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GENERAL FAQ’S

Please review the questions below. We have found them to be very helpful to all of our families and gives us greater transparency during this very important process.

Q1. What is Philander Smith College's(PSC) Title IV code?

Q9. My parents/I will not complete their/my federal tax returns before the priority deadline for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Should I wait until their/my tax forms are finished before I complete my financial aid forms?

Q10. My parents will not be claiming me as a dependent on their tax returns.  Can I file my financial aid applications as an independent student?
 
Q11. What happens if my parents are divorced or separated and one parent is unwilling to submit any information to the financial aid office or to contribute towards my PSC expenses?
 
Q12. When will financial aid award letters be mailed? Will I know about my financial aid award prior to May 1 st.
 
Q13. I am hoping to receive a refund or credit balance. How do I go about getting what is owed to me?

Q14. When will I receive a billing statement from Philander Smith College and when do I have to pay?

 
Q16. Will my eligibility for financial aid change if I change my enrollment status?
 
Q17. What if my family financial circumstances change after I receive my financial aid award?
 
Q18. If I choose to live off-campus, will my financial aid be affected?
 
Q19. Will Resident Assistant (RA) benefits change my financial aid package?  
 
Q20. Do I need to reapply for aid consideration every year?
 
Q21. What do I do if I have questions about my billing statement or PSC's payment plans?  
 
Q22. I have a question about housing. Who should I call?
 
Q23. What is the difference between the Financial Aid Office and the Business Office?
 

 

A1. Philander Smith College's Title IV code to be used on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is 001103.
 

A2. For federal student aid students must complete the FAFSA each year as soon after January 1st each year. To be considered for Philander Smith College scholarships, all students must complete the FAFSA. To apply for the FAFSA you must visit www.fafsa.ed.gov

First-year students should submit their financial aid applications by March 1.

 

A3. The Business Office is responsible for billing and collecting payments from students for all applicable tuition, fees, room and board charges.

The Business Office determines all charges related to a student’s enrollment. The office also disburses payments to eligible students.  Contact the Business Office for additional information.

 
A4. The main source of information used comes from the FAFSA. A PSC financial aid counselor conducts a thorough review of each student’s financial circumstances and then determines each student’s eligibility for financial aid. This review employs formulas and guidelines that have been carefully developed and are widely used by most of the country's leading colleges.
 
A5. Your financial aid award is based solely on your family's demonstrated need. Any financial aid decision we make would be the same regardless of whether you apply early or late. HOWEVER, you are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible due to the fact that some of our funding (SEOG and Federal Work Study programs) are limited and prevents us from awarding every student that is eligible
 

A6. There is no income cutoff because income by itself is not the only consideration. We consider the entire household income, family size, number in college, medical expenses, and other information to help us give you the best package possible.

Because many factors make each family's financial situation unique, we cannot make our judgments on income alone. In recent years, some families with incomes above $100,000 have received financial aid.

 
A7. No. International students (students who are neither U.S. citizens nor eligible non-citizens)  are not eligible for federal financial assistance. International students are eligible for PSC scholarships unless otherwise noted by the donor.
 
A8. We ask that your application be complete by  March 1 st so that you will have a financial aid decision along with your admission decision. We will consider your application if it is late, but please remember that you may not be notified of any aid you are getting before you have to make an enrollment decision
 

A9. No. You can complete the FAFSA based on reasonable estimates of your family’s prior year income. However, once tax returns are filed, you will need to update the FAFSA with the required information. As a result, the award letter you received will be adjusted accordingly if the change in your family income reflects such.

In addition, the changes you must make to your FAFSA might result in you/parents being selected for a process called verification. This process calls for you and your parent to submit copies of your parent’s federal tax return(s) as well as your own if applicable to the Financial Aid Office. This allows for our office to verify that the information you reported on your aid applications was accurate and recalculate your eligibility if necessary.

 
A10. No. To determine if you meet the federal definition of an independent student, review the questions in Step 3 of the FAFSA.
 

A11. In fairness to all, PSC expects that parents will pay what they can, and we must assess the parent's ability to contribute to college costs by reviewing complete financial documents from the custodial parents household. PSC cannot award financial aid funds based only on what a parent is willing to provide. If the parents are divorced, you are only required to use the parents information to whom you lived (supported you the most) during the calendar year. 51% or more of the time.

If the parents are separated, yet still married, both parents information must be used as the appropriate and accurate tax return that should be filed (“married filing separate or married filing jointly”) , will still have both parents information included.

For the unwilling parent, you might explain to the parent that his or her information will remain confidential. Your parent should also know that providing such information no way obligates him or her to contribute to your Philander Smith education. It might however, not change your financial aid package either if federal regulations prohibit us from doing so.

Although we cannot increase our scholarship aid to fill the gap if a parent declines responsibility, you may be able to borrow more. If you believe your situation is special, please write us a detailed letter of explanation and include the necessary documentation to support the letter.

 

A12. If your financial aid folder is complete by the March 1 st  priority deadline, you will receive your award notice within two weeks.

Financial aid award letters for returning students will be available beginning in mid May after  a review of grades has been complete.

 
A13. Students who expect to receive a refund of a credit balance created by financial aid being paid to your student billing account will receive those funds after enrollment verification for each term. Student refunds are issued on the Green and Gold card and issued every Friday. For further details, please contact the Business Office.
 
A14. You will receive a billing statement for the fall semester in early July. Another billing statement for the spring semester will arrive in mid-December. Payments are due prior to the start of classes each term. For further details (including payment options), please contact the Business Office.
 
A15. Discuss your concerns with your FA counselor in the office to help you work through what financing options may be available to you.
 

A16. Yes, if you withdraw from Philander Smith College or change the number of credit hours for which you are enrolled, your eligibility could change. You should contact your financial aid counselor in the office to discuss how it may affect your eligibility for financial aid. 

If you enroll less than full-time, your cost of education will be recalculated using actual reduced tuition costs. Your family contribution will not be revised, as you are expected to contribute the same amount regardless of your enrollment status. 

Your eligibility for aid will be reduced in proportion to the reduced tuition or other charges that result from less than full-time study. You must be enrolled in at least a half-time status to be eligible for financial aid assistance.

 

A17. You and your family are obligated to notify our office if you have a change in your family circumstances that is likely to affect your expected family contribution. These changes include an decrease/increase in income, a decrease/increase in the number of family members in the household or supported by parents or a decrease/increase in the number of family members attending college. 

It is important to keep a copy of your completed financial aid applications as a record of what was reported. Other changes such as a loss or reduction of family income also may constitute a reason to ask us to re-evaluate an earlier award. This process requires families to submit in writing a specific explanation of their situation, including an itemization of any reduction in income. Complete the Special Circumstances application.

 

A18. Financial aid is not reduced or increased when you live off-campus.

If there is a credit balance on your student account once tuition and fee charges have been paid, you may use this refund to pay for off-campus rent and food expenses. A refund of any credit balance on your student account is obtained directly from the Business Office.

 

A19. Students with RA benefits receive free room and board. Both federal law and university policy require that the value of the RA benefit be considered when determining the amount of financial aid a student is eligible to receive. 

The amount used to adjust an aid package for RA benefits is equal to the room and board allowance in the standard expense budget. RA benefits will be used to reduce or eliminate your loan or student employment before any adjustment in your need-based scholarship award will be made.

 
A20. Yes, we must reassess your need for financial aid on an annual basis because your need may change from year to year. Please complete the required FAFSA every year. As a courtesy, over the Christmas break PSC sends emails to those students who are receiving financial aid for the current year to remind them to reapply for aid.
 
A21. Contact the Business Office at (501) 370-5202.
 
A22. Call the Residential Life Center at  (501) 370-6060.
 
A23. The two offices have separate administrative functions. The Financial Aid Office determines eligibility for grants, scholarships, loans, work-study and other financial aid and college financing programs. The Business Office is responsible for all billing and collecting of applicable charges and issuing student refunds.

 



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