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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for financial aid?

What is Coastal's Federal School Code?

Answer : 003451

What occurs after I complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid?

Answer : Financial Aid & Scholarships will receive the results electronically (provided you included our school code on the FAFSA and have applied for Admission to the university). Once our office receives the results of your FAFSA application, we will begin to communicate with you. If your application is complete, you will be awarded all available eligible aid and an email notification will be sent to your student Coastal email account. You may view your awards via WebAdvisor and print an award letter. All email notifications are sent to your student Coastal email address.
If your FAFSA application is incomplete, we may need to clarify the information you provided on the FAFSA, and/or correct any inconsistencies. Our first means of communication will be to mail a Missing Information Letter to your permanent postal mailing address. If requested documents are not received within 30 days, our next method of communication will be through your Coastal email address. We will continue to send email requests two additional times, every 30 days.

You may check the status of your Financial Aid application on WebAdvisor. Simply log on with your Coastal Username and PIN, find the Financial Aid banner and click on the appropriate link. To determine if you have missing documents, click on My Documents, under the Communication banner.

If you submit documents to our office and it is necessary for us to return those documents to you for signatures, missing information, or we need to clarify some other information you provided, regular U. S. Postal Service (snail mail) will be utilized.

What if I am selected for the verification process by the Federal government?

Answer : The Department of Education randomly selects students for a process called verification. If you are selected for verification, our office will mail a letter to your permanent address requesting specific information that is required in order for our office to verify information submitted on the FAFSA. The information requested may include copies of the student's and parent's IRS Tax Return Transcript, all W2's and a verification worksheet to verify household size and certain untaxed income (also available online). This paper letter will be mailed only once. All subsequent correspondence will be sent via the student's Coastal email. Please submit the requested information as soon as possible in order to be considered for the best financial aid award package. Be sure to sign all tax forms and the worksheet.

How do I apply for a FAFSA PIN?

Answer : Visit www.pin.ed.gov. Remember, both the student and one parent (if applicable) needs to apply. A FAFSA PIN is an electronic signature given to an individual to use when signing the FAFSA, making corrections to the FAFSA and signing federal loan promissory notes. Please keep your PIN numbers available for subsequent years.

You can request a duplicate and/or make corrections to an address by going online to www.pin.ed.gov.

How does the Department of Education come up with my “Expected Family Contribution (EFC)”?

Answer : Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number that is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The EFC formula uses many variables, including income, assets, the number of persons in the household, and the number of persons in the household who are attending college for the award year. The EFC is not the amount of money that your family must provide. Rather, you should think of the EFC as an index that colleges use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend their school.

How was my financial aid determined?

Answer : This section describes the process whereby campus based and other federal financial aid funds are awarded. The process is first used for students who have met the March 1 priority deadline and whose applications are among those found to be complete at the time awarding has begun. Initial awarding is run in March including both federal and state funds to early applicants. We continue to award weekly. Both federal and state funds may be limited therefore we cannot guarantee funds even if a student shows eligibility. The first step in awarding financial aid is identifying any scholarship or Federal Pell Grant eligibility that may be scheduled and any outside aid source known or anticipated, of which we have knowledge. We attempt to estimate all sources of assistance you are likely to receive and use those resources when determining eligibility for all types of federal and state financial aid.

The second step will be to award Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) up to a maximum of $1,500 to students who have Federal Pell Grant eligibility and the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This review continues until FSEOG funds are completely expended. Historically, FSEOG funds are awarded very quickly and only to students who have met the priority deadline.

Next, our system will consider full-time undergraduate South Carolina residents and award State Need-Based Grants (SCNB) to students who meet established program requirements. You must have unmet need, maintain a 2.0 GPA and earn at least 24 hours per academic year to be eligible. The Commission on Higher Education determines the amount of State Need-Based Grant funds for CCU, and funding is limited.

The fourth step awards the base amount of Federal Direct Stafford Loan eligibility (subsidized and unsubsidized) up to the unmet need or the annual program maximums. If eligibility remains after this step, you will be considered for the Federal Perkins Loan and/ or Federal Work-Study funds according to the preferences indicated on your FAFSA. Awards can range up to a maximum of $2000 for Perkins and $3000 for Work- Study or up to your remaining financial eligibility. Perkins Loans must be targeted to students with exceptional financial need defined as those with the lowest EFC.

If you are an independent student (as defined by federal statute), an additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan will be processed for an amount up to the annual program maximum or the remaining difference between the total cost of attendance (student expense budget) and the total of all of your other aid. If you receive this additional unsubsidized loan, we strongly urge you to carefully examine your need for it and consider reducing or declining this loan, if not absolutely necessary. Any remaining eligibility after the previous steps have been taken may be met through either a Federal Direct PLUS Loan for dependent students or any number of non-federal, private loan programs offered by a variety of lending or financial institutions. You must make a separate request if you want to apply for any of these loans.

Once all Admissions and Registrars Office data become final, if you are an undergraduate, South Carolina resident, you will be considered for the SC LIFE or HOPE scholarship for the upcoming academic year. This determination will not occur until the conclusion of the current academic year; therefore, official LIFE or HOPE scholarships may not appear on the early award notifications. You may, however, have an estimated LIFE or HOPE scholarship listed. Once LIFE or HOPE scholarships are awarded and official, earlier awards will be updated and you will receive a new award notification via email.

Can I charge my books and supplies against my financial aid?

Yes, if you (and your parent, if a parent plus loan has been certified in the parent borrower's name), sign a Financial Aid Authorization Form. This form is required before the Office of Student Accounts is able to allow any indirect charges to be posted against your pending Financial Aid.

By signing the Financial Aid Authorization Form, the student gives permission to Coastal Carolina University to use financial aid funds to pay indirect educational costs (such as books, etc.) associated with that term. If the student wants to use his/her 'Pending' financial aid to charge books, this form must be signed. The Financial Aid Authorization form needs to be submitted only once, and can be revoked at any time. This form can now be e-signed via the student's webadvisor account. The paper forms are located on the Financial Aid Web page under the forms link.

IF a parent is planning to apply for a parent PLUS loan at any time while the student is attending the university, we would also need the signature of the parent borrower in order to permit funds to be used for indirect costs. The parent borrower may also e-sign via Parent/Guardian webadvisor, if the student has approved Parent/Guardian access for the borrower. The paper forms may also be found on the Financial Aid & Scholarships forms page.

This authorization only needs to be signed once during your entire enrollment at CCU.

How do I apply for a student loan?

Once the Financial Aid Office receives the FAFSA results and the student completes all necessary paperwork, we will award the student a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. An email will be sent to notify the student of their financial aid award. Please check your WebAdvisor account for the Award Notification. You must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at studentloans.gov before these funds can be disbursed. A Loan Request Form is also available on our forms page if you need to make adjustments to your loans (reductions, increases, cancellations).

What else do I need for my student loan?

All new Federal Stafford and Perkins Loan borrowers at CCU must complete Entrance Loan Counseling which is a Federal requirement. This is an on-line counseling process which explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. For Stafford loans this must be completed online at studentloans.gov. For Perkins loans, please visit the Office of Student Accounts.

Are there loan limits?

Yes. The federal government has set up limits based on grade level. Click here for current Loan Limits. Total allowed for dependent undergraduate students is $31,000, with no more than $23,000 in Subsidized. Independent undergraduate students can borrow up to $57,500, with no more than $23,000 in Subsidized. Annual loan limits still apply.

How do I apply for a Parent Plus loan?

The FAFSA is required to apply for a PLUS loan. Please review the Parent PLUS Loan detailed information and follow the link to How to Apply. By applying online, the parent can request a specific dollar amount that they wish to borrow for either the academic year or the semester. We recommend that the loan be completed for the academic year. This loan requires a credit worthy borrower.

What other money can I borrow if the Parent Loan is denied due to credit approval?

The Parent Plus loan has an approval based on credit. If a parent is denied due to credit, the student has the option of borrowing additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan funds; however, loan limits still apply.

Students can also consider an Alternative/Private loan. Unlike Federal Student loans programs, private educational loans are specialized education loans based on your credit history and income and should only be considered after all federal loans (Stafford and PLUS), grants and scholarships have been exhausted. Lenders typically give better terms for better credit history. Many lenders also allow cosigners which may help you qualify for better rates. Students are advised to compare loan programs carefully before choosing a lender. Interest rates, fees, and other provisions of these programs are subject to change by the lender. Click on Apply for Private Loans to view our participating lenders. You may also choose another lender of your choice. Contact the lenders directly for detailed information on individual loan products.

What could delay the processing of my loan?

Students must sign their Federal Direct Stafford Master Promissory Note (MPN) before any funds will be disbursed to their account. The student should log in to studentloans.gov using their STUDENT FAFSA PIN.

All first time federal student loan borrowers at CCU must complete Federal Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling prior to receiving their loan. Online counseling is available at studentloans.gov. This information will provide the student with their rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Near the end of the term you expect to graduate, or if you are withdrawing and you have had a Stafford Loan while at Coastal Carolina University, you must complete the requirements for Stafford exit loan counseling.

Federal Perkins Loan borrowers must complete Entrance Loan counseling and complete the Perkins Master Promissory Note and indebtedness statement in the Office of Student Accounts before the loan funds will be disbursed to the student account.

Parent/PLUS loan borrowers must sign their Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the PLUS loan funds will be disbursed to the student account.

I need more financial aid. What are my options?

Apply for scholarships.
Visit our scholarship web page for information and links to other scholarship opportunities.
Apply for an alternative loan. These are private loans that usually require a co-signer with good credit. Please visit our private loan web site for additional information.
A payment plan is available with the Office of Student Accounts www.coastal.edu/studentaccounts.

How and When Financial Aid will be disbursed?

Financial aid will appear on your award status and award letter on WebAdvisor. At the time of billing, awards for which all eligibility criteria have been fully met will be classified as “Accepted” and or "Pending” and may be committed against your outstanding University charges for the term of the award. Federal loan funds will be disbursed after the end of the 100% refund period provided all paperwork is completed. All Private loans remain in a pending status until after the semester/term begins and it is determined that the student is actually attending classes. If all necessary paperwork is complete the funds will be requested from the lender during the first week of classes or upon completion of the necessary paperwork. Once the funds have been requested, the ‘P’ending status will change to an ‘A’ctive status and the funds are usually disbursed to CCU within 7 to 10 business days.

The funds are posted to the student’s account automatically upon receipt from the lender. In cases where your available financial aid is greater than your University charges, the excess will be reflected on your student account until the refund process. If you have signed up for Direct Deposit, the refund process will directly deposit the excess funds into your bank account. If you have not signed up for Direct Deposit, your excess funds will be mailed to you in the form of a University check. These checks are mailed, according to an arranged schedule, from the Office of Student Accounts to either your local or permanent address as listed with The Registrar. Check with the Office of Student Accounts for the exact mailing dates and with questions regarding the mailing of your refund check. It is your responsibility to keep your address current with University Records.

Students who elect to participate in Direct Deposit may sign up by accessing WebAdvisor, and then look under Student Accounts-Financial Services on the left for Direct Deposit Information.

Please note that Federal Work-Study may not be used to pay your fees. Work-study funds are only received when work has been completed.

How do you disburse excess Parent Plus loan funds?

If a Parent/Plus loan is processed and there are excess funds available after all charges have been paid, a settlement check will be issued to the student or borrower, as indicated by the borrower on the actual PLUS Loan application.