Santa Clara University

Undergraduate Students Questions


Below is a list questions asked by undergraduates regarding financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions not listed.

Award FAFSA CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
Student Aid Report FSA ID Scholarships
Federal Grants Cal Grant Study Abroad
Community Facilitator Federal Work Study Student Loans
Parent Loans Verification General Questions


How do I accept my award?
If you received a financial aid e-mail award notification, you should log-on to the ecampus system to accept or decline your aid. In order to access ecampus you will need your id number and password.

  1. Sign into ecampus, under "Finances" select "View/Print Award Letter"
  2. Select the "View" link to access your award
  3. Select the tab labeled "Accept/Decline Awards" at the bottom of the page
  4. Select the "2016" academic aid year or appropriate academic aid year
  5. Read the Statement of Educational Purpose and select the "I Agree" tab
  6. Check all aid which you wish to Accept or Decline and select the "Submit" tab
  7. Select "Yes" to continue with submission
  8. Select "OK"

Once I receive my financial aid award letter, is there any reason it could change later?
There are a number of circumstances that could have an effect on your original award letter. Verification of your application, change in your family's financial situation, failure to maintain academic progress, notification after your award of outside aid such as a scholarship, or not enrolling for the required number of hours to receive aid through programs awarded are all examples of things that could change your award letter.

Why is the aid offered at Santa Clara University different from aid I was offered at other college/university?
Financial aid offers can be different from one college to another for many reasons. Colleges/Universities and their applicant pool are different. Your academic credentials and a college's selectivity will influence the amount of institutional funds offered. Some types of financial aid are awarded based on criteria established by the college. Funding for some federal programs is limited. Colleges receive an allocation, or set amount, for each of the campus-based aid programs (Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) from the U.S. Department of Education. Since colleges receive different allocation amounts, colleges will have different rules and methods for awarding their allocation of limited funding. Colleges also have different cost of attendance, which can change a student's eligibility for need-based financial aid funding and can affect the total amount of financial aid offered from one college to the next.

Will my eligibility for financial aid change if I change my enrollment status?
Yes, if you withdraw from Santa Clara University or change the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled. You should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how it may affect your eligibility for financial aid.

Will I be eligible for less financial aid if I drop from full time to half-time?
If you drop from full time to half-time your tuition costs will be reduced and you may be eligible for less financial aid. If you enroll less than half-time, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid programs.

Will my financial aid change next year?
If you receive need-based aid, your eligibility and amount of aid may change from year to year. The most common reason is a change in your family's financial situation. There may be other reasons that your eligibility may change, including changes to either the Federal or Institutional Methodology, changes in your financial need, the timeliness of your financial aid application, your grade level, and the availability of federal, state and Santa Clara University assistance. Because of this, we cannot guarantee your level of aid from year to year, which is why you re-apply for financial aid each year.

Will my merit aid increase each year?
With the exception of the Santa Clara University Presidential at Entry Scholarship and the Provost Scholarship, all merit awards are fixed amounts and are not indexed to changes in tuition, therefore they will not increase annually. You are required to maintain specific program eligibility requirements in order to retain your merit award.

What if I want to move off-campus after my first year?
When you live on-campus, we include the cost of your room and a meal plan in our determination of financial aid. If you move off-campus, your cost of room and board will vary. We use a standard off-campus room and board budget for students living off-campus. We do not adjust room and board budgets for actual expenses. Generally, the off-campus allowance is less than the cost of on-campus room and board. Therefore, if your contribution remains the same, moving off campus may change your award. Contact the Financial Aid Office to find out if moving off-campus will affect your aid.

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What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application used to determine eligibility for federal and state student grants, federal work study and federal loans. The U.S. Department of Education accepts applications beginning January 1 of each year for the upcoming academic year.

What is Santa Clara University's Federal School Code?
Santa Clara University's Federal School Code is 001326.

What documents and information do I need to complete my FAFSA?
In order to complete your FAFSA, you will need the following:

  • your Social Security number
  • your driver's license number, if you have one
  • your W2 forms
  • your federal income tax return
  • your current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • your records of other untaxed income received, such as Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), welfare or veteran's benefits
  • your business or farm records, if applicable
  • your alien registration number, if you are an eligible non citizen

If you are a dependent student, you will also need:

  • your parent(s)' Social Security number(s)
  • your parent(s)' income and financial records (as listed above)

NOTE: Use income records for the calendar year prior to the academic year for which you are applying for financial aid. For example, use 2014 income information to complete the 2015-2016 FAFSA.

Which parent's financial information should I use on the the FAFSA?
It does not matter who claimed you as a tax exemption. For divorced or separated parents: Give answers for the parent you lived with more during the past 12 months. (If you did not live with one parent more than the other, then answer for the parent who provided more support during the past 12 months). If your parent is widowed or single, answer the questions about that parent. If your widowed parent has remarried as of the day you completed the FAFSA, answer the questions about that parent and the person your parent married (your stepparent).

If you do not know where your parents are or if you left home due to irreconcilable differences, let your high school counselor know. They will assist you in completing the FAFSA.

For the FAFSA, the following people are not your parents unless they have adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians or older brother or sister. (For the education-level question, answer for your biological or adoptive parents only).

If my parents are divorced or separated, which parent should complete the FAFSA?
You should answer the questions using information about the parent that you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided the most financial support for you (e.g., money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes, medical expenses). Child support payments from your other parent will be taken into consideration, and information about the income and assets of any stepparent must also be provided. We realize that these situations can be sensitive and complicated.

My parents are divorced. my father claims me on his taxes, but I live with my mother. Whose information should I use when completing the FAFSA?
The custodial parent's information is used when filing the application. The "custodial" parent is the one with whom you reside more than 50% of the time. It does not matter which parent claims you on their tax return. (e.g., if your father claims you on his taxes, but you live with your mother most of the time, your mother is your custodial parent.)

I am going to be married during the school year. Can I fill out the FAFSA as "married" now, since I will be in a few months?
You must indicate your marital status as of the date you are completing the FAFSA. You cannot update your marital status once you have filed your application, you will need contact the Financial Aid Office.

How will I know my FAFSA has been processed?
You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from the information you provided on your FAFSA. Keep the SAR for your records.

I filled out the FAFSA. Now what?
The school will receive the application and process the information you provided. It can take several weeks for us to receive the processed data, so do not be concerned if you do not hear from us immediately. If you feel that it is taking longer than anticipated, please contact our office and we will check the status of your application.

Since I have yet to file my federal income taxes, should I still complete the FAFSA?
If you have not filed your taxes and the FAFSA deadline is approaching, you need to submit your best estimates and complete the FAFSA. Failing to meet the deadline could disqualify you from consideration for grant aid. Please submit corrections once you have filed your taxes. If you cannot do that, verification of your application at a later date will provide exact figures.

Do I re-apply for aid in subsequent years?
Because your family's financial position may change from year to year, you are required to resubmit the FAFSA by March 2 to be eligible for aid during the following school year.

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CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE

What is the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE?
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is the financial aid application service of the College Board. Santa Clara University uses the information collected on the PROFILE to determine eligibility for non-federal student aid funds.

How much does the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE cost?
All students are charged an initial application fee. This covers the cost of creating your CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE application and the first school report. You will be charged an additional fee for each additional college or program to which you want information sent.

How do I receive a CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE waiver?
All waivers are processed by the College Board. When you complete the "Personal Data" response, the College Board automatically determines waiver eligibility.

What is Santa Clara University's CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE school code?
Santa Clara University's CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is 4851.

How will I know that The College Board has received my submitted CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE application?
Your CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Acknowledgment is your record of submitting the application. It shows the colleges and programs to which the College Board will send your information and reports the data you provided in your application.

When I reviewed my Acknowledgment, I realized that I made an error on my submitted CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE application. Can I change the application and re-submit it to Santa Clara University?
After you submitted your CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE application it is not possible to change the information that you have provided. If your information is not accurate, print out your Acknowledgment, update the incorrect data, and send a copy to our office.

Can I use the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE to apply for federal student aid?
No. For federal assistance you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can complete this federal application by visiting FAFSA on the Web.

Do I complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE in subsequent years?
No. Santa Clara University evaluates the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE for first-year students, the application it not evaluated in subsequent years.

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Student Aid Report

What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a report sent to the student from the Central Processing System (CPS). Student and family should review the SAR for its accuracy. If accurate, the SAR should be kept by the student for their records. If inaccurate, it should be corrected, signed by the appropriate individuals and returned to the processor.

What does the EFC number mean on my Student Aid Report (SAR)?
The data reported on your FAFSA is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) value. This value is used to determine your federal aid eligibility. Santa Clara University uses this value as a guideline for determining your aid eligibility. The federal EFC value is not necessarily your out-of-pocket cost to Santa Clara University.

I have received my SAR from the processor and it says that I have been selected for verification. What next?
Nothing now. However, you may be asked by the Financial Aid Office to submit additional documentation due to verification. Therefore, you need to have all tax documentation for you and/or your parents available if requested.

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What is a FSA ID and why do I need one?
Your FSA ID identifies you when you visit certain U.S. Department of Education websites. When you type in your FSA ID at these sites, you are saying either "Yes, it is really me – please show me the personal information about me on this site" or "Please accept my FSA ID as my electronic signature on this online form."

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Does Santa Clara University offer merit scholarships?
Yes. Santa Clara currently awards merit-based scholarships.

Will my merit aid increase each year?
With the exception of the Santa Clara University Presidential Scholarship and the Provost Scholarship awards, all merit awards are fixed amounts and are not indexed to changes in tuition, therefore they will not increase annually. You are required to maintain specific program eligibility requirements in order to retain your merit award.

How is the treatment of scholarships coordinated with the parent's federal taxes?
Treatment of scholarships under the IRS publication 970 and Tax Topic 421 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that you may exclude from your gross income only scholarship amounts used for:

  • Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational organization, and
  • Books, supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction. Amounts used for other expenses, such as room and board, are able to be included as income.

Should I use a scholarship search service?
The Financial Aid Office does not recommend those companies that charge a fee. Many have been found to be fraudulent at worst and misleading at best. Do not be fooled by the money-back guarantee. It is virtually impossible to get your money back. The services provided by these companies can be done on your own by researching scholarship publications at a library or using a variety of free scholarship searches on the web.

I have just been notified that I will receive a scholarship from my high school. How will this scholarship affect my financial aid?
Congratulations! We encourage students to apply for scholarships awarded by private organizations. This is an excellent source of funding and may reduce a student's need to borrow. In many cases, no alteration to a student's financial aid is necessary. If we are required to amend the financial aid package as a result of receiving an outside scholarship, we will make every effort to reduce the student's loan and/or Federal Work Study before reducing Santa Clara University grants or scholarships.

If I receive a private scholarship, how will this affect my eligibility for aid?
Any scholarships or awards from private donors, civic organizations, corporations, foundations or other group are considered outside awards. If you receive an outside award, your financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. Contact the Financial Aid Office to find out if the private scholarship will affect your aid.

What should I do with my outside scholarship checks?
If you are receiving any financial aid from our office, you will first want to contact us directly with the amounts of your scholarships. Outside monies may affect your original award, so we would like to inform you of any changes as early as possible. You can expect to receive a revised award letter with any changes made to your award caused by outside scholarships.

After contacting the Financial Aid Office, please mail the scholarship check(s) to Santa Clara University, Financial Aid Office, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA, 95053. Include the student's ID number on the check. The scholarship check may have been made payable to the student, Santa Clara University or co-payable to the Santa Clara University and the student. In the event that the student needs to endorse the check, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student via e-mail to come to our office for the check endorsement. The scholarship will be posted to the student's account to reduce any tuition, room or board charges as specified in the scholarship award.

How does Santa Clara University handle scholarships you receive that are not included on your original Financial Aid Award notification?
The treatment of the award will depend on the source of the funds:

  • SCU Scholarships/Grants Funds later awarded to you by a Santa Clara University department or program are considered to be part of the original scholarship/grant offer made to you. These later-awarded funds are not supplemental to your original award and your original award will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Private scholarships To the extent permissible by federal, state and other University regulations, we will attempt to coordinate your receipt of private awards so that no adjustment is necessary to the financial aid already offered to you. If it becomes necessary to adjust your award, we will first eliminate parent loans, then work study, student loans and finally aid awarded from Santa Clara University. Private scholarship checks should be sent by the awarding organization to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible to insure timely processing.
  • Federal and State aid Individual program requirements and restrictions will govern award coordination. Typically, federal and state aid is need-based and an award adjustment may be required unless you demonstrate a remaining unmet need according to your FAFSA. You will be contacted as soon as possible if it becomes necessary to adjust financial aid already awarded.
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Federal Grants

How do I apply for the Federal Pell Grant?
You will need to completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), this federal application will determine your aid eligibility including the Federal Pell Grant.

How much is the Federal Pell Grant?
Federal Pell Grant is a need-based federal grant and is awarded to every undergraduate student who qualifies and has not already earned a bachelor's degree. Students can be enrolled less than half-time and still qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will determine if you qualify and the amount of the award. Unit enrollment verification will be performed after the add/ drop period and census each term, and adjustments will be made based on your enrollment.

The Federal Pell Grant award listed on my award letter is different from the amount I received. Why?
Final Federal Pell Grant awards are based on your actual enrollment status and are contingent upon verification of any discrepancies in data you provide on your financial aid application. For example, a change in your household size from your original application may affect the amount you will receive. Also, the amount on your award letter is made assuming that you will enroll full time. If you enroll for fewer hours, your award will be reduced accordingly.

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Cal Grant

What is Cal Grant?
Funded by the State of California and administered by the California Student Aid Commission, a Cal Grant entitles you to funding to pay for college expenses at Santa Clara University. Depending on the Cal Grant program, funding can be used for tuition, room and board and supplies.

I already have Cal Grant, do I need to reapply?
Yes and No. You do not have to submit the Cal Grant GPA Verification form to the California Student Aid Commission. However, you need to submit the FAFSA between January 1 and March 2 each year you to retain eligibility for the Cal Grant program.

I do not have Cal Grant, how do I apply for a Cal Grant?
You need to submit your FAFSA between January 1 and March 2 and the Cal Grant GPA Verification form between November and March 2 deadline. If you are offered a Cal Grant award, you will receive a California Aid Report (CAR), which is a letter from the California Student Aid Commission with information on your eligibility for a Cal Grant.

What is WebGrants for Students? And should I sign up?
The California Student Aid Commission has created WebGrants for Students to provide students with the resources, information and tools to assist with California State Grant programs.

If you are a California resident and completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), we recommend that you create yourself a WebGrants for Student account to monitor and manage your California State Grant programs.

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Study Aboard

If I currently receive financial aid, does that mean I would receive financial aid for study abroad?
Yes and No. Students can usually apply their financial aid to assist in covering the cost of studying abroad. Financial aid recipients normally file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Make sure your FAFSA is up-to-date for the period when you wish to study abroad.

I have never applied for financial aid, but would like to apply for study abroad. What do I do first?
You must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the same academic period in which you plan to study abroad. The FAFSA is required to determine your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and other federal and state grants, federal loans, work study and many Santa Clara University grants and scholarships. Apply early as aid is awarded only until funding is exhausted.

Will Financial Aid for a study abroad program affect my next quarter's aid?
Yes, it may. Upon notification of your financial aid award for the quarter when you will study abroad, you may find it helpful to meet with a financial aid adviser if you have questions about funding for future quarters.

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Community Facilitator

I submitted a FAFSA and am eligible for need-based aid. Will being an Community Facilitator affect other aid?
Possibly. It depends on your need and other aid you are receiving. We are required, under federal law, to consider your community facilitator award as a resource in determining your need. That means we must account for your being an community facilitator in determining your final financial aid package. In making the adjustment, we try to avoid changing your grant by first reducing any unmet need and then loans.

How will Community Facilitator award affect my financial aid?
Federal regulations require that this award be counted as a resource to meet a student’s financial need. Therefore, the Financial Aid Office must incorporate the community facilitator award within the financial aid package. We try to do so in a way that will not penalize the student. Depending on the individual's financial aid award, some Santa Clara University funds may be replaced, but the total overall package will not be reduced due to a student becoming a community facilitator.

Why is the Community Facilitator award included at all? It is not a grant; I have to earn that money.
There are a number of other college funds that require a time commitment and are treated in the same way. Athletic and ROTC, for example, both have substantial "work" hours for those receiving them. They are fit into aid packages the same way as the community facilitator support.

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Federal Work Study

What is Federal Work Study?
This is a federal program which provides jobs for students with federal need, allowing them to earn money to help pay expenses incurred while in school.

Who is eligible for Federal Work Study?
Students who demonstrate financial need. Federal Work Study has to be awarded as part of your financial aid package.

How many hours can I work?
Santa Clara University allows student to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during school. You are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week during breaks.

Can I have more than one job on campus?
Yes, but the total number of hours allowed is the same whether you one or two jobs.

How will I be paid?
You are paid on an hourly rate which is usually the current federal minimum wage. This may be higher, depending on the type of work and skills.

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Student Loans

What is the Federal Direct Loan Program (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)?
The Federal Direct Loan program is one of the Federal Student Aid programs of the U.S. Department of Education, which provides students with a simple, convenient and flexible way to borrow money to pay for education after high school. Students do not borrow from banks.

The 2014-2015 interest rates for the Federal Direct Loan program is 4.66%, and 4.29% for the 2015-2016 academic aid year. Both subsidized Federal Direct Loan and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan allow you to defer payment until you graduate or drop below half-time status; you must be enrolled at least half-time status to qualify for this loan. The federal government pays the interest on your subsidized Federal Direct Loan while you are enrolled at least half-time and not in your grace period. You are responsible for paying the interest on an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan while you are enrolled, although you have the option to defer interest payments and add the interest to the principal of the loan at repayment.

What is the difference between Federal Direct Loan subsidized and unsubsidized loans?
The subsidized Federal Direct Loan is based on need, and the government pays the interest while the student is still enrolled at least at a half-time basis. The unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan is not need based, so it is available to students regardless of financial need. While the student is still in school the interest accrues and is capitalized, or added to the principal if the recipient chooses not to make payments upon the interest. However, students may request to make interest payments while still in school. Most students will begin repayment six months after leaving Santa Clara University or dropping below half-time.

How do I apply for the Federal Direct Loan?
You have already applied for this loan, if you completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. As a result, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education. Please keep the SAR for your records. We will receive your FAFSA information electronically from the U.S. Department of Education.

What is the Master Promissory Note?
The Master Promissory Note (MPN), the legal contract requiring borrowers to repay the loan, is similar to a line of credit that allows students to borrow up to the annual and aggregate limits specified in the loan program. The MPN is valid for up to ten years from the date you sign it, provided the first disbursement of this loan is made within twelve months of the signature.

What is the entrance counseling tutorial?
If you accept a Ford Federal Direct Loan, federal and institutional regulations require you to complete an entrance counseling tutorial, where you will learn important information about repayment, deferment, forbearance and cancellation. Students meet this requirement by completing the online the entrance counseling tutorial at

Can I borrow less on my Federal Direct Loan than the amount listed on the award letter?
Yes. You can borrow any amount, up to the amount listed on your award letter.

What are the interest rates on the Federal Direct Loan?
The 2014-2015 interest rates for the Federal Direct Loan program is 4.66%, and 4.29% for the 2015-2016 academic aid year.

I have loans on my financial aid award. When do I have to repay them?
After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you have six months before you begin repayment on the Federal Direct Loan. This is called a grace period. During the time you are your grace period, interest will be charged regardless in if the loan is subsidized or unsubsidized. You can either pay the interest or it will be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.

Where can I find information on my past loans?
To find the most-up-to-date information about your student loans, we recommend you visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, agencies that guarantee loans, the Direct Loan program, the Federal Pell Grant program and other U.S. Department of Education programs. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV Loans, TEACH Grants and Federal Pell Grants that are tracked through their entire cycle, from aid approval through closure. You will need your FSA ID to access this database.

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Parent Loans

What is a Federal Direct PLUS Loan?
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Federal Direct PLUS) was created by the federal government to help parents or stepparents pay for their dependent student's college costs. Federal Direct PLUS Loans require a credit check, but they are not based on family income/assets and parent borrowers can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives. Parent borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen in order to qualify for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. The student must be a dependent and enrolled at least half-time. Generally, if the student is under 24 years old, has no dependents, is not married or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, he or she is considered to be dependent. The 2014-2015 interest rate is 7.21%, and 6.84% for the 2015-2016 academic aid year. The parent borrower begins repayment within 60 days of the last disbursement. All lenders have forbearance options that will delay payment for up to 48 months while the student is in school.

How does my parent apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan?
Santa Clara University Financial Aid Office does not mail Federal Direct PLUS Loan application materials. Parent(s) need to apply online at

Do we need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to obtain a Federal Direct PLUS Loan?
Yes. The FAFSA must be completed to obtain a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, even if the family only wishes to obtain this loan. In addition, it is the custodial parent that is required to file the FAFSA with the student – regardless of which parent (custodial, non-custodial or step) wishes to obtain the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

What is a Master Promissory Note? And how do I sign the promissory note?
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note must be signed by the parent borrower prior to the school certification and prior to the disbursement of any loan funds to the student's account. The completion of the Master Promissory Note (MPN) is generally signed at the time the application is submitted and can be signed electronically during the application process.

Will my parent(s) need to complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan MPN every year that these funds are borrowed?
If the borrower applies for the loan each year, then the borrower only has to complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan MPN once – the first year these funds are borrowed for you. The borrower, however, must re-apply for a new loan every year.

How much will my parent(s) be eligible to borrow from the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program?
Assuming your parent (who is the Federal Direct PLUS Loan borrower) has a good credit history, s/he will be eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid for which you are eligible, including federal, state, private and University funds.

What options are there if my parent is denied the Federal Direct PLUS Loan?
If your parent is denied the Federal Direct PLUS Loan . . .

  • s/he can submit an appeal directly to the Direct Loan Department, or
  • re-apply for the loan using an endorser (co-signer), or

NOTE: You (the student) are eligible to borrow an additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan ($4,000 for grade level 1 & 2 ; $5,000 for grade level 3 and beyond). The Financial Aid Office must receive a written request from you (the student) if you would like to borrow the additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan.

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What is Verification and who gets selected for this process?
The U.S. Department of Education requires all institutions disbursing federal financial aid funds to verify the accuracy of the information students and their families submit as a basis for awarding aid. Santa Clara University complies with this mandate by participating in the Federal Quality Assurance program.

Each year, we randomly select a percentage of students receiving federal student aid funds for verification of some of the information on which their awards were based. If selected for verification, you will need to submit additional documents and verify information such as household size and number of family members enrolled in college. We reserve the right to request similar information for verification purposes for any student awarded aid. Information collected may result in changes to your financial aid award. Failure to comply with the request for this information will result in the cancellation of your financial aid funds.

I have received my SAR from the processor and it says that I have been selected for verification. What next?
Nothing now. However, you still may be selected by the Financial Aid Office to participate in the quality assurance sample. Therefore, you need to have all tax documentation for you and/or your parents available if requested.

Does Santa Clara University want my tax forms?
We do not require tax forms from everyone. After we receive your FAFSA, we may request additional information including tax forms. We will send this request to you in writing. Please remember to sign everything that you send to us. Please do not send anything unless we request it.

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General Questions

How is financial need determined?
Eligibility for most financial aid is contingent on your financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance and your expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is calculated from the information you supplied on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using a federally legislated formula used by post-secondary educational institutions across the nation.

Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution equals Financial Need

I do not think I will qualify for financial aid. Should I bother applying?
Yes. At the very least you will be able to borrow an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. In order to receive a Federal Direct Loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If your family's financial situation changes during the academic year, we can consider you for financial aid as long as we have a completed FAFSA on record.

I have been told that I will not qualify for financial aid if my parents earn more than $30,000. Is this true?
There is no income level at which a student will not qualify for financial aid. The need analysis procedure determines each student's financial need based upon a number of variables: income, family size, number in college, assets, etc. All students are urged to apply for financial aid for an accurate and professional evaluation, regardless of parents' income level, because income is only one consideration. At the very least, every student who files a FAFSA is eligible for an unsubsidized William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan.

Am I qualified to apply for financial aid?
Everyone who meets the following requirements may apply with the FAFSA form:

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • be registered with Selective Service (if required)
  • be enrolled in an eligible program
  • be making satisfactory academic progress
  • not owe a refund on a Federal grant or be in default on Federal educational loan

Is it too late to apply for financial aid?
Probably not. First completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial aid can be calculated and awarded to students once we receive the FAFSA data. We would encourage you to review our priority application deadlines for Santa Clara University's financial aid programs.

What are the school codes for Santa Clara University?
The Federal School Code (FAFSA) for Santa Clara University is 001326. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Code is 4851.

My parents do not claim me on their tax return nor do they give me money. Can I file my financial aid application as "Independent"?
According to federal regulations, you must answer "YES" to one of the following questions to be considered "Independent" for financial aid purposes during the 2015-2016 academic year, you must answer "YES" to one of the following questions:

  • are you 24 years old
  • are you working on a master's or doctorate degree or graduate certificate
  • are you married as of the date you complete the FAFSA
  • do you have children who receive more than half their support from you
  • do you have dependents other than your spouse or children who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you
  • did you have no living parents (biological or adoptive) when you were age 13, even if you are now adopted
  • are you or were you in foster care or a ward or dependent of the court at any time when you were 13 or older (even if you are not anymore)
  • are you an emancipated minor or are in legal guardianship as determined by the court in your state of legal residence
  • are you a self-supporting unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or have you attended a service academy and were released under a condition other than dishonorable
  • are you currently servicing on active duty (other than training) in the U.S. Armed Forces

If you do not meet any of these conditions, you are considered a dependent. Undergraduates cannot declare themselves independent of their parents due to family disagreement, living arrangements, or parental unwillingness to contribute to the cost of attendance. If you have further questions, please contact our office.

Do I need to re-apply for financial aid every year?
Yes. To re-apply for financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority deadline to re-apply for financial aid is March 2.

How do I pay the difference between my estimated cost of attendance and my financial aid?
Families have several options to assist with their costs. Parents of dependent students can borrow from the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program. Students also have the option of applying for a private loan (as long as they have a credit-worthy co-signer). Parents/students may also consider the University's payment plan, for more information contact the Bursar's Office.

What if I need an extra quarter of aid?
Santa Clara University students are only eligible for the equivalent of four years of Santa Clara University funding.

What if my family's financial situation changes?
If there are significant changes to your family's financial circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

May I appeal the award offer?
Santa Clara University does not hold either need-based or merit-based scholarships or grant funds in reserve for appeals. All available funds are offered at the time of initial award. Very few appeal requests are granted. To be considered for appeal funding there must have been a significant change in your family circumstances since the time you filed your FAFSA that caused your demonstrated financial need to change. The change in family circumstances must be documented (e.g., ongoing unemployment or excessive medical expenses not covered by insurance). Santa Clara University will not grant an appeal on the basis of a higher award offer from another school. If you choose to submit an appeal request based on changed circumstances, it will be reviewed once all proper supporting documentation is received and, if additional funds are available, you will be notified as soon as possible.

What happens to my financial aid eligibility if I get married?
You will not necessarily receive more financial assistance if you get married. According to federal regulations, you are still dependent on your parents for the academic year if you get married after you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Dependency status cannot be updated based on marriage until the following academic year. If you are married prior to filing the FAFSA, you will be considered an independent student for federal financial aid. This means that your parents will not need to provide financial information on the FAFSA; they also will not have to sign your application.

When is financial aid disbursed?
Scholarships and/or Grants are disbursed to your student account at the beginning of each quarter. Federal Loans (Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans and/or Federal PLUS Loan) are disbursed to your student account once you and/or your parent has completed and signed the Master Promissory Note (MPN) as well as completed the entrance counseling tutorial. Parents do not have to complete an entrance counseling tutorial for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

Federal Work Study recipients receive payment in the form of a bi-weekly paycheck, once you are employed. Your earnings from the Federal Work Study program depend on your hours worked and rate of pay.

When will I receive my student loan refund check?
After all the paperwork has been completed for your student loans, two things need to happen before you will receive your refund check. First, the Financial Aid Office must receive money from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Once the Financial Aid Office has received your funds, we will disburse the funds to the Bursar's Office so the funds are credited to your student account. A refund check will be issued to you from the Bursar's Office if you aid exceeds the amount billed by the University.

What does it mean to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Federal guidelines require that students receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory progress towards their degree. In general, satisfactory progress regulations mirror the University's continuance standards.

How does academic load relate to financial aid?
Undergraduate students must enroll for at least twelve academic credit hours per quarter to receive aid as a full-time student. Aid recipients wishing to be less than full-time should consult with the Financial Aid Office.

How does the Financial Aid Office communicate to students?
The Financial Aid will communicate with students through a variety of formats. Information that is sent to students from the University via their campus mail box, local address or their Santa Clara University e-mail address is considered official communication and should be treated as such. Students are asked to check their campus mailbox and their Santa Clara University e-mail account on a daily basis, and are responsible for reading and responding to the information they receive from the University.

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