The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for the coordination of sources of financial assistance for undergraduate and graduate students at Slippery Rock University. The majority of financial aid offered through the Office of Financial Aid is based on the overall financial need of applicants. Both state and federal financial aid sources are coordinated through this office. The Office of Financial Aid also provides information about scholarship opportunities. A detailed listing of aid programs is available at The Office of Financial Aid.
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How Do I Apply For Financial Aid?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed in order to apply for financial aid available for attendance at Slippery Rock University in addition to institutional scholarships that are based in part on financial need. Students are able to complete the FAFSA beginning January 1 of the year preceding the next academic year. It is recommended that the application be completed before May 1. The federal school code for Slippery Rock University is 003327; this code is required on the FAFSA. When completing the FAFSA, students interested in being considered for student employment and/or federal student loans must indicate interest in these aid programs when answering the work and loan-related questions.
In addition, students interested in receiving assistance from either the Federal Stafford Loan or PLUS program must submit the appropriate loan promissory note at least six to eight weeks in advance of their first date of attendance at SRU.
Financial Aid Programs
Financial aid at Slippery Rock University includes grant, scholarship, loan, and employment programs. A detailed list of scholarship opportunities for students is found in the “University Scholarships” section of this catalog and also on the SRU Financial Aid Office webpage. In addition to the brief descriptions of federal financial aid programs below; additional details can be found at www.studentaid.ed.gov
Federal Pell Grant - Pell Grants are federal funds available to undergraduates with exceptional financial need; the amount of the grant is based on a student’s enrollment, cost and financial need. Eligibility is determined based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) - FSEOG funds are grant funds available to undergraduate students with a high degree of financial need. Students may be eligible for this grant if they already qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) - These grant funds are available to eligible freshmen and sophomores who receive Pell Grants and who have also completed a rigorous high school program of study as outlined on the U.S. Department of Education website for students. (This program is currently funded only through 2010-2011.)
National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants - SMART funds are awarded to eligible juniors and seniors who receive Pell Grants, are enrolled in an eligible major, and who maintain a cumulative QPA of at least a 3.0.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant - These grants are designated for academically-eligible students enrolled in specific bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in SRU’s College of Education who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. This program requires a service obligation.
Pennsylvania State Grant - The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) provides grant assistance to eligible Pennsylvania residents. PHEAA Grant funds are awarded to undergraduate students on the basis of financial need. Additional details are available at www.pheaa.org
PHEAA-Administered Scholarships - PHEAA makes available a number of scholarships to Pennsylvania residents. Details about such scholarships are available at www.pheaa.org
Other State Grants - Several states allow their students to use state grant funds to attend colleges outside of their home states. Out-of-state students should contact their state grant agency in their home state for more information on eligibility guidelines.
Student Employment - Part-time student employment at SRU is available through a variety of funding sources. Students employed on campus are paid on a bi-weekly basis and are paid at least minimum wage. Job opportunities are located throughout the campus. Available positions are publicized through the Office of Career Services.
- Federal Work Study (FWS) is based on financial need and may be available to eligible students.
- Community Service Work Study is available to a limited number of FWS-eligible students. Several areas on campus offer Community Service positions including the SGA Child Care Center, the Institute for Community Service and Learning, the Macoskey Center, the Aebersold Recreation Center and the Women’s Center. Additional information is available from the SRU Financial Aid Office.
- State Student Employment is available to students who do not demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA and is funded by institutional funds.
Federal Perkins Loan - This is a low interest (5%) loan that is offered by SRU through the use of federal funds. Typically, this loan is awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need; these do not require repayment of principal or interest while the student remains enrolled at least halftime.
Federal Stafford Loan - This is a long-term, low interest loan that students may elect to use to assist them with their educational expenses. The amount of loan and type of loan available is dependent upon the individual student’s costs, resources, year in school, and financial need. A student may qualify for Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, or both.
- Subsidized loans are offered to students who demonstrate financial need; these do not require repayment of principal or interest while the student remains enrolled at least half-time.
- In contrast, unsubsidized loans require either the repayment of interest only (on a quarterly basis) or the capitalization of interest during periods of enrollment.
- The student officially enters repayment of an Unsubsidized or Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan following a grace period after graduation or cessation of at least half-time enrollment. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for further information regarding repayment of Federal Stafford Loans.
Federal PLUS Loans - The PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent students and to graduate students. Borrowers may access funds up to the cost of education minus any other financial aid.
SRU Scholarships - Institutional scholarships are awarded based upon a variety of criteria. Detailed information about institutional scholarships can be found on the SRU Financial Aid Office webpage.
Private Sources of Funding - The SRU Financial Aid Office encourages students to seek out assistance from private organizations and agencies. Links to private scholarship database searches can be found on the SRU Financial Aid Office webpage.
How is Eligibility Determined?
Students qualify for most financial aid based on their financial need. A student’s financial need is based on a simple formula:
Cost of Attendance
– Expected Family Contribution
= Financial Need
What Can Financial Aid Cover?
The Office of Financial Aid calculates an average cost of attendance for each student based on their program of study and their in-state or out-of-state status. Typically, the cost of attendance consists of costs for tuition, fees, room, board, books, travel and other associated educational costs.
What Is An Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
The EFC is calculated through the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This figure reflects the Federal estimate of what a family and/or student can afford to contribute toward a year of college. Students and families are able to calculate an estimated EFC through the FAFSA4caster available at www.fafsa.ed.gov
What Is My Eligibility For Financial Aid?
The level of financial need determines the amount of eligibility that a student has for financial aid. It is used by the Office of Financial Aid to determine eligibility for specific programs. An award letter listing eligibility for financial aid is sent to each student after the determination of financial need.
Students or families who experience hardship due to disability, death, decrease in income, loss of benefits, etc., should contact the Office of Financial Aid. A review of their eligibility for financial aid may be performed based on their change in status.
Financial aid applicants may contact the Office of Financial Aid for specific program eligibility criteria.
How Do I Receive Financial Aid Funds?
The Office of Student Accounts is responsible for disbursing all financial aid with the exception of the Federal Work Study Program under which students are paid on a bi-weekly basis. A student’s financial aid, excluding Federal Work Study, is applied directly to contracted university charges (tuition, fees, room and board). Any excess funds will be refunded to the student according to the refund policies set forth by the Office of Student Accounts.
Academic Progress for Financial Aid
The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended by Congress mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of “satisfactory progress” for students receiving Federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV aid programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal ACG Grant, National SMART Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans and Federal Work-Study.
Regardless of whether the student had previously received Title IV financial aid, the minimum requirements for students to meet the University’s definition of academic progress for Federal financial aid purposes are as follows:
Enrollment Status Definitions for Purposes of Determining Satisfactory Progress
Full Time: Undergraduate students enrolled for at least 12 credits per semester and graduate students enrolled for at least 9 credits per semester are considered to be full-time.
Three-Quarter Time: Undergraduate students enrolled for at least 9 but less than 12 credits per semester are considered to be three-quarter time.
Half Time: Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled for at least 6 but less than 9 credits per semester are considered to be half-time.
Process of Determining Satisfactory Progress
Each student will be measured for sufficient progress annually in May after spring grade processing. This evaluation will determine if the student has sufficient progress to be eligible for Title IV funding for the next financial aid award year. Students who have not met the minimum requirements will receive a letter informing them that they are not eligible for continued financial aid.
The standards of satisfactory progress have both a quantitative and qualitative measure that must be met. Slippery Rock University has established the following quantitative and qualitative standards that must be met:
Quantitative Measure (credits earned):
- Full time students must complete a minimum of 24 (18 if a graduate student) new credits by the end of each academic year.
- Three quarter time students must complete a minimum of 18 new credits by the end of each academic year.
- Half time students must complete a minimum of 12 new credits by the end of each academic year.
- Students enrolled less than half time must complete the number of credits for which enrolled by the end of each academic year.
Qualitative Measure (QPA):
- Students who have completed 2 academic years or its equivalent must have at least a 2.0 SRU cumulative quality point average (QPA) at the end of each academic year.
- Students who have not completed 2 academic years or its equivalent must have at least a 1.5 SRU cumulative quality point average (QPA) at the end of each academic year.
- Graduate students must have at least a 3.0 SRU cumulative quality point average (QPA) at the end of each academic year.
January Admits : If an undergraduate student is admitted in January, that student must complete at least 12 credits for full time study (9 credits for three quarter time study, 6 credits for half time study and all credits for less than half time) and meet the minimum quality point average requirement to have continued financial aid eligibility. If the student is deficient in credits or quality point average, the student will receive a warning letter. Aid will be continued for the Fall Semester, however, at the end of the Fall Semester, the student will be checked for the completion of the appropriate number of credits based upon the enrollment status and appropriate quality point average. Federal financial aid will be continued for those students who have met both requirements. Students who have not met both requirements will be notified of their ineligibility for Federal financial aid and informed of the options to regain eligibility.
Graduate students admitted in January who fail to meet QPA or credit requirements by the end of the Spring Semester will receive the same warning letter as listed above. Aid will be continued for the Fall Semester, however, progress will be evaluated again at the end of the Fall Semester.
Readmitted Students : If a student is readmitted to the University, satisfactory academic progress will be based on the student’s previous attendance at SRU. Students who have not met the minimum requirements will be notified of their ineligibility for Federal financial aid and informed of the options to regain eligibility.
Maximum Time Frame
Undergraduate students may receive Federal financial assistance for no more than 150% of the established length of their program of study. SRU has defined this maximum time frame as 6 years for full time students, 9 years for three-quarter time students and 12 years for half-time students. A year consists of fall, spring and summer. The maximum time frame will be adjusted based on the student’s enrollment status. Credits transferred from other institutions to SRU count toward the maximum time frame. A year for maximum time frame and credits transferred is defined as thirty-six credits. Students changing majors, pursuing a double major or pursuing a second undergraduate degree may be eligible for an extension of time on an individual review basis.
Special Grades and their use in Academic Progress Determination
I - Incomplete - Student will receive no credit for an “I” grade. If, however, the incomplete grade is resolved by the close of the following semester and a passing grade is received, the credits will be counted.
NC - No Credit - No credits received. W - Withdrawal - No credits received.
AU - Audit - No credits received. P - Pass- Student receives credits, but QPA is not affected.
X - No grade given - No credits received.
Repeat of Course
The last grade earned is always used in calculating the QPA. If the student failed the course the first time but passes it the second time, the appropriate number of credits will be received after the second attempt. If, however, the student passed the course the first time, repeats it an attempt to improve the QPA but receives a failing grade, the appropriate number of credits will be deducted from the cumulative credits earned total. Maximum hours earned for any course cannot exceed the number of credits listed for that course in the catalog. If a student is repeating a course that they previously received a passing grade in, the completion of that course cannot be used in making up the academic progress deficiency.
If a student is deficient in credits and/or QPA at the end of the academic year, the student may use the following summer to eliminate the deficiency. Summer work need not be completed at Slippery Rock; but students should be aware that:
1. Transient clearance must be obtained prior to taking any courses elsewhere if the credits are to be transferred back to SRU.
2. Only credits transfer back to Slippery Rock, grades do not. If the student’s deficiency is in QPA, taking courses at another institution will not make up a QPA deficiency. The Office of Academic Records and Summer School must accept the credits in order to be counted towards satisfactory progress.
If the student chooses not to attend summer school to make up the deficiency, but opts instead to make up the deficiency during a subsequent semester, only credits successfully completed over and above the required minimum number of credits based on enrollment status will work toward eliminating the deficiency, however, financial aid will not be processed for that semester.
A student with mitigating circumstances may submit an appeal in regard to an adverse satisfactory academic progress determination. In general, mitigating circumstances can include, but are not limited to, illness, injury, death of relative or friend, difficulties with accommodations for students with disabilities, and adversity due to unforeseen events. The academic progress appeal form is available to print from the SRU Financial Aid website and can be submitted to the Academic Progress Committee c/o SRU Financial Aid Office. Please include all relevant documentation with your appeal and submit this prior to August 1st for the fall semester or before November 1st for the spring semester. You will receive a written response to your appeal. Appeals denied by the Academic Progress Committee may be reviewed upon request by the student by the Associate Provost for Enrollment Services
If a student does not meet the satisfactory academic progress standards at the beginning of the academic year but later meets the standards at some point during the academic year, the student can be eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant, FFEL funds, and if available, campus-based program funds beginning with the academic term during which the student first meets the academic progress standards. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Aid after they complete course work if it will allow them to regain eligibility for financial aid.
Academic Progress for the PHEAA Grant
Academic progress requirements for the Pennsylvania State Grant are communicated directly to recipients with their state grant notification by PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency).
Financial Aid for the Summer Term
Students may be able to qualify for financial aid for the summer term dependent upon their enrollment status, eligibility for aid, and the availability of financial aid funds. The following sources of financial aid may be available for the summer term: Federal Pell Grant, Pennsylvania State Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Stafford Loans and Federal PLUS loans. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid in the early spring regarding application procedures for financial aid for the summer term.
Study Abroad Programs
SRU students may be eligible for financial aid funds to attend a study abroad program that is approved by SRU. Financial aid eligibility for study abroad programs is reviewed by individual request. The terms and conditions of the study abroad program have a direct impact upon the student’s eligibility for financial aid. Students interested in financial aid for a study abroad program should contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Policy on the Return of Title IV Aid
The University is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.
If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the office of student accounts recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:
Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.
Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:
Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.
If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.
If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.
The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.
Refunds are allocated in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (other than PLUS loans)
- Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of funds is required
- Academic Competitiveness Grants for which a Return of funds is required
- National SMART Grants for which a Return of funds is required
- Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a Return of funds is required
- Federal TEACH Grants for which a Return of funds is required
The student has the right to:
- Be considered for financial aid assistance; be notified of the financial aid decision; and if not awarded financial assistance, to be informed as to the reason for denial.
- Appeal financial aid decisions to the Associate Provost for Enrollment Services.
- Be informed of the financial aid programs available and the required application materials.
The student is responsible for:
- Submitting the appropriate application forms within published deadline dates.
- Using all refunds of financial aid funds for expenses related to the student’s education.
- Following the requirements and repayment schedules of educational loan programs.
- Informing the Office of Financial Aid of all grants, scholarships, or other funds received for their educational costs from outside organizations.
In order to be considered for financial aid, student applicants must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Be registered with Selective Service (if required).
- Be working toward a degree or teacher certification at SRU.
- Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal educational loan.
- All aid programs require that the student make satisfactory academic progress as detailed in the financial aid section of the catalog.
- The financial aid office should be contacted for instructions when a major change in the family’s financial condition occurs such as death, disability, retirement, or loss of job.)
- Students and families are encouraged to contact the financial aid office at 724-738-2044 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions they have about the financial aid information provided in this catalog.
- The information provided in this section was accurate at the time of publication. Fees, regulations, eligibility requirements, etc. are subject to change.
Athletic Scholarships are administered by the Intercollegiate Athletic Department and awarded by the coaches of each particular sport. Contact the specific coach at the Intercollegiate Athletic Office, 102 Morrow Field House, 724-738-2021.
Army ROTC scholarships are available at Slippery Rock University that cover tuition, fees, books, and a monthly cash allowance. Contact the SRU Military Science Department at 724-738-2019 for details.
The financial aid office coordinates all paperwork for veterans or dependents of veterans who are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs educational benefits. Qualified individuals should apply at least eight weeks prior to the first day of classes. An original application for benefits and certified copy of DD214 (discharge paper), or VA form 2384 (Notice of Basic Eligibility), or copy of Kicker contract may be required. The Office of Financial Aid should be contacted for additional information regarding DVA educational benefits, financial aid, tutorial assistance, and specific forms. General information is available at the Office of Financial Aid/Veterans Information