Financial Aid Introduction

Go on line to complete the FAFSA after January 1 each year

AVAILABLE AID

Grants: Awards that you do not have to pay back.
Work-Study: Job that allows you the opportunity to earn money to help pay for school the following
semester.
Loans: Money borrowed that you must repay with interest. Scholarships: Awards based on academic
excellence, merit, and talent. Deadlines: GSW Scholarship Application - March 1st; Other – May 15th
ELIGIBILITY
Basically, you are eligible for some type of aid if you are a classified student enrolled at least
half-time in a degree seeking program, are a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen, are making
satisfactory academic progress, and are not in default on an educational loan or owe a refund on an
educational
grant.

HOW FINANCIAL AID IS AWARDED

Most student aid is awarded based on financial need. Need is the difference between your budgeted
cost of attendance (educational expenses such as tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and
other related expenses) and an amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your

education (EFC – expected family contribution – is determined by the central processor based on a
national standard formula).

KINDS OF DOCUMENTATION

In order to process a financial aid offer, various documents are required to verify the information
on the FAFSA. The previous year’s FEDERAL INCOME TAX TRANSCRIPT (not the 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) is
required in some cases. If you are a Dependent student, you may be asked to provide your tax
transcript as well as your parent’s tax transcript. Also, particular items reported on your FAFSA
might need verification or documentation after receipt of the electronic FAFSA (see Verification
Policies).

If a change is made subsequent to the award, the student will receive a revised award or an
adjusted bill via the Registration & Academic Information Network (R.A.I.N), depending on the
timeframe of the adjustment.

Students are responsible for making corrections to their application unless student has been
selected for verification. During the verification process, all corrections will be made
electronically by the financial aid office, based on the documentation received.

In the event an award must be reduced because of subsequent verification, the student is
responsible for repayment of any funds disbursed in error due to incorrect information. If funds
are not repaid, the overpayment must be reported to the Department

WHAT IS VERIFICATION

Verification is the process by which schools review student financial aid applications for
accuracy. Institutions that participate in Federal Title IV aid programs are required to perform
verification on a selection of students. Verification is done by collecting the documents the
student used to complete the FAFSA and comparing them with the information the student provided on
the FAFSA. You will not

be able to receive financial aid until the verification process is complete. To receive maximum
consideration as quickly as possible for aid such as grants, work study, and loans you must turn in
all documents.

Submit all verification paperwork directly to the Financial Aid Office for processing. If you wish,
you may fax information to our office. Fax Number: (229-931-2061). If you do not turn in the
required information, your file will be held until all unsatisfied requirements are met and/or the
information has been received.

Who is selected for verification?

Approximately 30% of financial aid applications are selected for verification by the U.S.
Department of Education. Georgia Southwestern State University also reserves the right to select a
student for verification. Students typically are selected for verification for the following
reasons: FAFSA appears to contain inconsistent information, student used estimated tax return
information, or the student was randomly selected.

If I am selected for verification, how will I know?

When you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education, you will see
a comment stating "Your FAFSA has been selected for a review process called verification. Your
school has the authority to collect certain financial documents from you.”

Once our financial aid office receives your processed FAFSA, Unsatisfied Requirements will be
posted to your ‘RAIN’ account indicating what information and documents are needed. After all
requested information is submitted to the financial aid office, your file will be reviewed. If you
are an independent student, you will need to complete the independent verification form, and submit
signed copies of your and your spouse’s current tax transcript. If you are a dependent student, you
will need

to complete the dependent verification form and submit copies of your and your parent’s tax
transcript.

If the financial aid office has further questions regarding your file, your RAIN account will be
updated. You are encouraged to contact the financial aid office at any time.

Tips for saving time with verification processing?

During the verification process, the financial aid office compares information you submitted on the
FAFSA to information you provided on the verification worksheet and financial documents. It is
important to know that if the information you provided on the FAFSA is accurate. If the information
on the FAFSA does not match the verification documents, a correction must be processed. This will
delay the processing of your financial aid. You can view the information you put on the FAFSA by
retrieving your Student Aid Report (SAR) from www.fafsa.ed.gov.

  1. Complete all sections of the Verification Worksheet
  2. Sign the Verification Worksheet
  3. Use IRS retrieval if eligible
  4. Keep copies of all documents you turn into the financial aid office
  5. Include your GSW student id or social security number on all forms you turn in to the financial 
  6. aid office

CONSEQUENCES OF DROPPING/ADDING CLASSES

Enrollment is not finalized until the end of Drop/Add in each term

Classes dropped or added during Drop/Add will be adjusted accordingly. For example: If a part-time
Pell recipient goes through Drop/Add to either add or drop a class, the Pell will be adjusted
according to the number of remaining or additional hours.

Classes dropped or added after Drop/Add will not be adjusted to increase or decrease the level of
aid. For example: If a three-quarter-time student manages to add a class after Drop/Add is over,
the student would be full time by university standards, but for financial aid standards, the
student remains at three-quarter-time. No additional funds will be added to the account unless it
was an institutional error that caused the late addition.

Classes dropped after Drop/Add do not go unnoticed. Students receive a grade of W if the withdrawal
occurs after Drop/Add. The W will come into consideration when students are checked for
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The course the student withdraws from has a direct affect on
passage percentage rate. This rate must be 67% of all hour attempted toward the degree. The student
is not penalized academically when the withdrawal occurs. For example: A student signs up for four
classes. After Drop/Add is over, the student drops all but one class. The student has retained an A
in the one remaining class. Academically, the student will have a term GPA of 4.00 but will not
have passed 67% of what was attempted for the term. If this is the second or greater term for the
student, the student may not be meeting SAP standards at the annual checkpoint.

Always check with the school to make sure there were no problems encountered that prevented the
school from receiving your FAFSA electronically. (RECEIVING YOUR COPY OF THE FAFSA DOES NOT MEAN
THE SCHOOL RECEIVED ITS COPY)

Please feel free to call or write us: www.finaid@gsw.edu.

CONSEQUENCES OF NOT ATTENDING CLASSES

During the first two weeks of school your instructors must report your attendance. If it is
reported that

you have not attended class during this period your financial aid will be adjusted. Financial Aid
is disbursed according to attending not just registering for classes.

For example: Two instructors say you attended and two say you did not attend. Although your award
shows $2000 in Pell for that semester, you will only receive $1000. If your hours attended reflect
enrollment below 6 hours, your loan will also be returned to the Department of Education. You will
be responsible for your payment due.

Your ATTENDANCE will be checked. Reporting to class after the attendance period will not be
considered for financial aid purposes unless it was an institutional error.