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Awarding and Eligibility Process

The Financial Aid Award Notification Letter lists the types and amounts of financial aid that you are eligible to receive for the entire academic year. Students will receive a Financial Aid Award Notification once all of the required documents are submitted..

Notification & Missing Information

Vulcan Information Portal

The majority of the financial aid correspondence, notifications and updates are handled via your assigned Cal U Email Account and the Vulcan Information Portal (VIP).  It is important that you sign in and check both of these on a regular basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cal U Email Account

An e-mail account is provided for your use for instructional purposes. Your University account will be your last name. In cases where two or more University employees have the same last name, the account will be in the following format: LastName_firstinitial (smith_j). You can access your e-mail on campus by using Microsoft Office Outlook. You can access your e-mail off-campus by using a web browser and connecting to: https://owamail.calu.edu. If you need assistance in setting up your e-mail, contact the UTech Help Desk via email or call x5911.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Vulcan Information Portal (VIP)

Log in to the Vulcan Information Portal VIP.

How to log in to Vulcan Information Portal VIP.

The Vulcan Information Portal, or VIP, offers easy access to the information Cal U students, faculty and staff need most.Your Vulcan Information Portal is where you will find access to your financial aid and student account information at all times. To access this account, go to https://vip.calu.edu/cp/home/displaylogin and click on the VIP icon in the main menu on the left. Your user name is the first 3 letters and 4 numbers from your university assigned email account.  The Password is the same password that you will use to log into your email. If you have difficulty with this please contact our Help Desk at 724-938-5911.

Look for the VIP logo on the Cal U homepage.

Members of the Cal U community access VIP with a single username and password. Once they have entered VIP:

  • Students can access the Desire2Learn (D2L) online learning system and their campus e-mail account, plus registration tools, class schedules, grades, financial aid and billing information.
  • Faculty can access D2L, campus e-mail, schedules, grades and the Employee Self-Serve (ESS) portal.
  • Staff can access the ESS portal to check pay stubs and leave balances.
  • Everyone can read Cal U news and sports information, the Cal Times student newspaper and the Word of the Day. Students and faculty can customize the layout of their VIP view.

VIP is part of Banner, the world’s most widely used administration suite of applications for higher education. In addition to housing the user-friendly portal, the Banner administrative suite offers enhanced reporting and data analysis capabilities.

Missing Information and Document Notification

You may be required to submit additional documents to finalize your FAFSA and financial aid requirements.  You will be able to review your missed documents on the Vulcan Information Portal (VIP) at vip.calu.edu. We send monthly email reminders until all missing documents are resolved and complete. 

 

Award Letter Notification

Students that apply for Summer Financial Aid will begin receiving Financial Aid Award notifications in late May/early April via the Cal U VIP (Vulcan Information Portal).

Financial Aid Award Letters for first time Freshmen, first time Graduate and Transfer students beginning in the fall term will be mailed to the student's permanent address in late February/early March.

Returning Fall Undergraduate and Graduate students will begin receiving their Financial Aid Award notifications in early June via the Cal U VIP (Vulcan Information Portal).

We encourage you to continually monitor your Financial Aid award(s) on our Cal U VIP (Vulcan Information Portal). Here you can view the most current information regarding your awards and any changes that may have been made to them.  First time Freshmen will obtain access from the Office of Admissions shortly after being accepted. The information included within your Financial Aid Award Package, mailed to your permanent address, is the same as the information available on VIP.

The financial aid award package will be listed under the FINANCIAL AID TAB once you log into VIP.  Click on AWARD SUMMARY and 13-14 AWARD YEAR to see how much you have been awarded for the year.  The aid is already accepted for you so there is nothing to do to accept the awards through the school. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you wish to adjust or cancel an award you must fill out the Student Loan Adjustment Form found in the Financial Aid Forms list at this link and send it to the Financial Aid Office. 

If you log into your account and don’t see an award package please be sure to check the REQUIREMENTS to see if there are additional documents that are needed before we can process aid. 

Eligibility

General Financial Aid Requirements

Source: http://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/basic-criteria

Our general eligibility requirements are that you must

  • demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
  • sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM) stating that
    • you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
    • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
  • show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by
    • having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or
    • completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law.

Awarding Policy

Financial Aid Awarding Policy

Please be aware that we reserve the right to adjust your Financial Aid Award Package at any time should we receive additional information that changes your original eligibility. Your aid package may be adjusted due to change in registration, grade level, verification, or state/federal legislation.

All awards are based on full-time enrollment (12 credits undergraduate/9 credits graduate). If you attend less than full-time, your aid package will be adjusted based on your credits enrolled. If you are less than half time (6 credits undergraduate/ 5 credits graduate) you will not be eligible for any state and most federal aid including student loans. In limited instances, based on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), undergraduate students may be eligible for a small portion of their Federal Pell Grant. If you are a graduate student, you must be enrolled in at least 5 graduate level credits in order to receive your federal student aid. Graduate students cannot receive federal aid for undergraduate courses.

  • Financial Aid is awarded on a rolling basis until the end of the academic year.
  • We post recommended deadlines on the website to ensure students receive state and institutional funding.
  • The funding is awarded on a first come first serve basis as per defined eligibility requirements and based on federal need.
  • We require the FAFSA submission and any other additional institutional forms.
  • Financial Aid Award Letters for first time freshmen and transfer students are mailed to the student's permanent address in late February/early March.
  • Returning undergraduate and graduate students receive their Financial Aid Award notifications in early June via the Cal U VIP (Vulcan Information Portal).
  • Students that apply for Summer Financial Aid receive Financial Aid Award notifications in late March/early April via the Cal U VIP (Vulcan Information Portal).
  • Awards for incoming students are processed as estimates without all documents submitted. Upper-class students are not awarded financial aid until the student's file is complete.
  • Disbursement does not occur until all files are complete; enrollment period is at least part time; courses have officially started; and initially not until after each term add/drop period.
  • Aid is awarded full time and disburses as per credits registered at time of disbursement.
  • After the fall and spring term add/drop period and disbursement, aid is not adjusted upward or downward unless student fully withdraws from the term.

Programs Eligible for Financial Aid

The following programs are eligible for federal financial aid at Cal U:

  • Associate degree programs
  • Bachelor's degree programs
  • Master's degree programs

Cal U also offers limited graduate or professional programs that do not lead to a post-baccalaureate degree, are at least 10 weeks, provide at least 12 credit hours on instruction, and prepare students for gainful employment in a recoginized occupation.

The list of these approved programs on the Department of Education Program Participation Agreement (PPA) are listed below. Please refer to the individual departmental website to obtain disclosure and gainful employment information.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate
  • Counselor Education Certificate
  • ESHP - Wellness & Fittness
  • Exercise Science Health Promotion - Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Exercise Science Health Promotion - Performance Enhancement & Injury Prevention
  • Exercise Science Health Promotion - Sport Psychology
  • Land Management
  • Principals Certification
  • School Counseling Certification Only
  • School Psychology Certification Only
  • Sport MGT: IAA -PB Certificate-PB Certificate
  • Sports Counseling Certificate
  • Superintendent Letter of Eligibility

NOTE: NON-DEGREE PROGRAMS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL AID.

Definition of Enrollment Status & Financial Aid Eligibility

All awards are based on full-time enrollment (12 credits undergraduate/9 credits graduate). If you attend less than full-time, your aid package will be adjusted based on your credits enrolled. If you are less than half time (6 credits undergraduate/ 5 credits graduate) you will not be eligible for any state and most federal aid including student loans. In limited instances, based on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), undergraduate students may be eligible for a small portion of their Federal Pell Grant. If you are a graduate student, you must be enrolled in at least 5 graduate level credits in order to receive your federal student aid. Graduate students cannot receive federal aid for undergraduate courses. 

Federal regulations and Cal U guidelines require students to be attending at least 6 credits before any financial aid money can be disbursed. In addition, all federal and state financial aid programs specify minimum enrollment requirements in order for a student to receive any (maximum or partial) assistance. These requirements are broken into four enrollment classifications: full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time and less-than-half-time. The chart below indicates the number of credits used to determine a student's enrollment status.

Definition of Enrollment Status

Enrollment Status

Undergraduate

Graduate

Full-Time

12 Credits or more

9 Credits or more

Three-Quarter Time

9 to 11 Credits

7 to 8 Credits

Half-Time

6 to 8 Credits

5 to 6 Credits

Less than Half-Time

Less than 6 Credits

Less than 5 Credits

Half and Three-Quarter Time:

  • Students that are half and three-quarter time receive the same cost of attendance as the standard full time student with the exception of actual tuition and fees charged to the student account. This typically only impacts loan borrowing eligibility. Review your student Vulcan Information Portal account for your specific cost of attendance information.

Less than Half Time:

  • Students that are less than half time are typically not eligible for financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

You must meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements in order to be eligible for financial aid.

Adjustments

Adjustments to Aid (Over awards)

Federal, Institutional and State financial aid recipients may not receive funds in excess of financial need and/or the cost of attendance. This may occur when students receive funds from other sources or agencies. When an overaward occurs, the Cal U Financial Aid Office is required to adjust the student's financial aid. A student may be required to repay funds due to the loss of eligibility. To prevent an overaward, notify the Financial Aid Office of any assistance you receive that is not listed on your award letter. Examples of other aid include outside scholarships, military benefits, and Vocational Rehabilitation benefits.

California University reserves the right to review, revise or cancel a financial aid award at any time if any of these situations exist:

  • There is a change in your enrollment status at California University and/or a change in your financial aid eligibility.
  • You fail to comply with policies, procedures or laws pertaining to these programs.
  • There is a change in the availability of federal, state and University funds for each program. You will be notified of any revision and/or cancellation.

Students who fail to meet the financial aid requirements may be required to repay all or a portion of the assistance used during any affected semester(s).

Tuition Remission

Tuition Remission is a type of employee benefit available to qualified students.

Non-taxed tuition remission is counted as a financial aid resource. 

For additional information and to apply for Cal U employees go to: http://www.calu.edu/faculty-staff/hr/index.htm.

Graduate Assistantships

A graduate assistantship (GA) is a type of stipend available to qualified students.

Non-taxed graduate assistantships are counted as a financial aid resource. 

For additional information and to apply go to: https://www.calu.edu/prospective/graduate/graduate-assistantships/index.htm.

Change in Registration- Adding/Dropping Courses & Withdrawal from University

You can find the Procedures to Withdraw from a Class or the University online at http://www.calu.edu/current-students/records/withdraws/index.htm.

Review the federal financial aid policy and overall eligibility impact: http://www.calu.edu/current-students/records/_files/Financial%20Aid%20Withdrawal%20Info%20-%20Web%20Page.pdf.

All academic policies including the university policy on adding/dropping courses can be found online at: http://www.calu.edu/academics/academic-affairs/academic-policies/index.htm.

Adding, dropping or withdrawing from classes should not be taken lightly. Financial aid funds are intended to assist students in completing coursework.

Aid recipients are therefore subject to refund and repayment obligations that may differ from university withdrawal policies.

It is imperative that you consult the Cal U Financial Aid Office before making an adjustmentment to your registration after the add/drop period each term.

Change of Major (Switching Between Online and Residential)

All academic policies including the university policy on change of major can be found online at: http://www.calu.edu/academics/academic-affairs/academic-policies/index.htm.

It is imperative to consult the Financial Aid Office to understand your financial aid eligibility before proceeding with a change of major. A delay in graduating can negatively impact your financial aid Satisfactory Academic Policy status.

Changing your Major to Global Online will decrease your financial aid eligibility. You may have to return current student accounts refunds. Contact the Financial Aid Office immediately for details.

Dual Enrollment

Are you attending another school at the same time as Cal U? If you are, then you are considered to be a “dually enrolled” student and must notify the Financial Aid Office of each school that you are attending. When dually enrolled, you may only receive aid from one school and it will be coordinated and administered according to federal, state and institutional requirements.

Dual enrollment happens when you are enrolled at two institutions during the same enrollment period. If you enroll at Cal U and at another institution during the same semester, the class(es) you are taking at the other school could be counted as part of your total academic enrollment and thus be eligible for financial aid.

Cal U is considered your "home school" if you are working towards a degree from UW Oshkosh. The other school is considered your "host school". You can only receive financial aid from one school during the same enrollment period. It is usually your home school who will process your financial aid. The class(es) you are taking at the host school must transfer back in to your academic record at UW Oshkosh. The class(es) must also count towards your degree at UW Oshkosh. You will need to work with an academic adviser to ensure that the course(es) you take is/are accepted by the University.

In order to receive financial aid while dually enrolled you need to do the following:

  1. File the FAFSA.

  2. Fill out a consortium agreement. Send it to the other school and ask them to return to the Cal U Financial Aid Office.

  3. You must enroll in a minimum of 3 credits at Cal U.

Graduate Students Taking Undergraduate Coursework

Below is how graduate students with undergraduate courses are eligible for federal financial aid when proceeding in this manner:

  •  As a graduate student you must register for a minimum of 5 graduate credits. (This is typical at Cal U and should be kept in mind when registering each term.)
  • Your department can accept students in a post baccalaureate program while taking prerequisite courses and when complete then accept you into the graduate program.  Undergraduate loan levels apply to the post baccalaureate program. (Does not typically occur at Cal U but your department can decide to proceed in this manner.) 

Repeat Coursework

Regulatory changes on Repeat Coursework went into effect on July 1, 2011.

34CFR Section 668.2

  • An institution can pay a student for only one retake of any previously passed course or its' equivalency.
  • An institution can pay a student when repeating a course (of its' equivalency) an infinite number of times if all previous attempts were failures.
  • An institution cannot pay a student for any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework.

Second Bachelor's Degree

If you already have one Bachelors Degree and are pursuing a second undergraduate degree, you may apply for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a Perkins Loan, or Work-Study, and if still dependent, the Parent PLUS Loan. Grant programs are no longer available to someone who has already received an undergraduate degree. To receive a Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, or Work-Study, you must actually be receiving a second degree; you can't be enrolled to add other courses or a different field of study, etc., to your transcript credentials without completing a second degree.

Disbursement and Refund

Disbursement of Aid

Financial aid disburses after the end of the drop/add period.  For the fall and spring semesters, it is usually the Wednesday after the first week of classes.  For the summer semesters, it is usually the Friday after the first day of classes.  Financial aid will only disburse if all requirements have been completed by the student.  After aid has disbursed, the Bursar’s office will begin processing refunds.  This usually happens about a week to ten days after disbursement.  The refund checks will either be mailed to the student’s address or deposited into the student’s checking account, based on what the student has chosen.

Revisions, Cancellations and Payments

California University reserves the right to review, revise or cancel a financial aid award at any time if any of these situations exist:

  • There is a change in your enrollment status at California University and/or a change in your financial aid eligibility.
  • You fail to comply with policies, procedures or laws pertaining to these programs.
  • There is a change in the availability of federal, state and University funds for each program. You will be notified of any revision and/or cancellation.

Students who fail to meet the financial aid requirements may be required to repay all or a portion of the assistance used during any affected semester(s).

Before you withdraw from the University, review the Return of Title IV Federal Aid and University Refund Policies for more information.

Census Date, Disbursement & Refunds

Census Date

  • Financial Aid is awarded full time and disburses as per credits registered at the time of disbursement.
  • During the summer term, financial aid adjusts downward and upward as per the credits registered that term.
  • During the fall and spring term, a census date after the add/drop period is complete is then selected each term and the financial aid does not adjust downward nor upward.
  • Late start credits are not counted as eligible for financial aid until the course begins.

Disbursement

  • Financial Aid disbursement begins shortly after the add/drop period each term.

Refund Checks

Once financial aid is disbursed to your student account, financial aid that exceeds the amount the student owes to the University for direct costs will be disbursed to the student in the form of a refund check to cover non-institutional educational costs such as books and supplies, off-campus housing and transportation.

To sign up for E-PAY and E-REFUND or for additional billing and refund check information please reference the Bursar's Office contact information below.

Bursar's Office

California University of PA
250 University Avenue
California, PA  15419

724.938.4431 phone
724.938.5983 fax

e-mail: cupbursars@calu.edu

Office Hours:

Mon, Wed-Friday 8:00AM-4:00PM
Tuesday: 9:00AM-4:00PM

Note:  Your student financial aid disbursement and refund check could be delayed if you meet one or more of the following: your federal and/or state aid has not been finalized, your Master Promissory Note (MPN) was filed late, and/or your MPN or Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is delayed at AES/PHEAA and/or federal processor due to missing or incorrect information.

Quicklinks

Tuition & Fees

Types of Financial Aid

Contact Information

School Code:

003316

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Address: 

California University of PA
250 University Avenue
California, PA  15419

Email:

finaid@calu.edu

Phone: (724) 938-4415

Fax: (724) 938-4551

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