Financial Aid

» SPSU Home / Financial Aid / Financial Aid Award Guide

Financial Aid

Office of Scholarship & Financial Aid

Norton Hall, Building R2

1100 South Marietta Parkway

Marietta, Georgia 30060

Office 678-915-7290

Fax 678-915-4227

Financial Aid Award Guide



What do I need to do next?

1.      Accept or Adjust award letter online.  Click on "Banner Web" from the SPSU homepage, and follow instructions from your award email. You can also find the instructions to accept your award letter here.

2.      Set up a SPSU email account.  Go to and follow the instructions.

3.      If you want a Stafford loan and this is your first time borrowing money at SPSU, or if you are changing lenders, you must complete a Master Promissory Note and complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling.  Both of these can be completed online at:

   You will receive an email award letter.  All new award letters will appear on your Banner Web account.  We will notify you of changes to your award letter by your SPSU email account.  You must go to Banner Web to view the changes and to accept the new award letter.                           

What if an award I wanted (HOPE or Work Study) is not on my award letter?

If you are planning on receiving an award and the award is not on your award letter, you may accept your current award on Banner Web and email the Financial Aid Office to request an evaluation for Hope or Work Study.  Please include your student identification number in all email correspondence.

How and when will I receive my financial aid?

   For grants, most scholarships, Stafford Loan funds, and PLUS Loan funds, our office reviews your enrollment and other eligibility criteria and authorizes payment to your student account.

   Your awards may increase, decrease, or be canceled, depending on these eligibility reviews.  If your aid is canceled for any reason, you are responsible for paying all tuition, fees, and book charges you have incurred.  Credited funds are applied to your unpaid balance, including any charges you may have for books.

   For grants, scholarships, and processed loans for repeat borrowers, funds are credited to students’ accounts the first day of class.

   If your credited aid exceeds your SPSU charges, SPSU Business Office will issue a refund check to use toward personal and living expenses within 14 days after your aid is credited.  If your charges exceed your credited aid, you must pay the balance.

How many credits do I need to take?

   Awards cannot be disbursed until you have registered for the minimum number of credits.  If you fall below these minimum credit requirements by dropping or withdrawing from classes, your awards may be canceled or reduced.

1.      Pell Grant awards vary based on credits.  Students with higher EFC’s may not be eligible. -Full-time (12 or more credit hours) Student receives 100% of Pell -Three Quarters -time (9-11 credit hours) Student receives 75% of Pell -Half-time (6 -8 credit hours) Student receives 50% of Pell -Less than half-time (1-5 credit hours) Student receives 25% of Pell.

2.      Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans and many private loans require 6 credits per semester.

3.      Scholarship enrollment requirements vary.  Review your scholarship award notice.

4.      HOPE does not have a minimum credit hour requirement.

What else do I have to do to receive and keep my aid?

1.      Enroll in Degree or Certificate Program - For all Federal aid programs, HOPE and many scholarship programs, you must be enrolled in a credit certificate or degree program and must be taking courses toward that program. 

2.      Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) - To remain eligible for Federal and State aid you must meet the Financial Aid academic progress standards.  These SAP standards are different from the college's standard academic policies.  Withdraws can cause SAP suspensions from the college’s general Academic Standing Policy.  SAP standards include a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. (3.0 for graduate students), completing 67% of all attempted credits, and completing your program before you exceed attempted credit limits (See here for additional information).

3.      Annual Reapplication Requirement - For Federal and State aid programs, you must reapply every year by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  To apply online, go to

1.      For the best aid package, submit your FAFSA by March 1st for the following Fall term.

2.      For SPSU Scholarships, you must submit your FAFSA by March 1st for the following Fall term.

What happens if I drop, withdraw, or change grading method to audit?

   Your award letter lists the amount of financial aid you will receive for full-time enrollment.  You can not receive aid for Dropped or Audited courses.
  A course is considered “dropped” if you drop before the 100% tuition refund deadline.  There are no charges or SAP penalties for dropped courses within this timeframe.

  If you withdraw from a course after the 100% tuition refund date, it is a “withdrawal.”  You will be charged for “withdrawn” courses, and withdrawals can lead to violations of the Financial Aid SAP Policy.

   If you withdraw from all your courses or stop attending them before completing more than 60% of the semester, you may have to repay all or a portion of the financial aid that you received.

  Students that do not attend at least one day of class will have their financial aid removed and will have to repay the aid received.

Can I get Summer Financial Aid?

   SPSU typically awards for two terms only (Fall and Spring). You may re-budget for three terms (Fall, Spring and Summer) by contacting the financial aid office at The award offered usually will not increase, however the loan amount (and only loans) may be spread over three terms instead of two.

How is Financial Need determined?

  Financial Need is defined as the difference between your Cost of Attendance as determined by the University and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Federal government.

     Cost of Attendance
   - Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
   = Financial Need


1.      The Cost of Attendance includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation and living expense estimates determined by the Financial Aid Office.

2.      The U.S. Department of Education calculates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the financial information from your Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  They compare your income and assets against standard cost of living allowances for the number of people in your household.

  The cost of attendance on your award letter is only an estimate. Your lifestyle will determine if your cost is greater or less. Tuition rates can vary so to determine your exact tuition rate, visit the Registrar's website here 

SPSU Meal Plan rates are listed here.

SPSU housing plan rates are listed here.

What if my financial situation has changed?

  If your family experiences an extreme change in its finances due to circumstances such as illness, disability, divorce, or unemployment, you may have your eligibility reevaluated based on your new family financial circumstances.  Download a “Professional Judgment for Independent” or “Professional Judgment for Dependent” form from the Financial Aid web site ( and submit all of the requested documentation to our office.  We will review your request and notify you by your SPSU e-mail account of the results.

How do I pay for books?

  Eligible enrolled students whose grant, scholarship, and/or certified loan funds exceed their charges may be eligible to charge their books against their pending aid at the SPSU bookstore. Books may be charged against financial aid on the first day of class. If you are receiving financial aid but can not charge against it at the bookstore, please contact our office.

Award Descriptions and Requirements

1.      Federal Pell Grants - These grants are awarded to full and part-time students with high financial need based on the student’s EFC. The actual awards vary based on the number of enrolled credits.

2.      Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) - These funds are limited, and awards are made to full and part-time students with exceptional financial need who are eligible to receive Pell.

3.      Federal Work-Study (FWS) - FWS funds are offered to full-time and part-time students who demonstrate financial need. These funds will NOT be credited to your student account.  If you obtain a FWS job with an approved FWS employer, you will receive a paycheck for your hours worked. The college will draw your pay from these FWS funds.  Positions are limited. We will freeze awarding when we reach our maximum number of students.

4.      HOPE - These scholarships are awarded to students that meet the HOPE eligibility requirements as specified by Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA). If the HOPE Scholarship does not appear on your award letter and you are an undergraduate student who would like to be evaluated for the HOPE Scholarship, please e-mail the financial aid office and request to be reviewed. If you are a first time HOPE Scholar, this award is tentative, pending receipt of your final high school GPA from GSFA. Currently enrolled HOPE recipients must continue to meet the HOPE eligibility requirements as specified by GSFA.

5.      College Scholarships - Recipients of these awards should have received written notification of the scholarship and returned an acceptance form with a thank you letter to the donor.

6.      Federal Stafford Loans- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans are available to students who demonstrate financial need. The Federal government pays all of the interest on these loans until six months after the student graduates or stops attending college at least half time (6 credits).  Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans are available to students who do not demonstrate financial need, and to independent students who wish to borrow more than their maximum subsidized amount. The student is responsible for paying all the interest on Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

7. Stafford Loan Borrowing Limits - Your award letter lists your estimated loan eligibility.  Your annual Stafford Loans cannot exceed Federal annual limits or your remaining financial need, whichever is lower. Annual limits vary based on financial need, dependency status, and number of completed credits.


Loan Limits
For Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans






1st Year












2nd Year









3rd-5th Year









Maximum Total Debt Stafford Loans Upon Graduation


No more than $23,000 may be in subsidized loans


No more than $23,000 may be in subsidized loans


No more than $65,000 may be in subsidized in loans


What are the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards?

   To remain eligible to take classes at SPSU, you must comply with the college-wide Academic Standing Policy. In addition to these standards, to remain eligible to receive financial aid, you must meet the SPSU Financial Aid standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). To comply with these Financial Aid SAP standards, you must meet all of the following requirements:

1.      Cumulative Grade Point Average - You must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better.

2.      Course Completion Rate (Avoid Excessive Withdrawals!) - You must complete at least 67 percent of all attempted credits including:  withdrawn, forgiven, failed, incomplete, repeated, and completed courses; transfer courses; non-credit developmental courses; and all credits attempted during periods when you did not receive financial aid. A class is considered “completed” if you have earned a grade of “D” of better. Withdrawn courses count as unsuccessful attempts.

3.      Maximum Time Frame Requirement - You must complete your program of study within 150 percent of the published number of credits required for that program of study.  For example, if your degree program requires 120 credits, you must complete your program before you have attempted more than 180 credits.  Transfer credits count against your 150% limit.  If you complete the requirements for one degree or certificate, you may be able to receive aid for additional programs of study.

   Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated at the end of every term. Maximum time frame will be evaluated at the end of each term. Students who are not meeting the SAP standards will be placed on SAP Suspension or Probation. If you receive Probation, your progress will be reviewed at the end of the following every term. Suspended students are ineligible for all Federal, State, and SPSU aid programs.

   Suspended students may appeal their status.   The Director of Financial Aid and Appeals Committe will review all completed appeals.  Approved students will be granted SAP Appeal status and will be eligible to receive aid for their next term of enrollment. Denial of appeals is final.

Who do I contact with additional questions?


SPSU Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid







Office Hours

Monday - Thursday

8:00am to 6:00pm


9:00am to 4:00pm

Other Phone Numbers

SPSU Cashier’s Office


SPSU Records and Registration


Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC)


Federal Student Aid Information Center

800-4FED-AID (800-433-3243)

Other External Financial Aid Web Sites

Free Scholarship Search

Wired Scholar (Scholarship Info)

General Financial Aid Information

FAFSA Online & FAFSA Help

Veterans’ Benefits