Frequently Asked Questions
Financial Aid FAQ
How do I apply for loans and grants?
The FAFSA is your application for both the federal Pell Grant (for undergraduate students only) and the federal Stafford loans (for both undergraduate and graduate).
Which FAFSA should I file?
Fall `11/Spring `12 Starts – 2011-2012 FAFSA
Summer ‘12 Start – 2012-2013 FAFSA
Fall `12/Spring `13 Starts – 2012-2013 FAFSA
Summer `13 Start – 2013-2014 FAFSA
Fall ’13 /Spring ‘14 Start – 2013-2014 FAFSA
What if I have already filled one of these out at a different school?
If you did not originally include California University of PA as one of your school choices on your FAFSA you must add us to your record by adding our school code to your FAFSA. You will need your PIN number to make any changes. Our school code is 003316. Please go to www.FAFSA.ed.gov to do this.
When will you get my FAFSA?
We pull FAFSA’s into our system daily; however we are not able to review them and process financial aid for you until you have been fully accepted into a Global Online program.
Do I need to fill out the Summer Stafford Loan Application each semester?
No, the Summer Financial Aid Application is no longer needed for summer aid. If you are enrolled in summer classes at the time we receive your FAFSA our system will check for this and process financial aid for you including the summer semester. If you enroll for summer after we receive your FAFSA we will go back and reprocess your aid once you enroll.
Do summer loans affect my eligibility for loans in the spring and fall?
Yes, borrowing money in the summer does affect how much you are eligible for in the Stafford loan in the fall and spring. If you are enrolled in summer classes at the time we receive your FAFSA we will process financial aid for you based on assumed enrollment for summer, fall, and spring. If you will be enrolled for summer only, or for summer and fall only then you will need to print the Summer Stafford Loan Adjustment form found on the Financial Aid Forms list and send that in so that we can adjust your aid. Your aid is awarded based on how many semesters you are enrolled in and the total is divided between the number of semesters also. For example: students enrolled for summer, fall, and spring will have the total aid eligibility divided between 3 semesters. Students enrolled for summer and fall will be divided into two disbursements, etc.
What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans?
The subsidized Stafford loan means that the government subsidizes the interest until you have begun repayment 6 months after you graduate. The unsubsidized Stafford loan starts accruing interest upon disbursement. You can choose to pay the interest while you are in school when you fill out the Master Promissory Note. PLEASE NOTE: the government has eliminated subsidized Stafford loans for all Graduate students beginning July 1, 2012. All Stafford loans for Graduate students will be unsubsidized.
Am I eligible for Scholarships?
Unfortunately, Global Online students do not qualify for any of the scholarships offered directly through Cal U. You are free to research outside scholarships and apply for any that you may qualify for. If you are approved for an outside scholarship you will need to act as the liaison between the awarding institution and the school to be sure any required paperwork is completed.
How do I know if I have been awarded any financial aid for the semester?
Once your financial aid has been processed, you will be able to view your awards on your Vulcan Information Portal. You should receive an email to your student email account notifying you when your aid is available for viewing on your VIP account.
How do I accept my awards?
Your awards are automatically accepted for you since your FAFSA is your application for both grants and student loans. There is nothing you need to do to accept your award package on your VIP account.
What if I don’t want all of the aid that is awarded to me?
If you wish to lower or cancel your award package you will need to print the Stafford Loan Adjustment form from the Financial Aid Forms list and send it in. Please be sure to fax it to the Global Online fax number on the form to ensure the fastest processing time. Also please note that if your aid has already been disbursed you are not able to adjust it with this form. You will need to send back the refund check with a request to have it returned to the lender or reduced.
Is there anything that I need to complete outside of the school documents?
Yes, you will need to go to www.studentloans.gov (Direct Lending) to compete both the Stafford Master Promissory Note and Stafford Online Entrance Interview through the lender. Once you do this through their site they will send us notification that they are done and it will update your VIP requirements to show them as satisfied.
What PIN number do I use to sign my Master Promissory Note?
The same 4 digit PIN number that you used to electronically sign your FAFSA is the one that you would use to electronically sign your Master Promissory Note.
How do I use financial aid to pay for books?
There is an allowance built into your budget for books and supplies. The only way to use financial aid to directly pay for books is to purchase them through the Cal U online Bookstore during the dates they determine before the start of the semester. Usually this includes the 2 weeks before the start of the semester and the first week of classes. There is a bookstore authorization form you will need to fill out that they will use to confirm that you have financial aid to pay for the books. If approved, you can charge your book purchases towards your bill so that when the financial aid disburses the bookstore will be paid before a refund check is sent to you.
If your books are not available on the Cal U Online Bookstore or you choose to purchase them through another venue (such as Specialty Books) you will be responsible for your purchase on your own. You will receive a refund check as reimbursement after the loans are disbursed to the school if you were awarded more aid than you need for tuition and fees.
What is my disbursement date?
Your disbursement date is typically during the first week of classes each semester. However, it may vary according to your schedule and how late your financial aid was scheduled. We are not permitted to accept any loan money for you unless you have reached your minimum credit hour requirement (6 credits for undergrads and 5 for grads). If you are only scheduled to take 6 credits, 3 in session 1 and 3 in session 2, we cannot accept the loan funds until you have started the credits in semester session 2.
When do summer Pell grants disburse?
Pell grants disburse based on the credits you are currently taking. If you are taking 2 classes in the first session and 2 classes in the 2nd session you will receive half of your grant at the start of the 1st session and the remaining half at the start of the 2nd session. We do this to make sure you stay enrolled in the 2nd session classes that you are required to take to qualify for the grant.
In the summer semester, Pell grants will not disburse until after July 1st because that is the beginning of the new award year.
How do I get a refund check?
If your aid is more than your bill for the semester you are entitled to a refund check. Your financial aid loans are disbursed directly to the school. Once the loan has been disbursed to the school the bursar’s office has 14 days from the date the money is posted to your account to send the refund check to you. Your check will be mailed to the billing address on file.
How do I know if the awards are enough to cover my bill?
You can view your bill on your Vulcan Information Portal under the Billing Information tab as well as your award information under the financial Aid tab to determine if your aid covers your costs. Simply subtract the awarded aid package from the total of your bill and this will tell you if you have enough to cover your bill and if you will receive a refund check.
How do I log into my VIP account to view my bill?
To access your Vulcan Information Portal go to the Cal U homepage and click on the VIP icon on the left. Your login is the first part of your student email address and your password is the same password as your email.
Can I receive tuition assistance and financial aid?
Yes, you can receive both however please remember that if your federal aid has already been processed up to your Cost of Attendance Budget and we receive an additional aid source such as TA we will be required to reduce the federal loans to keep you under your COA. If your aid has already been disbursed and a refund check has been mailed you may owe back a portion of that refund check for the semester. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict this before the refund check is mailed because most often we don’t receive the TA information until the loans have already been disbursed. We will notify you if you owe back money as soon as possible. This also includes Military benefits.