Award Notification & Disbursement
How will you know if you have received the financial aid you requested? When can you expect the funds to go into your account? What will your bill look like? You probably have a lot of questions about award notification and disbursement. Here's everything you need to know.
Notification & Disbursement
Financial Aid Award Letters for first time Freshmen will be mailed to the student's permanent address in late March.
New transfer students and returning undergraduate and graduate students will begin to receive their Financial Aid Award notification in early June.
Students that apply for Summer Financial Aid will begin to receive Financial Aid Award notification in early May.
If you have not been accepted and/or your FAFSA has not been received at the point the awarding process begins, our office will send you an award notification as your file becomes complete.
Note: Only accepted students receive award notifications.
Upper class award notifications will be sent once we have received the results of your FAFSA and have determined that you are making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes (typically starting mid-May).
Understanding your Financial Aid Awards
Estimated Awards: The "estimated" award(s) that are listed on the award offer are based on the information available to us at this time. These awards are not final. Listed below is specific information on finalizing these estimated awards.
Federal Pell Grant: If your award offer includes an "estimated" Pell Grant, it will not be finalized until our office has completed the verification of your FAFSA information.
Federal Stafford Loan: If you check either "student loans "or "both work-study and student loans" to question # 31, an estimated Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan will be listed on your award letter. However, your Stafford Loan eligibility cannot exceed the maximum allowed per year for your grade level. Furthermore, your total financial aid (including Stafford Loans) cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
Finalizing Your Stafford Loan: A pre-certified Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) will be sent by AES/ PHEAA to all new Stafford Loan borrowers who accept all or a portion of their Stafford Loan estimate(s) listed on the enclosed award letter and the web. Previous Stafford Loan borrowers who accept all or a portion of their loan estimate(s) will receive a Loan Disclosure Statement indicating the amount of their accepted awards. See Stafford Loan Application Process for additional information.
Final Awards: The awards that are not listed as an estimate are final awards based on information available to us at this time. However, special circumstances including changes to family income data or additional awards from agencies/donors (other than California University) at a later time may require an adjustment to your award(s).
Your Total Financial Aid Package: Your total financial aid package equals your estimated award(s) plus the actual awards(s), and is based on information available to us at this time. The award(s) listed on your award notice is based on full-time enrollment and is prorated over the appropriate semester(s) of attendance. If you will be enrolled less than full-time, your awards may be adjusted.
Accepting/Declining Your Award: If you are accepting the award package as offered, no further action is necessary. However, if you were awarded a Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study and/or Federal SEOG for the academic year and wish to decline any of these awards, log on to the Vulcan Information Portal to decline the award(s).
Reducing and/or Canceling Your Stafford Loan: If you wish to reduce and/or cancel the amount of your Estimated Federal Stafford Loan(s), you must complete and return the Stafford Loan Adjustment Form to the Financial Aid Office.
Miscellaneous Grants and Scholarships: When you receive your award letter, most miscellaneous grants/scholarships (OVR, JTPA BCOA, athletic grant-in-aid, and private scholarships) will not have been finalized for the academic year. Therefore, these awards will not appear on your award letter. Notify the Financial Aid Office if you will be receiving a private grant/scholarship award(s) during the academic year. Federal regulations require our office to monitor all financial aid, including private scholarships and grants, received by a student in order to insure that a student's total financial aid package does not exceed the student's demonstrated financial need and/or total cost of attendance at California University of Pennsylvania.
Disbursement of Aid
In order to finalize your financial aid award(s), the Financial Aid office must have received all requested forms, completed verification, verified enrollment and reviewed your default status. When this is completed, we will credit your semester award amount(s) to your account. This typically occurs beginning the second week of the semester. Federal Stafford Loans and Federal College Work-Study awards will be credited at a later date, once loan proceeds have been received and all other eligibility criteria have been satisfied. Federal College Work-Study funds are disbursed bi-weekly to the student in the form of a payroll check based on the number of hours worked during the pay period.
Covering Direct/Indirect Costs
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. These refunds will be available starting the second week of the semester if you have satisfied the eligibility requirements for each award.
Note: Even though refund checks will be available starting the third week of the semester, your student financial aid 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.
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).
Your Billing Statement
Fall billing statements are usually mailed in July, with payment due by the end of the second week of August. Make sure your balance owed to the University, if applicable, is received in the Bursar's Office by the due date indicated on your billing statement.
Financial Aid and Your Billing Statement
Financial aid awards that have been finalized or received by the Financial Aid Office by the billing date will be reflected on the bill you receive. If you are anticipating other financial assistance not listed on your billing statement, such as a late private scholarship, you will need to submit to the Bursar's Office official documentation of the award. This award may be deducted from the total balance due to the University.
If you are a Federal Stafford Loan applicant and you intend to accept all or a portion of your Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan estimate listed on the enclosed award letter, then your billing statement will reflect the amount that you have accepted. However, if your billing statement does not list an Estimated Stafford Loan and you intend on borrowing under the Federal Stafford Loan program, contact the Financial Aid Office. Our office will assist you in securing a Stafford Loan for the award year.
University Payment Plan
Payment is due in full by the specified due date unless you select a University-approved payment plan. There are several payment plan options available each semester to assist students and families in meeting their financial obligation to the University. These plans enable you to pay your costs on a monthly basis. If you choose one of the University's payment plans, you will be required to remit the payment plan fee and first payment installment by the due date. You will receive additional information regarding payment plan options when you receive your billing statement for the upcoming semester.
For more information, contact our Bursar's Office at 724-938-4431.