Office of Scholarship & Financial Aid

Norton Hall, Building R2

1100 South Marietta Parkway

Marietta, Georgia 30060

Office 678-915-7290

Fax 678-915-4227

finaid@spsu.edu

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FAQs

Loans

What are the types of Loans that are available at SPSU?

Federal Direct Loans which are available through a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). There are also outside loans such as the Georgia First Loans which is available through Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC), or 1-800-416-5177.

What are the types of Loans that are available at SPSU?
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, Parent Direct PLUS loans and Graduate PLUS loans are available. All loans require that the student complete the Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA). After completing the FAFSA borrowers must also complete loan counseling and sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov

 

What are the necessary amount of credit hours to receive a Direct loan?

Undergraduate students (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior) must be at least half-time status which is 6 credit hours. Graduate students must also be at least half-time status which is 4 hours. You may re-verify the hours in the summer term through the registrar's office.

May I apply for alternative or private loans through other lending companies?
Yes, but the interest rates, terms and conditions are not as favorable as the federal loans. You should always apply for the federal loans first. Common alternative or private loans lenders used at SPSU can be compared at ELM Select.

 

What are the differences between the Federal Direct loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS)?

The Subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of the students financial need (COA (Cost of attendance)-EFC (Expected Family Contribution) = Financial Need), and the federal government subsidizes the interest while the student is enrolled (at least half-time status). The Unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of the students financial need, and interest is charged from time of disbursement. The student has the option of paying the interest while in school or letting it accrue and added to the principal amount. PLUS loans are available for dependent (under 24 years old) undergraduate students with "unmet need". A PLUS loan is a loan where the parents of a dependent undergraduate student can borrow funds to go towards the student's educational expenses. Parents must pass a credit check and meet citizenship requirements. For more information go to www.studentloans.gov.

 

 

HOPE

Do I have to apply for HOPE?
Yes. Regardless of whether you received a letter indicating that you were a final HOPE Scholar from high school or you received HOPE at another institution, you must apply for HOPE.

How do I apply for HOPE?
At SPSU, you must complete one of the two application forms listed below and your must request a HOPE evaluation. While some students are awarded automatically from one academic year to the next, the application process is not considered complete until you request a HOPE evaluation. You may apply for HOPE in one of the two following ways:

  1. Complete the FAFSA on the www.fafsa.ed.gov website. Use the FAFSA if you wish to be considered for both HOPE and federal financial aid. If HOPE does not appear on your financial aid award letter and you believe that you are eligible, contact the Financial Aid Office (finaid@spsu.edu) and request a HOPE evaluation.

  2. Complete the GSFAPPS electronic application on the www.gacollege411.org website. Use the GSFAPPS if the only type of financial aid you want is HOPE. You also will be required to complete a GSFAPPS if you apply through a FAFSA, are selected for verification, and then decide that you do not wish to submit the required verification documents. You must notify the Financial Aid Office (finaid@spsu.edu) if you complete the GSFAPPS electronic application since we are not automatically notified.

Is there a deadline to apply for HOPE?
Yes. To receive HOPE for any semester, you must fill out an application form and request a HOPE evaluation by the last day of exams for that semester.

Do I have to apply for HOPE every academic year?
If you apply for HOPE by completing the FAFSA, you MUST complete it every academic year. If you complete the GSFAPPS and have received HOPE during the last 18 months, then the application will still be valid. You still will need to request a HOPE evaluation if you did not receive HOPE at SPSU during the previous academic year or lost HOPE during the previous academic year and believe that you now are eligible. An academic year consists of fall semester, spring semester, and summer semester. Fall always begins a new academic year.

How long will it take to process my HOPE application?
It takes an average of 8-10 weeks from the time a HOPE evaluation is requested until it is completed. In order to be fair to ll applicants, applications are processed in date order of request.

How will I know when the evaluation of my HOPE eligibility has been completed?
If you are HOPE eligible, Hope will be awarded to you. If you are ineligible, you will receive an e-mail explaining why you are not eligible.

I am a transfer student. What can I do to ensure that my application is processed as rapidly as possible?
List ALL postsecondary institutions that you have attended since high school on your admissions application. Have academic transcripts sent from each of these institutions to the SPSU Admissions Office. Even if you are told that one or more of the transcripts are not needed for admissions purposes, ALL transcripts will be needed for determining whether or not you are HOPE-eligible. Remember to send the FINAL academic transcript from the last institution you attended to the Admissions Office. (If you plan to enter SPSU in the fall and you attend another college in the summer, your HOPE eligibility cannot be determined until you have submitted a transcript which includes your summer grades.)

What is the difference between the HOPE Scholarship and the HOPE Grant?
The HOPE Scholarship is for students enrolled in a degree program of study who meet the grade point average requirements, as well as all other eligibility requirements. The HOPE Grant is for eligible students enrolled in an eligible certificate program of study who are taking only courses required for completion of that certificate program.

Do I have to be enrolled full-time to receive HOPE?
No. There is no minimum number of hours that you must enroll in to receive HOPE.

What does HOPE pay for?
Hope pays for the actual amount of tuition that you are charged plus $221 of mandatory fees plus a $150 book allowance. If you are enrolled in less than six hours, your book allowance is reduced to $75.

I want to make sure that I keep my HOPE Scholarship. How often is my HOPE GPA checked?
HOPE eligibility is checked at the end of the semester in which you have attempted 30, 60, and 90 hours AND at the end of EACH spring semester. For students whose program of study requires more than 127 hours, you also are checked at the end of the semester in which you have attempted 127 hours. At each of these checkpoints, you must have a 3.0 or better cumulative HOPE grade point average.

My SPSU transcript shows a higher GPA and/or fewer hours attempted than my HOPE evaluation indicates. How can that be?
Your HOPE GPA includes grades earned at all institutions that you have attended since high school (with the exception of grades earned in a diploma or certificate program that were not accepted for transfer at any institution) while your SPSU transcript reflects your GPA at SPSU only. If you have repeated a course at SPSU, only the highest grade is included in the GPA computation. For HOPE purposes, all grades earned at SPSU are included. Your SPSU transcript includes hours attempted at SPSU plus hours accepted as transfer credit from another institution. For HOPE purposes, attempted hours include degree-seeking hours attempted at all institutions plus diploma or certificate-seeking hours which have been accepted as transfer credit by any institution you have attended previously.

Can I lose my HOPE eligibility before I reach a HOPE checkpoint?
Yes. A HOPE recipient must maintain the satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid recipients regardless of whether or not he/she has reached a HOPE checkpoint.

Is there a limit to how many credit hours HOPE will cover?
Yes. You will no longer be eligible for the HOPE scholarship when:

  • You have attempted 127 hours regardless of whether HOPE paid for those hours unless the program requires more than 127 hours. In that case, you may attempt up to the number of hours required for graduation or 150 hours, whichever is LESS.
  • HOPE has paid for 127 hours (paid hours include HOPE Scholarship, HOPE Grant, and ACCEL).
  • HOPE has paid for 63 hours of HOPE Grant and you are pursuing a certificate.
  • You have received a Bachelor’s degree.

How does a grade of “W” (Withdrawal) affect my HOPE?
Grades of “W” count as attempted hours for HOPE.

If I withdraw, will I owe money back to HOPE?
If you withdraw from ALL your classes prior to the 60% point in the semester AND you are receiving any federal aid, the chances are very good that you will owe money to HOPE. If it is determined that you owe money, you will be ineligible to receive additional HOPE funds at ANY institution until you repay the amount owed.

I am receiving HOPE and there still is a balance on my account. Why?
HOPE will only pay up to $221 in mandatory fees. In 2007-08, HOPE did not cover $94 of mandatory fees.

How do I receive HOPE as a transient student?
If you are coming to SPSU as a transient student, contact the Financial Aid Office at your home institution and have that office send our Financial Aid Office a HOPE transient form. If you are an SPSU student and want to attend another institution, complete and return the HOPE Scholarship Transient Request Form in the “Forms” section of our website.

I cross-registered (or was transient) at another college last semester and HOPE has not been posted to my account this semester. Why?
You must have an academic transcript from the college you attended sent to the SPSU Registrar’s Office before the present semester’s HOPE can be put on your account. The best way to handle this is to complete a transcript request at the other college PRIOR TO the end of the semester with directions asking that the request be held until end of current semester grades are posted.

How do I contact a representative from the HOPE program?
You can telephone a representative at 770-724-9000 or 1-800-505-GSFC. You can visit Georgia Student Finance Commission’s website at www.gsfc.org.


 

Scholarships

How do I get the scholarship funds I receive from outside sources processed at SPSU?

The check and any documentation accompanying it must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office (NOT THE BUSINESS OFFICE) by walk-in or mail. If the check is to be mailed make sure the office name (Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid) is included with the address (1100 S. Marietta Pkwy, Marietta, GA 30060). If the check is made out to the student and SPSU, make sure the check is endorsed before turning it in to the Financial Aid office.

Does SPSU offer any scholarships? If so what types?

Yes, SPSU offer both academic and need based scholarships. SPSU awards scholarships to qualified students based on academic merit and financial need. Need-based scholarships take both financial need and academic criteria into account, while academic scholarships are based solely upon a student's specific academic program. All students that are accepted or accepted pending by March 1st will be considered for Institutional Scholarships


Miscellaneous

How do I check the status of my financial aid? Also, If I am awarded, how can I accept what is being offered to me?

It is recommended that you Check your financial aid status on line and then contact the financial aid office with questions if you have any.

If I completed my FAFSA and the financial aid office has not received it yet what should I do?

Check your FAFSA status on-line (if you completed it online) or by phone at 1-800-433-3243, and make certain SPSU's school code, 001570 is on your application.

How will an administrative removal, or a hardship removal affect my financial aid?

If financial aid was received for a semester in which a removal(deletion of all classes and grades) was done, the financial aid must also be removed. Federal guidelines state that financial aid is financial help for enrolled students in an eligible program, hence if you are no longer enrolled for a specific semester your aid will be removed.

Where should I go to pay a balance and also receive residuals that are due me?

The University Business Office. The Financial Aid Office is not responsible for physical payments nor issuing disbursement checks, but is responsible for processing and disbursing financial aid onto student accounts.

Do Co-op credit hours count towards financial aid?

No, Co-op hours do not count towards financial aid. If you secure a Co-op position during the school year make sure you have the distribution of your aid changed so that you don't have a financial aid disbursement scheduled for the semester you are working.

 

If I have a drug conviction(possession or sale), will I still qualify for financial aid?

Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Federal Student Aid—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when she was a juvenile, unless she was tried as an adult.