory Academic Progress - In order to receive financial aid (including federal loans), a student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as required by regulations. Students should review their Academic Progress status on MySRU through the Financial Aid channel in Student Self-Service. Please Note: Students are responsible for knowing and meeting these requirements.
Direct Subsidized/Direct Unsubsidized/Direct Parent PLUS/Federal Perkins Loans - Borrowers must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits) to receive federal loans. (Note: graduate students must be enrolled in at least six graduate credits to receive loans). Dependent students whose parents are borrowing a Parent PLUS Loan must also be enrolled at least half-time.
Direct Subsidized Loan - Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you're in school at least half-time.
Direct Unsubsidized Loan - Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is not requirement to demonstrate financial need. Students are responsible for paying the interest on the Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you chose not to pay the interest while you are in school, your interest will accrue and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
Revisions - The financial aid award provided is valid to the extent that the information upon which it is based is accurate at the time of the award and remains accurate throughout the award period. Any change in student circumstances, as noted below, will void the Award Letter and require that a revision be made. Revisions may also be necessary due to changes in funds made available to the University by governmental or other sources or due to any other circumstances, including errors in the award itself, in order to prevent overawards and to maintain the integrity of the financial aid programs according to governing laws and regulations. Slippery Rock University does not guarantee substitution of funds for any portion of the award which is declined by the student or reduced by government agencies.
Overawards - Federal and state regulations require SRU's Financial Aid Office to consider all sources of financial assistance when awarding aid. Those sources include things like scholarships, athletic grants, tuition waivers, and Private Alternative Loans. If your Financial Aid Award Letter did not include all of the assistance you are receiving, chances are SRU was not aware of all those awards when your financial aid was packaged. The addition of other aid sources may cause an overaward, which means that our Financial Aid Office may have to reduce one or more of your awards; please note that a reduction in other sources of aid may create a balance due on your student account. You can help prevent an overaward by informing SRU's Financial Aid Office of all sources of financial assistance as soon as you know about them.
Federal Work Study (FWS) - An FWS award is not a guarantee of earnings. Students must secure their own jobs through this on-campus part-time employment program. Click here [INTERNAL LINK TO to: SRU Workstudy page)for details and job listings. Actual earnings are paid directly to the student bi-weekly; earnings are not automatically deducted from a student's bill.
Gift Aid Maximums - several financial aid programs implement a "gift aid maximum" policy which limits the amount of total "gift aid" (scholarships, grants, waivers, etc.) a student may receive. The maximum is typically defined in such cases as a reasonable amount needed for tuition, fees, housing, food, books and at times some miscellaneous expenses. Some of the programs that implement a "gift aid maximum" policy include, but are not limited to, PHEAA's Pennsylvania State Grant Program, the Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship, the Board of Governor's Scholarship and the SRU Merit Scholarship. As the SRU Financial Aid Office identifies students who are exceeding any gift aid maximums, we will make appropriate adjustments and notify the student via a revised award package.
Payment of Financial Aid - Financial aid awards (except Federal Work Study) will be credited to the student's account each semester. Funds are usually disbursed around the first day of classes each semester. Disbursement of certain funds may be delayed until after the add/drop period for students enrolled part-time. Payment of financial aid funds will not be made until all eligibility requirements have been met. If the total aid credited/disbursed exceeds the total charges, SRU's Office of Student Accounts will generate a "refund" of the excess aid for the student. Please Note: Students should plan to have their own funds available to meet personal expenses (including books) at the beginning of each semester.
Part-Time Enrollment - Undergraduate students who enroll for less than 12 credits (graduate students enrolled less than 9 credits) in a semester may have their financial aid adjusted. For this reason, disbursement of certain funds may be delayed until after the official add/drop period for students enrolled part-time. Such students may still be eligible for all or partial payment from certain programs. A student considering less than full-time enrollment should discuss the effect on his/her financial aid with the Financial Aid Office staff.
Federal Verification - A number of FAFSA applications are selected by the federal processor for a process called "Verification". This process is used to determine that the information provided on the FAFSA is accurate. Beginning in February/March each year, the Financial Aid Office will begin requesting, from selected students, the documentation needed to complete the verification review. A student must respond to this request immediately to ensure timely processing and disbursement of his financial aid. If a student's financial aid package is calculated before Verification is completed, the package may change based upon the information received during the Verification process.
Changes in Student Circumstances - The student agrees to notify the SRU Financial Aid Office of any changes in financial or other circumstances which could affect financial aid eligibility. This includes, but is not limited to, changes in a student's academic and/or enrollment status, housing status, receipt of an outside scholarship or other awards.
The Financial Aid Award Shall be Void if:
- you default on Federal Perkins, Direct Loan, Grad PLUS, or National Direct Student Loans;
- you owe a repayment on any Title IV federal student aid funds received previously;
- you do not report changes listed above to the Financial Aid Office;
- you do not make Satisfactory Academic Progress;
- incorrect information is revealed on the FAFSA and/or;
- you intentionally make false statements or misrepresent information on any financial aid application materials. Students who do so may be subject to fines, imprisonment, or both, under provisions of the U.S. Criminal Code.
- you are convicted of any offense, during a period of enrollment for which you receive Title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) Federal Student Aid (whether grants, loans or work-study), under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs. A conviction will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work-study assistance (HEA Sec. 484(r)(1)); (20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1)).
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) - Information regarding federal loans (example: Stafford, PLUS, Graduate PLUS, Perkins) will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System which is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of ED programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data. This information is also accessible to authorized users of the NSLDS, such as guaranty agencies, eligible lenders, and eligible institutions of higher education. For more information and to review your federal aid history, go to the NSLDS website.
Financial Aid Definition of an Academic Year: For financial aid purposes, at SRU an academic year is defined as at least 30 weeks of instructional time in which a full-time undergraduate student earns 24 semester hours. Summer is a trailer to the academic year.
Tax Credits for Education - Tax credits may be available for families who are seeking additional university financing options. These may include the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Hope Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Families may benefit from one of these programs depending on financial circumstances. For more information about educational tax credits, please contact a tax advisor or review the IRS website. See Publication 970.
Taxable Income - Under certain conditions, portions of grants and scholarships must be reported as taxable income. Consult a tax advisor or the IRS to determine specific requirements. The University cannot give tax advice.
Worksheets to Estimate Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Undergraduate Out-of-Pocket Estimate Worksheet
Graduate Out-of-Pocket Estimate Worksheet